VPN, Remote Desktop & Co. – That’s How We Work Today

remote-desktop

Even if industry and employers associations are fighting doggedly to restore the “old order” of office work in mid-2021: The way and, not least, where end-users work has changed significantly. Remote desktop applications and VPN solutions and home offices and mobile working have become the new “normal.” But not all that glitters is gold.

When looking at the current world of work, the question quickly arises why many “normal office and screen workplaces” have not found their way into the mobile or home office. The transition to a home office or the changeover to a mobile workplace should be easy: There are probably hardly any employees who do not have an Internet connection at home in one way or another. Devices such as notebooks should also be widespread. In principle, “mobile work” from your own home should be quick and easy.

Home Office and “Mobile Working” Are Different Things.

Unfortunately, the terms mobile working and home office are often mixed up: “After all, a mobile employee can also be at home and work with his notebook” is a joint statement. If you ignore the technical differences, mainly trading unions, IHK, and lawyers vehemently speak out against this mixture.

They describe colloquially subsumed under home office, then technically with the somewhat antiquated term “telework.” The most important difference: According to the workplace ordinance, such a teleworking station is ” a permanently set up computer workstation in the private area of ​​the employee.” In addition, there is an agreement on weekly working hours and the duration of this facility. The company is then also responsible for setting up this workplace.

It’sIt’s different with mobile work: the workplace moves with the employee – he can sit at home and in a coffee shop or on the terrace of a hotel. In these cases, the workplace ordinance does not apply. That is why many companies insist on talking about mobile working, even if they send their employees to the “home office” in principle.

Challenges For Technology

One of the most significant challenges that the “new work” from the home office confronts both the IT specialists in the company and the employees in their homes is the connection to the Internet, which is available to the employees. Even if the company equips its “external” specialists with the latest IT technology and provides you with complex VPN, such as technology, a weak, unreliable Internet connection can quickly destroy any hope that employees will work the same way they would office. 

Home Office In Focus

Cloud solutions offer another way into the corporate network: They are already used by most companies today. Many users are already using solutions such as Dropbox or OneDrive in one way or another. If the employees in the company already use solutions such as Microsoft 365, they can usually continue to use them very quickly from the home office. Suppose a correspondingly good, stable connection is available. In that case, companies can use Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions to provide their users with complete Windows or Linux desktops, which the user can then access via the Internet. To be available. He then works in the browser or with a particular client, ideally shielded from his home environment.

Communication: From “Alone” To “Perpetual Video Conference”

At first glance, it may seem nonsensical to talk about changed communication concerning work in the home office: After all, we communicated via email and telephone even before the pandemic. Video conferences also took place before that time – although perhaps not at the current frequency.

Particularly in isolation caused by remote work, targeted communication between employees and between home office workers and the company is of great importance. So it is not enough to equip the colleagues who are now working externally with the right technology by using remote work control software but to use the communication channels intensively – in both directions. Contact with the team, colleagues and other employees mustn’t be limited to a daily video conference limited: All employees in the home office must be able to communicate immediately and directly with other team members in case of doubt without them having to wait long for a response to an email message. In many cases, only a face-to-face conversation will help. To do this, IT must be able to provide as many channels as possible.

It is solutions like Slack that enable and facilitate communication in the team at the level of chats and corresponding channels. The advantage of communication via email is that a kind of direct conversation or discussion is conducted. Indeed, such email applications in the business environment will not cause the death toll, even if companies like Slack and Asana postulate this repeatedly. Still, it can be a goal to get older employees used to it, with chat tools and Messenger applications actively communicate.

Also Read: What Is The SaaS Model

Home Office And (Once Again) Shadow IT.

The security requirements for working from home do not differ from those that (should) also apply in the company. Mostly “confidentiality”, “integrity” and “availability” are mentioned as goals of the security measures. But it is understandably much easier for the IT team in charge to set a goal such as confidentiality (i.e., the protection of information, data and other IT resources from unauthorized access) in the protected company network than on possibly even private computers of the users in the home office to reach.

The so-called shadow IT is a big problem: The IT employees usually already know this from their daily work in the company, because there, too, the employees use their notebook or tablet from time to time to access the company network or even to send company data (if possible via a private email account). But in these situations, the IT team can usually quickly track down and stop the use of unauthorized devices, applications, and services. But what users use in the home office, they cannot promptly determine or even prevent.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed stated that they access documents and services of their employer with remote end devices. Still, 58 percent admitted to saving or transferring work data on personal USB sticks. Finally, 55 percent of respondents said they use private email or file-sharing services in the cloud for work purposes. Thus, for IT professionals working remotely and using digital workstations, the following still applies: “Security, security and once again security.”

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