Work from Home

Work from HomeAccording Gartner’s Update on Global work force trends (2019), the top three drivers of attraction remained compensation, work-life balance and stability in the workplace. Out of the three, work-life balance seems to be the only one that can be manipulated flexibly. Working from home or remotely is a work plan that if well implemented perfects the idea and answers the many questions around work- life balance.

Interestingly, a survey by Brighter Monday (2019) conducted on over 8,000 millennials indicated that Millennials in Kenya prefer working in the office rather than at home. See below.

millennials prefer working at home

Random further surveys on twitter by Brighter Monday again revealed something interesting. That a majority of young working individuals would prefer a mix of working both at home and in the office. Going by this, enabling your teams to be able to work from both at home and in the office is a great motivator to your younger work force especially when your bank account can’t allow for huge salaries. They love the flexibility too.

The current work from home measures to curb the spread of the Corona Virus is a blessing in disguise for those who prefer having a mix of working from home and in the office. Employers will be able to confirm that indeed this concept is practical and doable and probably more productive than any one had imagined before. All they need is to have the right supporting solutions in place. Below are 5 ICT solutions that will be critical in powering remote working:

Secure VPN

In simple terms, this is a managed security solution that enables employees and teams to access company applications systems and other online resources securely on a virtual private network. Accessing such systems using the normal internet connection can be detrimental, especially, in this era of heightened cyber security incidences that cost companies millions of shillings. A hacker aims to win once but companies have to win always. Get a trusted provider for your VPN solution. MTN Business Kenya is reputable, for instance, with certified engineers.

Technically, the solution by MTN Business Kenya proposes that all remote users will require to download and install the FortiClient VPN application which will provide a secure connection to MTN Hosted Virtual Firewall. A Site to site VPN Tunnel will be configured from the Virtual Firewall back to the client’s premises to enable users access resources remotely and securely.

Teams Direct Routing and Microsoft office 365

With this Teams direct routing solution, you enable your teams to call each other affordably on the Microsoft Teams platform without investing in a PABX or desktop phones. The calls can be made on your business line or even their personal mobile phones from Teams, thus ensuring all your staff are reachable when needed, while not missing any important business calls from clients. Microsoft Teams in itself, is a cloud-based team collaboration software that is part of the Office 365 suite of applications. The core capabilities in Microsoft Teams include:

  • business messaging
  • business calling
  • audio/video meetings thus no need for physical meetings. You can even do a full staff meeting on Teams. Thus your routine and strategy meetings can still continue while participants are at the comfort of their couches, benches or verandahs.
  • file sharing

It Integrates with other Office 365 applications, including Exchange, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, SharePoint, Outlook and more.

Besides direct routing, you can also opt to just have a hosted PABX and soft phones installed on your staff’s smartphones. MTN VoIP and hosted PABX has been tried and tested. This way, they will all receive and make business calls from their mobile using your business line without having to invest in PABX hardware and desktop phones. Your teams won’t miss any important business call.

Network Management System

How about enabling your core network teams to utilize this tool to receive real time alerts on any issues regarding your WAN, LAN and business applications on their phones? This will help them stay on top of things even though they are away from the office and be able to trouble shoot and fix. You can’t afford to be offline when almost all businesses are currently facing online. Learn more about remote working solutions here

Do you need some help in incorporating any of these solutions into your remote working plans? Send an email to [email protected] to request for a call back.

By Mark Tindi, MTN Business Kenya.