We are now in a climate where remote / hybrid working is now common for lots of UK businesses. What is surprising however, is how few remote workers are using business internet grade services from their home location, and instead continuing to operate with a standard home Internet connection.
The rise in remote workers throughout the UK can largely be attributed to the impact of Covid-19, as businesses were forced to introduce home working so that they could continue to trade. But what we are seeing now is a rise in problems relating to home Internet services for business use and the negative effects this is having on customer experience, service level agreements (SLAs), and ultimately the business bottom line.
Do you need Business Internet for remote workers?
In short, yes. Business Internet is essential for all employees, especially home-based workers. Many home Internet packages are described as ‘high speed’, but if there are lots of devices accessing the Internet at the same time, connectivity will almost certainly be affected. During lockdown it is thought that over 60% of the UK’s total workforce were working from home (cite). That is a staggering 23.9 million adults all working from home, compared to 1.5million who were regularly working from home before the pandemic (cite). That also wasn’t taking into account the number of children being schooled at home via virtual cloud-based platforms.
We have all experienced the frustration of less than adequate Internet connectivity, but for remote office workers an unstable network connection can be catastrophic. Businesses need to be aware of the challenges of running a remote workforce, and the impact that an inadequate ‘at home’ set-up can ultimately have on their business.
Over the last 2 years it is reported that UK businesses clocked up a total of 149 million hours of Internet downtime, totalling £12 billion in lost revenue (cite)
Businesses depend on the Internet for everyday tasks. But what happens to those video calls with a critical customer or team member if the speed of the connection is slow or decides to drop? And if you rely on Internet Telephony (VoIP) (which requires a stable, non-laggy connection,) what happens when the line quality deteriorates and you suddenly start sounding like a dalek or the recipient hears incomplete sentences?
In summary the impact of an unreliable home Internet connection includes:
- Poor customer experience
- Reduced productivity
- Missed calls
- Loss of business
Advantages of Business Internet for remote workers
Robust and reliable Business Internet enhances productivity for remote workers. Here are some of the additional advantages:
- Improved internet speeds using quality of service to prioritise business traffic
- The most suitable connection recommended for business need (rather than the lowest cost option) ● Improved support response times with the Openreach network to ensure issues are rapidly resolved
- Business support meaning less time spent on managing poor connections
- Enhanced Internet hardware, providing improved security and remote management capability
- Increased employee productivity
- Improved customer experience
Business Internet for remote workers is markedly different from standard home packages. A Telappliant business Internet service typically offers the following features:
- Elevated Throughput – improved prioritisation over other users’ connection traffic within the Openreach fibre network.
- Increased Support Level – one of the biggest advantages is how fast service upstream providers can respond to network outages. Our improved care levels help repair faults within hours rather than days.
- Improved Hardware – We provide a powerful business Internet router, which has additional functionality to provide QoS (quality of service) controls, remote management and VPN for improved security.
- Wires Only – a telephone line reduces the reliability of a fibre Internet connection. Moving to SOGEA, customers can have a wires-only service and have their existing landline telephone number ported across to a VoIP provider. Your Internet service still connects via the standard telephone socket but there is no dial tone and you completely bypass the phone network (PSTN).
Other remote worker considerations
Businesses need to be equipped with offering remote working tools and services as an option to employees. But it’s not just business Internet which needs to be considered:
- Think about a Cyber security strategy to protect valuable commercial data and prevent business downtime.
- Occupational health is still very much an employer’s responsibility. Guidelines and policies on desk equipment and chairs should be managed properly from the outset.
The new rules on responsibilities on working safely with display screen equipment (PCs, laptops and mobile devices) have been released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which now extends to remote workers. This places the responsibility on to the employer to ensure that any employees working from home are working safely, just as they would if they were office-based.
Health risks associated with display screen equipment (DSE):
- eye strain
- hand and arm problems (such as carpal tunnel syndrome)
- neck ache
- back ache from overuse or improper use of DSE.
There can often be some overlap with other occupational health & safety regulations where employees are at risk from poorly designed workstations or work environments. A combination of factors can be at play, so it essential that you cover all bases with regards to remote worker safety before you incur fined for none compliance. You can get more information on DSE regulations and other occupational health and safety queries from Safety First Group here.
1. Business internet for remote workers is essential for business continuity
2. Cyber security needs to be a priority for the whole business
3. Occupational Health and Safety is vital for remote workers to ensure workforce compliance
Need to speak to somebody about business internet and cyber security? Do you want to upgrade your home Internet connection? Contact us here.