Mandy Duncan, Country Manager for Aruba in South Africa
All it takes is one major event or natural disaster to disrupt the way businesses operate, which can ultimately negatively impact productivity and the bottom line. These events can often prevent us from working in our corporate offices, conducting business on the road and confining us to our homes.
However, many of us are ingrained with the concept of traveling to a location to meet with clients, partners, industry associates or collaborate with fellow employees to “get business done” because, let’s face it, there really is no complete replacement for the face-to-face. But in today’s highly connected business world, staying connected doesn’t always require us to be in the same physical space to be engaged, present and productive.
One-way organisations can help their workforce stay productive in the midst of travel restrictions is by providing your workforce with the same corporate access and digital experience they would receive while at the corporate offices. This is critical in South Africa, as many employees do not have access to WiFi or stable internet connections in their homes, never mind other IT infrastructure.
This means that many South African employees can only work while in the office. If we have learned anything in the last few months, it is that this needs to change. It is now essential that companies provide their workforce with corporate office access and digital tools, enabling them to be productive wherever they are.
This starts with having a seamless and secure onramp into corporate resources. Tools such as remote access points paired with secure network access that follows you – no matter where you are – can keep you connected and help you remain competitive when time is money.
Technology really has come a long way and companies, like Aruba, have created hardware and software solutions that extend the corporate employee experience to anywhere they choose to be productive. Employees today have a wealth of remote working options that they can employ when the need arises, such as remote access points or RAPs.
RAPs come preconfigured, so any employee can simply plug in to any existing Internet connection and they’re ready to work as if they were inside the office. IT departments can securely extend the corporate enterprise network to every remote employee to easily overcome common issues, such as having to repeatedly login and authenticate in order to access applications, that make traditional remote networking painful.
Another benefit is that RAPs support centralised management of data, voice and video applications, including wired voice over IP desk phones, printers and other IoT devices. In South Africa digital skills are scarce, which has made many companies hesitant to go fully digital.
Businesses must understand that implementing a new digital solution will require some level of training on on-ramping for employees. At Aruba, we have made this process as simple as possible. And since most employees don’t have a degree in IT, RAPs are simple for any employee to power up since they’re essentially plug-and-play, meaning that anyone, even those with a limited tech background, can get connected and stay productive at this time.
No matter the reason behind an organisation’s decision to implement a remote working protocol, the fact is that technology advancements are helping to bridge the digital and physical worlds. In other words, experiences that were once only thought possible through in-person interaction can now be had without physically being in the same room.
When combined with skyrocketing costs, associated productivity loss from travel, as well as the physical and mental fatigue that comes with navigating airports and juggling time zones, many organisations are re-thinking the possibilities around remote working simply because the technology is now capable of delivering an experience very similar to that of in-person interaction to the point where many of the benefits of the daily commute into the corporate offices and longer haul travel for business may no longer be worth it.