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Home working increase demands service, security and support

TFM Networks : 15 May, 2009  (Technical Article)
TFM Networks reports on the requirements of service providers to support the increasing demand for secure home working environments
The right network service, support and security are key to making home networking a reality for the UK's five million employees expected to work from home during this year's Work Wise Week.

According to network operator TFM Networks, businesses must ensure they have the right network and proper support in place, if they are to reap the benefits of increased employee productivity and lower operating costs that home networking can deliver.

Five million Britons are expected to work from home on Friday May 15th, with Work Wise UK's objective being that half the UK's working population - some 14 million people - are able to adopt flexible, remote and mobile working, and working from home by 2011.

Brett Rowe, director of sales and marketing at TFM Networks said: "The economic and operational benefits of home networking and flexible working policies are compelling, offering a cost-effective means of expanding your business, retaining key staff and overcoming lost time commuting, as well as the constraints of traditional office hours.

"Factor in the need for business continuity planning in the event of possible pandemics such as swine flu, and the business case for home networking becomes even stronger. However, it is vital to have the right technology in place, backed up by adequate support, to ensure staff are able to work effectively from home, and also to ensure businesses meet their obligations as an employer."

Having a business-grade MPLS network in place as well as Quality of Service and end-to-end performance guarantees will ensure home workers get the connection and bandwidth speed they need to work effectively and productively, and the reassurance that issues will be remedied within a specified time.

Home workers also need the same levels of security and support provided to office-based staff. Giving centralised Internet access behind a corporate-grade redundant firewall is imperative to protect the corporate network from threats. Remote workstations must also be protected against web-based threats and data leaks to guarantee business integrity - this is also achieved by controlling the Internet access centrally.

Businesses also have an obligation to ensure health and safety assessments are completed for home working environments, in addition to supplying the necessary hardware and office supplies, factors which are often overlooked by decision makers.

Brett Rowe of TFM Networks added: "There are a number of requirements and obligations that employers need to be aware of when adopting a flexible working policy. It can often be easier for businesses to opt for a managed service approach, to ensure end-to-end support for home workers through a single contract."

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