Put on your wool stockings, open your laptop, connect to the internet and start working. Many people started their workday today in an extraordinary way, and the situation is likely to go on for weeks. Companies prefer you to work from home, and in the state agencies, all those who can work from home were sent to do so. It is not self-evident that this is possible. It would have been much more troublesome to battle an epidemic fifteen years ago.
The progress seen lately in work stations and equipment has been an important prerequisite for the urgent call to work from home. It would be difficult to pack a stationary computer and its screen to your bag when leaving the office. A laptop, a recharger and headphones can easily travel in your backpack even if you run or ride a bike to work.
Almost everyone in the working age population has a speedy internet connection at home. That makes it possible to contact the employer’s systems and to download files. At the beginning of the millennium, the modem connections were too slow for this, and the acquisition of speedy connections was limited by their price. The offer, speed, reliability and availability of IT connections make it possible to work effectively outside the office.
Almost every company nowadays makes use of a VPN connection or other remote work enabling solution that allows you to have an encrypted connection to the internal company network. More and more systems are run in clouds, which makes it possible to use the company files from whatever location through a network connection. In IT business, e.g., document management is often in a cloud, as well as applications used by HR offices.
At Mtech, one surprising example of a possibility to remote work is at the IT system services. The servers can be managed online, so their maintenance and configuration can be handled from outside the building. The connections and admin interfaces are protected. As long as there is no hardware breakdown, there is no need to handle the devices on the spot.
What comes to possibilities to work from home, we now have a good situation. But what would have happened in a similar exceptional situation fifteen years earlier? “As far as I know, the public sector would not have been able to order people to extensive remote work, since the progress of speedy connections and protected VPN connections has been slower there than at the private sector. Apart from that, only the biggest companies who first started investing in connections would have been somehow technically able to transfer to working from home”, comments the Technology Director of Mtech, Tuomas Loponen.
Uncertainty about whether employees can continue working at all would in a similar situation have been much greater fifteen years ago, says Loponen.
“But we also have to understand, that a big part of the present jobs cannot be done from a distance either”, Loponen highlights.