Snom Offers Tips for Secure Remote Work
The spread of coronavirus has prompted German IP phone manufacturer Snom to offer tips on safe remote work
For most employees, the idea of working from home is a dream, and a recent study that looked into how many employees wanted to work from home uncovered some impactful insights. According to FlexJobs, 86 percent of people feel working remotely has fewer distractions and reduces stress. FlexJobs published in the same study, 76 percent of workers said they would remain at their current job if they could work more flexible hours.
These employees do want the circumstances under which they work from home to be good ones, however. But now that we’re in the thick of COVID-19, companies, and organizations, continue to adopt work-from-home and remote-work policies.
Some companies in the unified communications and collaboration space including Snom want employees to avoid crowds and, if possible, avoid the use of public transport to get to work, giving workers the green light to work from home to do its part in preventing the virus from spreading further.
As with any story, there are two sides, and there are workers who prefer a more traditional office setting, ones who feel working from home is more of a challenge when it comes to staying in contact with others. With numerous considerations involving working remotely, I wanted to reach out to Hannes Krüger, Product Manager, Snom. He’s a business telephony expert who answered some of the most important questions on working remotely during the coronavirus outbreak.
According to him, there are a ton of moving parts, but it is possible to get a fleet of normally in-office workers set up for remote work at home. He started off provoking my thoughts with the question: “How can I ensure that all telephone address books and other settings are available at home?”
Features such as call forwarding from a company phone to a private device do not help if an employee needs to urgently reach a customer or supplier who you do not work with daily. He added, not to worry, “In 2020, almost all us can move our work to other places with the least possible effort, and above all, without any security risks to companies.”
How to keep Business Data Secure?
On the issue of protection, Krüger said leverage ‘the magic ingredient,’ VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). With VPN technology, employees can securely access enterprise-wide networks from anywhere in the world.
Krüger said there is a plus side to using IP phones, though. When paired with VPNs, the Internet connection is encrypted in real-time, adding:
“Since the entire connection to the Internet is now encrypted, computers and IP phones outside this network can no longer read or change the communication”
Can I Take My Current Snom IP phone home with me?
Yes, according to Krüger, who did caution to ask your system’s administrator if your office IP phone is cloud-based or fixed-line. Why is this so important? Krüger answers that question: “If the system is cloud-based, the process will be simple, take the device home, connect it to your router via LAN cable or use Snom’s A210 WLAN dongle.”The WLAN device then connects to the cloud and allows you to make calls as you would in your office. All address books, speed dials, and other features you have on your phone are available, too.”
What if My Job has On-Premises IP Telephony?
If this is, in fact, the case for you, Krüger advises the following, have a short chat with your system administrator about the company’s on-premises IP PBX that resides physically within the company. you’ll need to consider a final step. The company’s administrator has to enable your phone’s VPN parameter by changing the settings using Snom’s web user interface and by installing a VPN patch.
Once this step is complete, take your Snom phone home, connect it to your router/Internet via LAN cable or an A210 WLAN dongle. “By the way, the same applies to your company computer, and most are already prepared for a VPN If not, you can also enable this with a few clicks,” Krüger added.
Are Employers in it for the Long Haul?
It is not unrealistic to imagine employers will realize the connection between remote work and employee satisfaction. It is also not far-fetched to think that working from home could become the new norm, especially as the World Health Organization said the virus has now reached pandemic status.
With companies such as Shopify giving $1,000 to employees so they can furnish their home offices, it seems like some employers are looking at the potential long-term benefits of working from home. Did it take a global pandemic to finally convey the full benefits of remote work to employers? We could very well find out when things settle down. For now, we employees across the globe will continue to rely on the tools that help them connect to their vast network of coworkers, partners, and more.
Already the number of those now working from home has increased drastically. Companies like Alphabet, Google’s parent company, sent its employees in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East home to work until April 10, 2020.
Amazon also announced that all employees who could work from home would do so until the end of the month. Plenty of other big tech firms including Microsoft, Twitter, and Apple, have too asked employees to work from home. In countries like China, the supposed epicenter of the COVID-19 (AKA coronavirus) outbreak, millions of employees are also working from home until further notice.
Most recently, Wells Fargo implemented a work-from-home policy, meaning even more workers will leverage the tools needed for effective remote-work practices. This could be the start of an upward trend of companies sending employees home full-time, which would be a great way to provide balance and impact a bottom line in a positive way.
These companies will continue to rely on the tools available to connect the growing remote workforce, and there are a number of ways for them to do it correctly. Snom is on a clear mission to outfit the workforce with a powerful IP phone, especially as things become more uncertain.