U.S. Census data shows that 5.2% of employees worked from home in 2017, which equates to 8 million people. According to CNBC.com, on a global basis 70% of full-time employees work from home at least once per week, while 53% of people work remotely at least half of the time.
Around the country, companies are exploring remote work options for their employees. Flexible work arrangements build goodwill, aid employee loyalty and retention, and are in demand—especially among millennials.
Recently, employers such as Amazon, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Google, Airbnb, Twitter and others have instituted large scale telecommuting programs.
Many companies, however, are not equipped to enable large-scale telecommuting programs because they do not have the proper infrastructure in place. This article explores some of the factors that need to be considered.
What Decisions Need to Be Made and What Kind of Equipment is Needed to Enable Remote Work-From-Home Programs?
Many companies do not offer such programs because they are not prepared to devote the time and resources required to set up and implement remote work-from-home programs on a larger scale. To some extent, technology requirements and availability of laptops and other equipment play a role. In addition, company culture and management philosophy also come into play.
From a logistics perspective, managing thousands of laptops, displays and tablets can be challenging unless there is an infrastructure set up to handle it. Some initial questions to consider:
- Who will oversee the program?
- Who will be responsible for acquiring, tracking and managing the equipment?
- Are there enough IT resources to set-up, maintain, troubleshoot and repair the equipment?
- Who will distribute and track the assets, and collect them when employees leave?
- How often will the technology be refreshed to avoid obsolescence?
For many organizations, the choice is whether to allow telecommuting employees to use their own equipment or provide company-supplied technology assets.
Purchase the Equipment
One option is to purchase all the required equipment, which brings the ability to configure and set up a consistent company standard for performance, security and interface with existing networks. The obvious disadvantage here is cost, but there are alternatives, such as renting, which can significantly reduce this burden.
Bring Your Own Device
Allowing employees to bring their own devices may sound appealing, as there is less administrative oversight required and minimal cost. However, this option means less control over the technology choices of telecommuting employees.
Later, there may be issues with compatibility when office employees and telecommuters have to work together. There may also be performance or security issues when non-company-owned assets are used on a company network.
Setting Up and Managing Technology Distribution Programs
Rush has a great deal of experience managing large-scale laptop management and distribution programs for large consulting organizations, government suppliers, schools and large corporate employers.
One leading professional services firm leveraged Rush to outsource their employee laptop distribution program. Rush set up and manages the entire program, which enables the client to focus on core activities without using existing staff or company resources to manage IT equipment distribution, oversight and collection.
Rush created an online portal where new employees can register and make requests for equipment. Client leadership can use the portal to view order information for a specific laptop or user, review financial metrics such as spending over time, see information on global trends and plan for future IT needs.
This laptop rental program provides numerous financial benefits, including:
- Reduced ownership expenses compared to outright purchase.
- Predictable monthly cost and expense structure.
- Use of operating budgets rather than capital funds.
- No up-front acquisition or end-of-life disposal costs.
- Access to leading technology with the ability to upgrade as needed.
- No need to use existing company staff or equipment to manage the program.
What Can Rush Offer?
Rush offers a wide variety of technology equipment along with rental and leasing programs to support remote work-from-home programs, including: