How do you provide staff the choice / ability to work flexibly either from the office or from home (or even any other place they may choose)?
The main risks with such a setup are generally network and data safety. To ensure these are mitigated we recommend a combination of the following:
- regular online threat training & response testing for staff
- proper company IP / data usage policies & agreements
- software license usage agreement, to avoid licensing conflicts when staff leave the company
- secure VPN based setup for remote server connections
- hard- & software assessment for all personal devices
What about hardware?
Often we are asked if it is possible for staff to simply use their own personal hardware to work remotely.
Generally, the answer is yes they can, as long as the following base requirements are met:
- max. 2-3 year old Mac > 27inch iMac or MacBookPro with external 27inch monitor
- macOS 10.14 Mojave (is possible avoid macOS 10.15 Catalina)
- min. RAM 16GB
- Graphics Card with at least 2GB VRAM
- NBN internet connection or equivalent down and upload speeds (at both ends)
- ergonomic workstation setup, compliant with local guidelines (e.g. from NSW Safework)
In addition to the above, you need to consider additional setup & support costs, which depending on the existing hardware might be considerable.
For example you might choose to financially support staff with any of the following for their existing personal hardware:
- RAM upgrades
- peripherals such as mice or keyboards
- external 27 inch 4K monitor
To ensure a basic level of control over hardware and software installed on non-company hardware, we recommend to subscribe to our RADAR managing service, reducing software update & maintenance costs.
Although allowing staff to use personal hardware is possible, we instead recommend the following approach:
- staff continue to keep their office hardware at home – these are already setup and proven to work as per our current WFH recommendation
- setup shared workstations for staff returning to work on a rotating basis, either on spare or new iMacs;
- reduce hygiene concerns by staff bringing their own mouse & keyboard with them when using the shared office workstation;
Essentially this approach reduces setup cost and resolves concerns regarding ownership vs. company control of personal devices.
Depending on your specific circumstances, you might already have spare workstations or this might assist with your existing hardware upgrade strategy.