We have seen quite a lot of media coverage around the global impact of the Coronavirus on our socio-economic landscape. There is the pessimistic view and then there is the optimistic view, but today we will take a slightly different angle – the opportunistic view of the office-work-from-home business.
Most of us have been preaching that technology is the future and that businesses must embrace it and adapt to using it, but never has business agility been such a massive requirement as seen today, in the middle of a global pandemic – lucky for us, technology has come a long way, and the rate at which new concepts are born and built has never been this high. The South African government has chosen a risk-adjusted strategy to reduce the load on our frail medical system, which has received a lot of praise, but businesses have taken the brunt of the pain and are now starting to grow impatient.
In lockdown level four, we’re allowed to open certain sectors of the economy, ICT, transport, food deliveries, and some other essential services. As we progress to the lower levels of lockdown we will see more businesses opening their doors and resuming operations. However, it is important to get the economy going as soon as possible, and this is where technology can help us.
The future structure of many businesses will be a hybrid model, with some employees at the office and some working from home (WFH). There are many benefits to this – reduced risk of infection, even less common cold infections during wintertime, higher productivity, reduced operational expenses, less office space requirements, and improved company morale.
For a hybrid office-WFH setup to work efficiently your business requires two things, (1) a COVID-19 equipped office environment and (2) a way to communicate and keep your WFH teams connected to the businesses. MiRO delivers IP-based solutions that tick both these boxes.
Technology for a COVID-19 ready workplace
- No-contact digital industrial temperature scanners for scanning and recording customer temperatures upon entering your building.
- New facial recognition time and attendance systems with an integrated thermometer. This solution will allow you to manage your office staff’s time and attendance as well as an additional dimension – fever detection. This is mandatory for lockdown level 4 and may stay intact for the lower levels.
- Handheld thermal scanners for manned building entrances. These handheld scanners allow for fast, mass scanning of employees and customers and will alert the user of abnormal body temperatures.
- Manage and enforce physical distancing at the office with MiRO’s wearable sensor solution. This will allow you to measure the distance between employees and alert them when they come too close to each other.
- Anti-bacterial coated telephones reduce the lifespan of pathogens living on surfaces.
- Video conference systems that connect employees around a boardroom table with WFH staff on their laptops.
Supporting WFH employees
- Connectivity is the foundation of working from home, MiRO supports fixed wireless, fibre and LTE ISPs across South Africa to bring affordable connectivity to your employees.
- There are two ways to add WFH employees to your business network:
(1) Non-critical WFH employees can use a traditional VPN to gain access to network resources such as CRM and ERP systems.
(2) Critical employees can be connected through an SD-WAN for a more enterprise-grade WFH experience. MiRO’s SD-WAN solution will allow businesses to treat WFH networks as branch network nodes, with connectivity scheduling, bandwidth management, application prioritisation, as well as security and usage policy enforcement. With SD-WAN you can also monitor the productivity of your WFH teams, ensuring maximising business performance as well as minimising costs and downtime.
- Home Wi-Fi networks have come a long way and MiRO distributes and supports bleeding-edge home Wi-Fi solutions that can deliver gigabit speeds with an always-on experience. MiRO’s WFH Wi-Fi networks will allow employees to quickly share large files and connect to HD video conferencing calls without fail – all while smart TVs and other devices stream video on the same network. With intelligent application prioritisation, we can also ensure that your video conferencing and Voice-Over-IP telephone calls take network priority during set working hours, for uninterrupted work communication.
- Crowded call centres are a high-risk area for the spread of infection. To mitigate the risk, businesses can split call centre teams in half, with 50% WFH and 50% in the office. With a MiRO VoIP telephone system and SD-WAN network, the WFH teams can utilise a softphone application installed on their cell phones to convert their cell phones into their office desk phone extensions. No functionality is lost, interactive voice response, call recordings and call transfers to other extensions and departments will work as if the WFH employee is at the office.
All of these technologies can help organisations turn the COVID-19 crisis into a great opportunity. It’s clear that it is not only expected of business owners and decision-makers to be COVID-19 ready, but it’s also a great reason for businesses to become technologically driven and improve their customer and employee experience.
MiRO’s solutions portfolio allows for businesses to become future-ready with increased agility to adapt to the changing world around us. If you are an enterprise ICT systems integrator, internet service provider or a business looking to deploy these ICT solutions, contact MiRO today for a tailored solution.