IT Companies See Increased Demand During Work-from-Home – 9&10 News - Freelance Rack

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Monday, April 27, 2020

IT Companies See Increased Demand During Work-from-Home – 9&10 News

The new normal for many of us has been working from home. The Coronavirus has meant checking in to work from home computers, or even working remotely – full-time. That’s been keeping IT and tech companies busy, and dealing with a whole host of questions. Work From Home 2

Working from home is an adjustment for some people, according to Tim Gillen, the President of Terrapin Networks in Traverse City. “Not everyone is set up for it. It’s been a mixed bag and mixed challenge for people … as they’ve been able to get themselves working from home.”

Gillen says one major challenge – is that everyone’s ‘home office’ is different. “Some people and some family situations, and some home layout situations work very well for it and some are little more challenging. It’s no doubt for some folks, it’s hard for some people.”

Your need to be connected to the home office likely depends on the type of job you have. For example, “A lot of people who might be clerical staff or sales staff who need to have access to the software that’s on the server back at the office, the remote connectivity – the remote access into their work stations.”

At OIL Energy, working from home became a requirement. Controller Pat Shea says “We went out and got laptops for anyone that was going to be working from home. Printers, scanners, copiers. The all-in-one deal. Terrapin came in. They set up a VPN link where it’s just like we’re working from the office.” Gillen adds, “If you’re remoting into your desktop at your (home) office, which is commonly how we do it, that can be done securely. It has to be done right, but that can be done securely where you’re sitting at home and you have a window up on screen at your computer at home and you’re looking at your computer like you’re sitting at your desk at your office.”

Work From Home 1But that doesn’t mean you need to spend top dollar on home computer upgrades. Gillen says, “You’re just looking at what’s happening back at the office. Which means it doesn’t need as much bandwidth internet-wise, it doesn’t need as much horsepower on your home computer.”

And Gillen says security is a top concern.  “Folks are working from their home computer that they’ve never thought of needing commercial security. So we’ve had to do a lot of tweaking with users to put some protections on their home work stations.”

With the easing of work restrictions still in a gray area, Gillen predicts the work-from-home model may be in place for months to come, in some way, shape or form. “You may not bring in your whole staff, you might rotate where half of them one week, half of them the next week so they can stay farther apart in the office. So that everyone is still working from home to a certain degree.”

Pat Shea says having an IT team was critical. “We couldn’t have done it without them. I think we got ahead of the curve a little bit and Tim and his guys got us set up and going.”

Gillen says while a strong IT plan eases the workload on your home computer, the human element is still a challenge. “Productivity for a lot of folks has just been hard. They’re not used to working from home, they’re not set up for it on a desk. So there’s just a lot of things that nobody thought of.”

And Shea believes that “from a technology standpoint it’s not been that difficult. Until your WiFi goes out.”

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