Are employees better equipped at home than at the Office? In this day and age where consumer products meet just as high of standards as many corporate products, are home offices better equipped to meet the demands of the job? Let’s breakdown the components needed and compare.
With high speed connections reaching 100Mb/s becoming more affordable for consumers around the world, it is more often than not that the work networks seem slow. Some businesses still have the advantage, running OC3 lines at incredible speeds (and incredible monthly fees), but most companies can’t afford to do that. Even with a much higher speed network than a consumer may have access to, it still may run slower because it is spread thinly across a large number of employees and hardware. A dedicated line at home for one person may prove to be much more efficient for work purposes. You can compare your own speeds at www.speedtest.net and see which is faster for you.
Communicating with an employee who is working out of the office seems tricky, but with all the equipment available it’s really not. Most consumers are ditching landlines for cell phones and are available constantly, even while driving thanks to Bluetooth headsets. Those of us that do have home phones can tie our land line, cell phone, and computer all together into a single point of contact with great devices like the Plantronics Calisto 800. With Skype and a webcam, you can easily do video chat with a coworker, or go over a presentation in Google Docs, or even join a meeting with “Gotomeeting” software. If your office building is still fighting with regular phones and has yet to switch to VOIP phones, then you might just be better off at home with your local ISP’s digital phone service or your iPhone.
It’s said that every six months technology is made obsolete and something else replaces it. This is definitely true for hardware. However maintaining upgrades on one computer to keep it up to date is not terribly expensive, and much like a car, is needed to keep it running smoothly. Unfortunately, most corporations have a policy of waiting till either it’s broken beyond repair, or it’s been “x” amount of years before replacing. Some companies even offer lease programs for 3 or 5 years on computers and printers. They typically charge a monthly rental fee and are serviced regularly and are replaced with new models at the end of the lease. The first year of that lease may be great, but as those computers get older you are stuck watching technology move past you till the lease ends. With the surge of iPads and other tablets into the market, lots of people come home to higher end technology than they use at work.
So are home workspaces better equipped for the job? Well, if your company hands out iPads on the first day, and regularly upgrades their network infrastructure and equipment, then no, probably not. But with most workplaces working their computers to death before upgrading, and pawning off tablets as toys, many employees are better suited for their jobs in their own office than at their desk.