Home working is a key revolution in business and technology industry and is becoming even-more popular for the enterprises. Home working or remote working allows employees to expand their day and increase productivity. It offers many benefits for the business. It firstly reduces office administration costs1, staff management cost and property costs. Remote working is proven to be more sustainable as it eliminates the number of employees commuting in to the office. However, there are many potential costs linked with home working.
Businesses face complexity in managing home workers and monitoring their performance. There is a risk of information security problems. This is the main issue the British businesses, as remote working increases it becomes difficult to control and monitor the employees, posing financial threat to the businesses. Security concerns also arise with file sharing, as it opens tunnels through firewalls. British telecom has recently lost i?? 134m, and calling its home workers back to the office. The company states that the main cause of the loss is lack of surveillance of the home workers.
This has majorly affected the company in the time of recession. The company promoting this new revolution for last decade will be changing its working practices to keep a watchful eye on its employees. 2 The IT background of the issue The advancement in technology and the extensive use of the internet has encouraged people to demand better networking and quicker communications, to increase efficiency and quality of their work. ‘Surveys suggested telephone calls at (86%), followed by e-mail at 85% as the most important tools.
Other electronic tools, including internet research (73%), instant messaging (39%) and text messaging (35%), are also now increasingly important to communications and make working from home a reality. ‘3 Internet allows businesses to communicate with customers, employees and other businesses in any part of the world. It has also introduced us to telecommuting technology like IM, e-mails and video conferencing. Email allows businesses and employees to send documents, pictures and other data from one part of the world to another within a second.
Video conferencing is very recent. It involves user in different places communication using both video pictures and voice. It requires hardware like loudspeaker, television, projector, monitor, microphones, webcam, and video camera. Another technology that is growing is VPN (virtual private network). Businesses use it as a means of extending their own networks, by connecting sites or user together. First came intranets; now many companies are creating their own VNP to accommodate the needs of remote employees and distant offices. ‘4
Employees working from home would usually set up a configured office with a dedicated PC and telephone. They could use is ISDN dial-up for remote IT system access and call forwarding. IP solutions are becoming more attractive with the launch of unmetered services and higher bandwidth and these are likely to offer better performance and lower costs. Impact of the issue Home working is proven very cost-effective and efficient, such as saving the fixed costs of the business and cutting down on the utility costs. Nevertheless, it has its negative impact on the society and on businesses.