Internet in the Remote Working Environment
Chameleon Group would like to thank our followers and readers for the support of our last blog. We received a lot of support on how we prepared and implemented change within our business. We plan on bringing our staff back into the office at some point in the near future, but we recognize that some businesses have decided that a remote work environment will remain their new way of doing business. How does working from home impact employees and their internet?
This major paradigm shift reignites the question: Should the internet be considered an essential utility like electricity, gas, and water? While transitioning to a remote work environment, we discovered that hardware wasn’t the real issue. The barrier we came across was stable and reliable bandwidth sufficient to run our various programs and applications. In a recent interview, Dana LaRiviere, Chameleon founder, president, and CEO said, “If we put aside any proprietary business interests, it occurs to me that having reliable internet access is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it is a fundamental utility”. Dana went on to say, “the current pandemic brings into sharp focus the socioeconomic and health implications of available bandwidth, or lack thereof”.
Internet as a utility is not a new concept and has been a topic of debate for years. Besides industry experts and opinion pieces, politicians have laid out plans to make the internet a public utility. However, there are others who believe such a move would be bad for consumers. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home how critical the internet is to our daily personal lives. However, the internet’s critical role in remote work for local and global business has been especially pushed to the forefront. So, the unanswered question is: should there be a basic level of internet available for all?
Condition of Employment
Before the COVID-19 pandemic pushed millions of workers into remote work settings, having home internet was not really a question a company asked on a job application or during an interview. Now, the question rings true for many business owners and managers. On this, Dana said, “at its basic level, being able to access the internet at the moment is a non-negotiable condition of employment at our company and many others”.
This begs the question, can employers expect employees, or potential employees, to bear the burden of having an internet connection reliable enough to work from home?
Before Chameleon staff moved into their remote work environments, they were surveyed on their internet access and other technological issues. The main issue we faced was if employees had wired access to their router or not. Some employees did not have their own internet access points – they were sharing Wi-Fi services with others. For some employees, we were able to secure them wireless adapters. We had to construct 100ft CAT5e cables for some to run between their router and home work space.
We are all battling through these tough times, but Chameleon Group is here for your business and your customers. If you are struggling to keep up with your phones, product launch, or managing your databases remotely, give us a call and we would be happy to explore how we can serve you.