The debate continues whether remote working will continue when the UK is relieved from the effects of the pandemic. But one thing that is seeming almost set in stone is these regularly moving restrictions are going to remain into 2021 with mass vaccination not likely until the Spring or Summer.
According to research at the onset of the pandemic, 24% of home working Brits admitted to being left less productive by the IT equipment provided by their employer. In fact, it is estimated that slow VPN access, alongside poorly managed systems, and a lack of IT support could equate to a loss of four to eight hours per week.
Leading UK IT consultancy, ILUX, who commissioned the survey, have decided to investigate this further and identify how much a business could be losing due to productivity loss with their employees – essential for some roles that include support or sales – and how much they could save by adopting a review of their I.T. systems.
The investigation looked at four sizes of business: SMEs with 10, 30, 50, and 100 employees working from home. Each scenario is broken into three parts; the cost of equipment (if laptops are required for each employee) and a VPN installation at the company offices to handle the number of connections, maintenance, and service contracts to maintain the employee’s systems (per user) with remote support. This was then compared to the cost of the loss of productivity based on an average, conservative salary of £25,000 per annum.
A small company with 10 employees would have an initial equipment one-off cost of £6,610 – which includes hardware for each employee and configuration with office systems, and a brand-new VPN connection at the business offices. To accompany this, a service contract to maintain systems and offer the business ongoing support would cost £8,410 for year one. Saving the company approximately £16.6k for the first year. By year two, that saving would be £23.2k (per year) as the equipment would be available and regularly updated to suit the needs of the business and therefore have no immediate cost. Using the same principles, the table below shows the savings for different-sized businesses.
James Tilbury, managing director, and business IT expert from ILUX comments: “We performed this quick study as we are still, to this day, receiving calls from businesses who are struggling with remote working. Initially, as we were forced into lockdown, companies were using unsuitable hardware and back-office systems. Business infrastructure not suitable for the number of employees was commonplace. As businesses are continuing to be told to work from home if possible, the problems are persisting and after so many months, it has become apparent to business owners that their IT was not fit for purpose and is affecting their business. The financial results of this study really do dispel the myth that upgrading costs the earth. The Year 1 figures are based on new equipment purchases for employees and new VPNs to suit the number of employees – including installation. Year 2 is where having good IT support benefits the business and can offer a lifeline for any facilities manager struggling with maintenance.”
The study highlights to business owners to consider the importance of effective IT Not only does it improve productivity as employees continue to work from home, but the on-demand support available to users means they do not feel they have to bother anyone in the organisation. In addition, using a professional IT support service ensures systems are regularly updated and continually monitored by experts, which will protect systems from external access and protects data legally.