Remote Working Practices

by Rob Stokes

Published on 3rd June 2020

The coronavirus lockdown has forced many businesses to adopt remote working. This raises the question of will both employers and employees want to continue working from home post covid-19?

In the past 10 years or so, the number of people working remotely has increased significantly. Major contributors to this shift include technology related advancements, cultural changes to work-life integration and family commitments.

The Covid-19 lockdown has forced firms to rethink the way they do business. Most firms have rolled out new approaches to business continuity, cyber security and, of course, remote working. It will not come as a surprise that the future of work was always going to involve a shift towards remote working.

Forward thinking businesses such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Netflix were among the first businesses to adopt remote working practices. Global trends were heading that way before the lockdown.

Regardless of what happens next, it is unlikely that working practices will fully return to the way they were. Commuting from home to a central office where you have face-to-face interactions with colleagues could become a thing of the past.

Firms that do not have flexible or work-from-home policies maystruggle to retain employees and attract the best people.  Now that those working in industries such as technology, finance or service-based roles that can be performed online have shown that they can perform their role from home, they are less likely to see the need to go to the office. If businesses ask millennials and generation-Z workers to return to the office, they are likely to be asked “Why?”

The most successful businesses will be those who encourage their people to develop their communication skills, focus on collaboration and roll out the technology that enables their people to perform their job online. However, not everyone will be able to work from home, all the time and some people may prefer to work in the office.

In addition, those working in front line public services, retail, healthcare and the hospitality industry will still have to go to their place of work.

That said, cities are likely to be much quieter places going forward and businesses will have to adapt in order to provide their services to an increasingly remote working population. It seems likely that Covid-19 will indeed accelerate remote working practices and businesses will need to become comfortable with that.

To fully utilise remote working employees will need to be equipped to work as in an office.

In the office, employees are used to working with two screens. However, with more people than ever working from home, we are missing the efficiency of a dual screen computer setup. Duet Display is an app that converts an iPad or Android tablet to a second screen. The app was created by ex-Apple engineers and works with both Apple and Windows computers.

Apple’s latest systems allow you to connect devices wirelessly but it won’t work with any iPad released before 2019 – Duet Display works with iPads dating from 2012. It also works cross-platform, so you can use a Windows PC or Mac as the host and Apple or Android mobile devices as the secondary display. You can even turn a Chromebook into a secondary display, since Chrome OS can run Android apps. Installing Duet Display is straightforward. You start by downloading the app (£9.99 on the Apple App Store or from duetdisplay.com).

Once you have downloaded and installed the relevant drivers on your Mac or Windows desktop or laptop, you simply plug your iPad or tablet into the computer’s USB port. If you prefer to connect using WiFi you can upgrade to Duet Air which costs £1.99 extra per month. It is worth noting that Duet only supports one additional screen. You can drag a window from your main computer onto the iPad / tablet screen just as you would with an external monitor. If you already have the latest Mac and iPad, you can use macOS Catalina’s included Sidecar feature.

But for people who have older devices, Android tablets, Chromebooks, or Windows laptops and desktops, Duet Display offers a simple, effective way to add a second screen to your computer – it is perfect for remote working.

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