The best keyboard and mouse for working from home | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

With many of us still stuck working at home because of the coronavirus crisis and some employers saying it could be months before they reopen offices, it is time to start seriously thinking about your home set-up and whether it could be more comfortable and efficient. A decent keyboard and mouse could prove a good investment – ensuring your working day takes less of a long-term toll on your joints.
With seemingly endless options to choose from, here’s a quick guide to some standouts, from the dirt cheap to the ergonomic.
Cheap and cheerful
Trust Basi Mouse – £6

The Trust Basi Mouse is a simple USB mouse. Photograph: Trust
If you want a cheap, solid and ambidextrous mouse that doesn’t need batteries, the Trust Basi Mouse is it. Simply plug and play via USB-A, and two buttons and a scroll wheel get the job done with the minimum of fuss. If you only have USB-C ports you will need an adapter costing about £5.
Kensington ValuKeyboard – £8

Kensington’s ValuKeyboard is a simple external USB keyboard. Photograph: Kensington
A cheap, but effective workhorse, the Kensington ValuKeyboard is a fairly-compact, full-size keyboard that plugs in via USB-A and is spill-resistant. Simple.
Quiet and compact
Logitech M330 Silent Plus – £30

Logitech’s M330 Silent Plus wireless mouse rids your quiet spaces of annoying click and scroll sounds. Photograph: Logitech
Some mice can be really loud, particularly when you are cooped up in close quarters with others. Logitech’s compact M330 Silent Plus is designed to be almost silent, with clicks more than 90% quieter than normal mice, a rubber smooth-scrolling wheel and Quiet Mark certification. It is high quality, wireless (with a USB receiver) and lasts up to two years on a single AA battery. The Logitech M590 (£36) is similar but with Bluetooth, too, if you need it.
Logitech K380 Multi-device – £35

Logitech’s K380 Bluetooth keyboard comes in a variety of colours, ready to connect to computers, tablets and phones. Photograph: Logitech
Logitech’s K380 multi-device Bluetooth keyboard is one of the very best compact so-called tenkeyless (lacking a number pad) and quiet keyboards, with good spacing and key feel from its scissor-switch design, plus the ability to pair with up to three devices and quickly switch between then, whether it’s a PC, Mac, Chromebook, iPad or smartphone. Two AAA batteries last two years. This is the one I’ve used for the last three years.
Classic throwbacks
Microsoft Classic Intellimouse – £28

Microsoft’s Classic Intellimouse brings back a piece of 1990s computing history for the 21st century. Photograph: Microsoft
Microsoft has brought back its much-loved Intellimouse from the 1990s with the same right-handed ergonomic design, five customisable buttons, firm scroll wheel and plug-and-play wired USB connection. The Classic Intellimouse has even got the little glowing tail light, now in white not red, and tracks more precisely, thanks to modern optical technology.
Mechanical keyboard – £50 and up

HyperX’s Alloy FPS Pro offers Cherry’s MX Blue mechanical switches. Photograph: HyperX
Mechanical keyboards have had a resurgence in recent years, bringing back the clicky, responsive feel of the original large computer keyboards but in modern, sleeker, durable and often gamer-focused packages. Cherry’s MX key switches are the gold standard for mechanical keyboards, with the firm’s MX Blue considered the best for typing by aficionados, thanks to their tactile feedback when pressed. They don’t come cheap but at under £70, HyperX’s Alloy FPS Pro is one of the lowest priced with the MX Blues.
Luxury wireless
Logitech MX Master 3 – £88

Logitech’s MX Master 3 is the best right-handed wireless mouse you can buy. Photograph: Logitech
The Logitech MX Master 3 is, simply put, the best right-handed wireless mouse money can buy. It has ultra-precise tracking on practically any surface, seven customisable buttons, wireless or Bluetooth for up to three devices with quick switching, 70 days’ battery and USB-C charging wrapped in an attractive, super-comfortable shape. But the best bit is the all-metal magnetic wheel that automatically switches between a silent but tactile line-by-line click to a free-wheeling scroll that glides through documents in seconds.
Logitech MX Keys – £100

Logitech’s MX Keys is one of the best low-profile keyboards available, with fantastic key feel. Photograph: Logitech
It may be pricey for a non-mechanical keyboard but Logitech’s MX Keys is one of the very best scissor-switch keyboards available, with exceptional key-feel that rivals the very best in the business. It is wireless and Bluetooth, connects to up to three devices, quickly switching between them, and has automatic backlighting. It lasts up to 10 days with the backlight on or five months with it off, charging via USB-C.
Ergonomic
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop – £85

Microsoft’s Sculpt Ergonomic keyboard has a separate number pad that can be put out the way of the mouse. Photograph: Microsoft
Microsoft has been making ergonomic keyboards since the 1990s with a split, wave-style layout that puts your wrists into a natural position. The Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop has a similar design but separates the number pad so you can get the mouse closer to the centre if you are right-handed. It is wireless with a USB dongle and ships with or without the Sculpt Ergonomic wireless mouse.
Logitech MX Vertical – £93

Logitech’s MX Vertical ergonomic mouse helps prevent wrist and hand pain. Photograph: Logitech
Ergonomic mice come in all shapes and sizes but Logitech’s MX Vertical is my right-handed pick for its natural handshake position and ease of getting used to. It is wireless and Bluetooth, can quick switch between three devices, has lots of buttons, full customisation, the same premium feel and precise tracking as Logitech’s best mice and lasts four months between charges via USB-C.
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Working and Learning from Home: Tips to Stay Active- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The last couple of months have produced a real change in dynamics for people around the world, so working and learning from home might have seemed challenging for many.
Nonetheless, some of you may have taken advantage of the extra time on your hands to prove that skill and determination lead to success, no matter the disruption. Once you embrace the #NeverStopLearning mindset, wonderful things happen.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way: learning never stops, so use your time wisely.

The global coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. Although many of us have occasionally worked from home, this extended period of isolation has impacted our well-being beyond what we had initially imagined. But instead of losing precious time worrying, the best idea is always to make the best of it.
Working and Learning from Home – Adapt and Move On
Many of us shifted to remote work in a matter of days, and one challenge was to continue our everyday activities in much the same manner as when we were in the office.
So, we’ve decided to maintain our rituals as a team, starting with morning coffee meetings and continuing with mentoring sessions or tech community meetups. Yes, it’s important to keep those learning activities and events going, even more so in difficult times. At Pentalog, this provides the sense of normalcy that we longed for.
How we did it:
We implemented Pentalog’s Business Continuity Plan and moved all of our operations online. The plan worked perfectly, and after every colleague on three continents started working from home, we focused on building connections and team spirit.
Continuing our learning streak was one important pillar:

Tech-related communities, like the QA & Agile Community or the PHP community remained active, as my colleagues are always eager to learn
Internal mentorship programs continued, which are great for guided knowledge sharing of important tech information
Our signature PentaBAR meetups have slowly but surely moved online, with remote sessions that keep the learning atmosphere going
Lunch and Learn meetings have become even more interactive, with group exercises for participants and an invitation to unmute the microphones so they can express their opinions
We’re broadcasting our PentaLive talk shows in English and French on social media. Moderators and experts present weekly discussions that tackle various subjects like agility, decision-making in times of crisis, the benefits of working remotely, and more
Hackathons and coding challenges powered by SkillValue inspire and keep us on our toes.

Working and learning from home comes with its perks As you can see, we still manage to find time for our learning groups, webinars and PentaBARs

Tough times call for creativity and motivation, so we united as a team to confront COVID-19 together.
Discover the Opportunities of a Disruptive Situation
We still miss interacting with each other but socializing continues with the help of remote team communication tools. A microphone and webcam are all we need these days to keep in touch, both professionally and personally.
My colleague, Daiana, shared her perspective on how to make the best out of telecommuting.
Use Your Time Wisely
One of the biggest advantages of working and learning from home is having more time. We’ve transformed hours spent on commuting to the office into time for ourselves – but what should we do with it?
Investing in your future and learning something new is the best bet, and it will come back tenfold.
1. Take online courses
Technology has made nearly anything possible. In a matter of seconds, we connect with colleagues from every corner of the world and search for online classes on almost any topic.
With access to numerous learning platforms, we’re lucky to have the opportunity to finally start (and also finish) courses on programming, databases, AI, Azure, or any other skill that has been on the backburner. Personal development courses are also useful for brushing up on our soft skills.
The choices vary, from free online courses like Coursera or edX to more advanced classes that require some investment. Here are some of our recommended tools:

Pluralsight;
O’Reilly (formerly Safari Books Online);
RayWenderlich;
MindTools;
Udemy;

2. Learn a foreign language
Our colleagues and clients located on three continents appreciate linguistic diversity.

At Pentalog, our in-house teachers continued their activity through online courses.

Also, thanks to the newly implemented PentaKids “Learn and Play” remote language learning program, my colleagues can be sure their children learn English, French or German in a fun manner, from the safety of their own home.
3. Listen to audiobooks
Since we’re all spending more time at home, many of us found a new hobby that I call “Vacuum-reading.” It’s when you listen to an audiobook while vacuuming – but it works just as well while doing laundry, washing dishes, or doing any other household activity. How’s that for multi-tasking?
In terms of platforms, we’ve used Audible and Scribd.
Recently, a colleague recommended Blinkist – a book summarization app that I started using. It offers a quick outline of a book, good enough to get the main ideas and figure out if it’s worth investing the 10-16 hours needed for the whole read.

Want even more ideas?

Start reading those books that have been waiting on the shelves.
Dust off the guitar, piano or – why not? – your voice and express yourself musically, by singing alone or together with your loved ones.
Borrow your kid’s paintbrushes or colored crayons and create your own modernist piece of art.
Take 10 minutes per day to relax, meditate or work out.

Stay Positive
Although it’s difficult to grasp, any stressful situation has its advantages. It pushes us to embrace change and look for different perspectives.
We don’t know what the future holds: if telecommuting is a permanent change, we’ll return to work in our offices, or if a mixture of the two is the best course of action. But I’m sure of one thing: we’ll be proud to have used all of our skills and knowledge to overcome the challenges gracefully and with more confidence.
On a related topic, you can also read:Work from Home Productivity Tips: Doing Your Best Work Ever
The post Working and Learning from Home: Tips to Stay Active appeared first on Pentalog.

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South African Government Working on Plans to Re-Open Cinemas Across the Country | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

A new set of regulations gazetted by the SA government on Thursday shows that movie theatres might be opening again across the country sometime soon.
Cinemas are currently closed, not allowed to operate during Level 3 of the national lockdown. For it now it seems that the new government regulations have included theatres and cinemas in an arrangement that allows competitors to negotiate amongst each other, and with their landlords in order to lower rent and allow for rent holidays.
In normal times, these negotiations are restricted by South Africa’s competition laws.

“The Department (of trade and industry) has received representation from stakeholders in the cinema exhibition industry on the safe re-opening of the sector, and is engaging in a process with stakeholders and the Tempemail Department of Health to determine the appropriate protocols for re-opening of the sector,” the regulations read.
“The sector (cinemas and theatres) has experienced hardships and requested that consideration be given to its inclusion in the above-named exemption.”
Movie theatres have already opened in Japan, and in the US. French theatres are set to begin opening from this month.
Business Insider writes that in the US, cinemas are proposing to limit the maximum capacity in venues to between 25% and 50%, and space out customers so they are not seated close to each other. This may be the way cinemas in SA will be working during Level 3. Perhaps in some cases, certain films will be reeled across a few specific cinemas within a theatre complex, specifically for big blockbuster films. Which might mean that there may be fewer films played overall. However, this is all just conjecture. There are no details of how opening cinemas may work across the country just yet.
A separate set of regulations on Thursday set out conditions that allow performance arts institutions and playhouses to produce content for streaming without audiences.
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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WeTransfer not banned yet, working fine in India- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Despite reports claiming that the Indian government has banned popular file sharing platform WeTransfer in the country, the app which helps sends heavy files up to 2GB for free was working fine on Monday.
Reports earlier said that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in a May 18 order had directed the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to partially ban WeTransfer.
However, files were being sent seamlessly on Monday via WeTransfer.
“We have received reports that WeTransfer is being (partially) blocked in India. Our team is currently investigating the issue, we hope to have more details soon. In the meantime, the best workaround is to use a VPN service to access our site,” the company tweeted.
Launched in 2009, WeTransfer’s premium service allows users to share up to 20GB data or folders and also offers 1TB of storage space.
The independent service competes against Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, among others.
The service is very popular among the Indians to send heavy files, videos and other content which is otherwise difficult to share.
Some reports even claimed that the DoT “cited national interest and public interest being the reasons to ban Wetransfer”.
The DoT has not commented on such claims yet.

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How Using Cloud Can Increase Security for Remote Working During the Pandemic | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Tapscape

The cloud can enable organisations to quickly scale out enhanced security to a suddenly remote workforce, as part of efforts to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery – this is according to Patrick Grillo, Senior Director and Solutions Marketing at Fortinet.
The pandemic had created unique challenges for employers and employees across all sectors around the world, with Varun Kukreja, Senior Program Manager – IT Security MEA, IDC Middle East, Africa, & Turkey, saying securing the teleworker had become a top priority, with some 90% of organisations looking to provide staff with secure access to IT services and applications.
The pandemic had also accelerated digital transformation, he says, with an IDC Meta survey interim results revealing that some 56% of organisations scaling up their online presence to generate DX-led revenue streams and roughly 30% of CIOs and decision-makers set to spend more on public cloud services.
Grillo noted that remote working was not a new requirement, but says what was new was having to suddenly move entire workforces to remote work.
“The questions organisations should be asking themselves at times like these are: Is it a one size fits all scenario? Can I leverage existing resources? How secure is secure? And how can I scale to meet demand?” he says.
Grillo says that a newly-remote workforce might require different levels of security. “The general user might need only a laptop, with approved endpoint protection of the device, and two-factor authentication capability to access applications. Some of these users’ traffic is going to be directed at the corporate entity through the VPN tunnel. But if they need to go to a staff application, we want to avoid them having to go back to the corporate entity and then to the cloud. Split tunnelling, allowing me locally to segregate my traffic, some of it going to the corporate network and some directly to the internet where needed, will fit the vast majority of users.”
However, some users may require more capabilities, he says.
“For power users – those who need increased capability – we can extend the access layer, to bring that access layer out to where the power user is located. That means deploying a wireless access point at the user’s location and then having a VPN tunnel back into the corporate network. This is a much greater replication of somebody being in their native work environment than just dialling in from a remote location. We can take that one step further and go to the super-user, and rather than just extending the access layer, we’re actually creating a branch office at their location. In this case, we’re putting a networking security device at that location and for all intents and purposes, it’s as if they are in the office. They are attached to the main part of the network, it’s transparent, and you support greater capabilities.”
“But what about the head end? The organisation needs some capability to terminate all those VPN tunnels coming in from all those remote users, power users and super users. Aside from that, they must manage the endpoint protection plan which is now multiplied to a high degree. The management of that configuration now becomes more complex, so you going to have some sort of management system. Organisations will also need an authentication system which is also ideally capable of dealing with two-factor authentication and single sign-on. Ideally, they already have these capabilities, and to extend them, they can leverage the cloud. They don’t automatically need to buy more equipment.”
Grillo states “Leveraging cloud and cloud resources allow organisations to ramp up remote access capabilities, make sure there’s security in these connections, take advantage of virtual machines and deploy them in the cloud and in a matter of days, rather than weeks.”
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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Nineleaps organizes Virtual Hackathon for its employees working remotely- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Nineleaps, a Bengaluru-based product engineering company that provides application services and accelerates product development for a range of customers, has successfully been able to manage and conduct recently a  two day Virtual Hackathon for its employees working remotely in more than 75 cities across India. In-spite of the challenges of working remotely, the Virtual Hackathon saw participation of over 183 employees of Nineleaps split across 24 teams. Finally, 10 of the teams were awarded prizes across various categories.
This year’s Hackathon saw a change as it was held remotely and was one of the key initiatives taken by Nineleaps to boost Remote Employee Engagement during the pandemic and maintain a strong work culture digitally.
The Hackathon, a flagship event of Nineleaps, is a two-day annual coding event at the company. It encourages employees to form teams and create innovative solutions for real-life problems by coding overnight. The purpose of the Hackathon is to rekindle the coder’s spirit by challenging them to think and create out-of-the-box solutions for everyday problems. The best solutions from the event are then selected and further support is extended so that the project launches into the market.
As the Hackathon was held remotely, it utilized various virtual platforms such as GitHub, AWS, Slack. All communication with judges happened on Zoom and Hangout calls. Though the challenge of remote operation was ever-present, there was an overwhelming response from the employees’ side.
“Nineleaps has always been dynamic when it comes to adapting to change. We foresaw the possibility of remote working and started establishing protocols way before it was made mandatory,” said Divy Shrivastava, Co-Founder and CEO of Nineleaps. “Thanks to our employees, we were not only able to successfully implement a remote working framework but also took it one step ahead by organizing and successfully conducting a Virtual Hackathon. Despite the challenges, we have been able to deliver better value for our clients and are hiring more aggressively than before the pandemic.”

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6 Tech Companies Make Remote Working a Permanent Option | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The world has been changed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Almost all points of what we used to know are in some ways now different. These changes will no doubt last as long as the pandemic, and many will last even longer.
In the world of work, the transition from offices to home has been a worldwide reality. Now, six of the world’s largest tech companies have revealed that these advents of working-from-home may be a permanent fixture. At least for the foreseeable future. These tech companies include:

Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg says that as many as 50% of Facebook employees could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years. Facebook’s CEO pitched the idea as both of a matter of satisfying employee desires and also in an effort to establish a “more broad-based economic prosperity.”
“When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives,” Zuckerberg says on a Livestream posted to his Facebook page.

Twitter

Twitter is allowing a large part of its workforce to continue to work from home indefinitely if they so choose.
CNN writes that the social media powerhouse did not specify which roles will qualify for work-from-home, but the company did say that the recent experience of having to work from home for the past several months shows that Twitter employees can continue remote work for the foreseeable future.
“If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen,” says Twitter’s VP of people, Jennifer Christie, in a statement to CNN Business. “If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return.”

Square

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square, is also planning to allow staff members to work from home once the pandemic ends. The company wants employees to be able to work where they want in an environment that suits them.
“Moving forward, Squares will be able to work from home permanently, even once offices begin to reopen. Over the past several weeks, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes for people to effectively perform roles outside of an office, and we will continue to learn as we go,” a spokesperson told The Verge.

Shopify

CEO of Shopify, Tobi Lutke, announced that the world of work has been turned on its head.

As of today, Shopify is a digital by default company. We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality. And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over.
— Tobi Lutke 🌳🌲🛒🕹 (@tobi) May 21, 2020

Lutke said Shopify, an eCommerce platform for small businesses, will keep its offices closed until 2021. This year, Shopify will rework its physical spaces for this new reality. Afterwards, most employees will work remotely – permanently.
“Until recently, work happened in the office. We’ve always had some people remote, but they used the internet as a bridge to the office. This will reverse now,” Lutke tweeted. “The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your #WFH setup.”

Groupe PSA

French automobile manufacturer PSA announced a “new era of agility” in which non-production staff will work remotely from now on.
“Given the positive experience and efficient measures already taken in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, Groupe PSA has therefore decided to strengthen teleworking and to make it the benchmark for activities not directly related to production,” the company says.
Following this, the company is planning to redesign its offices to allow for in-person collaboration when needed, but PSA will reduce its real estate footprint. The company says it will allow employees to have a better work-life balance and easier commutes.
PSA, which makes Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall, says the new work-from-home plans will be implemented in the summer.

Box

Box CEO Aaron Levie wrote in a blog post that the cloud-storage company’s nearly 2000 employees are free to ‘work from anywhere’ until the end of 2020.
Before the pandemic, Levie said about 15% of Box’ staff worked remotely, a number that is expected to go up. “At the same time, we know the power of having office hubs where in-person communities, mentorship, networking, and creativity can happen…That is why our future is a hybrid one.”
In the future, Levie says, that the staff’s weekly all-hands meetings would remain “fully virtual” in the future. Stipends would be available to help improve their home office setups.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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BenQ Shares A Guide On Working Productively at Home During Lockdown – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Amidst the COVID pandemic, practice of staying at home is being implemented globally. Following this, many companies in the country quickly switched to remote-working models. This sudden transition to a work-from-home set-up has brought its own set of challenges. 
For instance, productivity & collaboration can be difficult with remote work where distractions at home, setting processes, guidelines, tools in place to support work from home becomes a huge challenge. As a result, collaboration and working in sync from separate locations pose huge problem for all members of the company. 
In companies where part of the team is working remotely during the lockdown period, one big hindrance to achieving productivity can be the use of ineffective technologies. Unless technologies in the offices are suited to facilitate communication with remote employees, efficiency, collaboration, and productivity can’t be guaranteed. The most significant challenge with remote work is the communication gap. 
Follow the 3C’s , for a successful remote work set-up! 
There are, of course, some basic tips for how to be more productive while working from home. Small things like having a routine, dedicated workspace, can be of help to people trying this for the first time. 
When it comes to setting up effective processes, things like setting clear expectations and using time tracking applications to establish accountability can be helpful.
Communication
In order to avoid misunderstandings and the resulting errors and delays, all employees should be encouraged to communicate effectively with each other. For this, in addition to using intra-networks and other communication platforms, companies should focus on adopting technology solutions that facilitate effective communication between employees present in the office and those who are working remotely. This also ensures that self-quarantined employees still feel like valued members of the team.
Collaboration
Collaboration is also an integral aspect to develop with remote work. There exist several cloud-based collaboration tools to keep group-based deliverables and assignments on track. Companies that adopt such digital tools and software can motivate group participation while maintaining on-time submissions.
Meeting Room technologies like smart projectors and interactive flat panels are great tools to bring collaboration as they offer direct internet access and PC free meeting environments. Built in applications in smart projectors also allow for easy video conferencing to facilitate discussions with remote team members.
Community
In the current scenario and the aftermath of Covid-19, it is important that companies take into account the mental health of the employees and strive to keep team spirits high. A great way of doing this is by holding regular ‘catch-up’ meetings using video-conferencing tools. Here, meeting room technologies can help the remote team members stay connected with the office setting while helping break the monotony and keeping team members focused on group tasks and objectives.
By adopting new policies and meeting room technologies, companies can position themselves to better handle the new working situation while maintaining a positive bottom-line. And a key solution to consider here is the BenQ Smart Projector for Business that has a wide range of features to drive communication and collaboration within your teams. 

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Covid 19: Embracing better ways of working in the new normal- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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By Alla Ganz, Partner at CAPCO, Global Business and Technology Consultancy
COVID-19 has required firms to rapidly embrace remote working. This presents a unique opportunity to embed new ways of working in preparation for the ‘new normal’.Despite the existence of robust frameworks, strong employee demand and proven benefits, at the beginning of this year new ways of working had yet to be widely adopted. However, over the past two months,we have seen companies shift abruptly to remote working arrangements, in some cases literally overnight.
Initially this was typically viewed as a temporary measure to ensure that firms and their employees could continue to operate effectively in the short-term. There was a sense of ‘treading water’ until the eagerly awaited end of lockdown was announced and business as usual could resume. But as the weeks have passed and government measures have been extended, there has been a growing realization that this new way of working is likely to persist for the longer term.
As they look to the future, financial services institutions can expect to move through three distinct phases as they refine remote working, plan how they will reintegrate employees, and begin to lay the foundations for a workforce of the futureand a more holistic talent strategy.
The first rapid response phase is a business continuity- driven adoption of remote working, and at this stage is mostly complete. The priority for firms now is the second phase of adapt and enhance in order to optimize ways of working. The focus should be on enhancing the effectiveness of remote work, maintaining employee well-being, upskilling teams on remote collaboration to ensure key milestones are still hit, and ensuring that tooling is in place to allow teams to do their jobs. These should not be ‘sticking plasters’ that will leave institutions with a COVID legacy to solve for but rather robust strategic enhancements.
Finally, the third phase is the transition into the ‘new normal’ that will emerge post-COVID, and the potential pivots required as part of that journey. Central to that is a re-imagination of what the workforce of the future looks like and openness to embracing a new model of business as usual.
So why this pre-COVID resistance to the adoption of new ways of working? After all, prior to enforced remote working, employees almost universally saw it as an attractive benefit, with no less than 99% stating they would choose to work remotely, at least part time, for the rest of their careers [2019 State of remote work report Buffer.com]. Productivity concerns had been cited a key concern, but the data did not seem to back this up, with 85% of companies saying greater location flexibility led to an increase in productivity [Wundamail 2019 State of Remote work Survey].
Either way, the tone of the conversation has now changed – perhaps forever. Jes Staley of Barclays recently stated that “the notion of putting 7000 people in a building may be a thing of the past”. Forecasts from Global Workplace Analytics undertaken and published in April 2020 suggest that 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home for multiple days each week by the end of 2021.
“This is not how I envisioned the distributed work revolution taking hold,” Matt Mullenweg, chief executive of WordPress and Tumblr owner Automatic, recently noted. Mullenweg’s company is already ‘distributed’, and he predicts the changes could also offer “an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility”.
Employee choice is also expected to shape the ‘new normal’ – indeed, it would be naïve to think this will be dictated by employers alone. Will employees want to go back to the way they worked prior to the crisis, having productively worked remotely for an extended period? Will staff challenge employers regarding the benefits of being present in the office? What might this mean from an HR, risk and cost base perspective.
There remain many unknowns and an even larger number of variables that will influence what happens next – and by extension, engagement with new ways of working. But there is also a certainty that things will not simply revert to pre-COVID conditions. Companies that can offer their workforce the right tools, culture and operating structure to help employees through this transition to the new normal will emerge more focused, resilient and better positioned to prosper in a new competitive landscape.
What should companies do?Ensure your teams are thriving rather than surviving in the new environment – and if not, create the culture, instill the behaviors and implement the tooling they need. It’s also essential to protect your teams’ mental health and well being.Maintain productivity across key programmes by rapidly deploying agile and ensuring high-risk or critical programmes are kept on track by leveraging ways of working practices.In parallel, plan proactively for the reintegration of those elements of the workforce whose return is business critical. Don’t wait for government mandates to commence your scenario planning and evaluate your optionsFinally, grasp the opportunity to reimagine the art of the possible. Organisations can emerge from the crisis with an enhanced employee value proposition in place alongside a fresh perspective on cost reduction opportunitiesAs we emerge from the initial and any subsequent lockdowns, firms will need to strike the optimal balance between adhering to government guidelines, respecting the desires of their workforce and delivering on their own goals. Those financial institutions that grasp the opportunity to reassess, reengineer and reimagine their workplace in a proactive fashion will be best placed to offer a differentiated employee value proposition, and will also reap the benefits of increased efficiencies and ultimately a significantly lower cost base

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Working remote due to the coronavirus? These 7 tips will help keep your connections secure- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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By NortonLifeLock
The novel coronavirus is changing the daily habits of millions of people globally, including where they work. Many employers are telling their employees — or offering them the option — to work from home.
Companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft have announced they are allowing staff to work remote to help protect against the coronavirus, or COVID-19, the name of the respiratory disease it causes. The idea: Protect the health and help control the spread of the disease.
If you decide to work remote, it’s a good idea to keep cybersecurity in mind. That means protecting your devices and data, just like you would in the workplace.
Here are some tips to help keep your connections secure.

Keep close contact with your employer: It’s smart to stay on top of company communications. Your inbox might contain emails about policy changes ranging from work hours to travel. Your employer might consolidate coronavirus-related information on the company intranet. If you have questions, ask.
Use what’s in your company’s tech toolbox: Companies often have tech tools that can help keep you cybersafe when you work from home. That might mean you do your work on company-supplied laptops and mobile devices. They likely include firewall and antivirus protection, along with security features like VPN and 2-factor authentication.
Control the impulse to improvise: Employees often work in teams, and that can mean using collaboration tools like instant-messaging platforms and video-meeting rooms. If a tool isn’t working right, you might be tempted to download a substitute. Don’t do it. You could inadvertently introduce a software program with a security flaw — and that means someone unauthorized may be able to access company data, or any personal data you have on that device.
Stay current on software updates and patches: You might get reminders that software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Don’t wait. Update. Also, keep in mind you can configure your devices to update automatically. Updates help patch security flaws and help protect your data. Updates can also add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.
Keep your VPN turned on: A VPN — short for virtual private network — can help protect the data you send and receive while you work from home. A VPN can provide a secure link between employees and businesses by encrypting data. VPNs help protect against cybercriminals and snoops from seeing what you do online during a workday. That might include sending or receiving financial information, strategy documents, and customer data. A VPN helps keep that information secure from cybercriminals and competitors.
Beware of coronavirus-themed phishing emails: Cybercriminals are exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to send fake emails with dangerous links to employees. Here’s how it works. The email messages may appear to come from company officials and might ask you to open a link to a new company policy related to the coronavirus. If you click on the attachment or imbedded link, you’re likely to download malware onto your device. Don’t click. Instead, immediately report the phishing attempt to your employer. A phishing email with malicious software could allow cybercriminals to take control of your computer, log your keystrokes, or access sensitive business information and financial data.
Develop a new routine: Working from home requires changing your routine. Making sure you’re cyber secure is part of that. But it also involves structuring your day to work efficiently and maintain contact with your team. If you’re used to starting the day by greeting your coworkers, you might consider continuing to do that by email or on a chat platform.

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