Managing telework on a large scale

For most of us, the COVID-19 crisis came as a sudden and unexpected shock. Even though most companies have business continuity plans in place, they generally don’t include widespread lockdowns impacting every single entity. Almost overnight, the health crisis caused major disruption; any employees able to perform their duties remotely were placed under teleworking arrangements, while new working methods were also rolled out. In a short space of time, a new trend emerged, and IT departments found themselves the centre of attention. They were asked to set hundreds of employees up with telework equipment in record time, create remote access accounts and adapt companies’ IT networks, all while ensuring data security. It was a seriously impressive feat!

Rolling telework out on a large scale isn’t without its challenges.

Job mobility is at a turning point, and has never advanced so quickly. If I compare Luxembourg with other countries, most companies were and continue to be well prepared for this emergency. Our maturity in terms of information technology in general, as well as our high-level infrastructures, were an undoubted advantage in this respect.

« Companies whose IT services were already based on cloud solutions, whether public or private, were a step ahead when it came to rapidly switching over to 100% remote working arrangements. »

An internal network is rarely designed for remote access. It takes a lot of time and money to integrate remote access into the architecture later on, especially when a high level of security is required. However, environments based on cloud solutions are generally geared for remote access by design.

In addition to technical challenges, management and employment matters also need to be kept in mind. The current situation is far from over. Directly following the lockdown in spring, certain companies weren’t planning for a return to the “new normal” before 2021. As it turned out, they were right. As such, management needs to do everything it can to maintain the momentum and energy displayed at the beginning of the crisis. The benefits of remote work for employers, employees and society in general have been brought to light by the circumstances forced on us all. Now, it’s a matter of setting up the framework, deploying the right tools and applying effective management practices, in order to ensure that social ties at the company under telework arrangements are strengthened, rather than weakened.

Luxembourg’s digitisation includes powerful and adaptive connectivity. To respond to this increase in data and ongoing digitisation, POST continues to invest in the “Network of the future” by adapting the 4G network, rolling out 5G and extending the fibre optic network.

« Having invested over €250 million in telecommunications networks over the last five years, POST is one of the leading players in Luxembourg’s digital transformation. »

Flexible, reliable and secure solutions.

Teleworking tools let employees perform a range of tasks under conditions that resemble the office environment.

For small and large companies in Luxembourg, digitisation represents a major challenge. As such, POST Luxembourg actively supports companies of all sizes in setting up their digital solutions.

The first step involves ensuring employees have access to the company’s IT resources. The second is to ensure continued cooperation and communication between employees, even when working remotely. Contact with clients and suppliers must also be just as easy as it is from the office. Finally, one of the biggest challenges of telework, particularly in highly impacted sectors, is maintaining data accessibility and seamless communication, while ensuring that any information shared is kept secure.

Thanks to its specific skills and extensive experience on a national and international scale, POST is able to offer a range of telework tools.

But as practical as these solutions are in the current context, they aren’t worth implementing if they compromise the confidentiality of data held by the company. As such, any digital transformation project at POST is first submitted to the DPO and POST Cyberforce team for approval, who review the implementation and validate the architecture prior to any roll-out.

Cliff Konsbruck, Director of POST Telecom S.A.

Cliff Konsbruck - Managing telework on a large scale

This article was written for the Paperjam Plus – ICT supplement in the Paperjam magazine January edition, published on 17 December 2020.