Home Worker

Make working from home a viable option with high speed fibre broadband.

Benefits

Flexible working

Flexible working arrangements are generally at the discretion of employers, however a basic requirement will be your ability to access the internet so you can access your companies secure network.

If your employer can enable flexible working arrangements and provide the appropriate equipment and secure network access, high speed fibre broadband can maximise your productivity with speedy access and the option of high quality video conferencing.

Setting up your business

If you are starting your own business and plan to work from your home, having access to a high speed fibre broadband network will make life easier.

  • A high speed fibre broadband network will support and enhance your upload and download speeds, meaning that heavy data files or high resolution imagery will not stall or take hours to retrieve.
  • Your ability to use social media as a marketing and communications tool will improve as you will be able to tweet your product updates, update your customer base via facebook using high resolution imagery or videos without lengthy upload delays or worse still stalling.
  • Your website functionality will improve as you take control of design, imagery and content. High speed fibre broadband will enable you to perform updates when and where it suits you, keeping your website current and your customers aware.
  • Reduce your travelling and accommodation costs by talking to colleagues or customers over Skype thanks to the quality of live video that high speed fibre broadband provides.

Using the cloud

Utilising high speed fibre broadband to access cloud computing will give you access to affordable business software and business applications. The cloud will also support your data storage needs, ensuring your information is safe and retrievable no matter where you are.

  • So what is cloud computing?
  • For those that don’t consider themselves to be tech-savvy, terms like the cloud may be enough to get you to switch off. As a concept the cloud is very simple; it means data is saved over the internet instead of on a hard drive. In essence “The cloud” is just a metaphor for the Internet. In fact, you’re probably already using cloud without knowing it – Google apps, Facebook and webmail like Yahoo are all examples of cloud computing because the information is stored in data centres and accessed via the internet.

  • Do I need high speed fibre broadband to use the cloud?
  • High speed fibre broadband isn’t necessary for accessing the cloud, but it helps. Large files or multiple files can be uploaded or downloaded in a matter of seconds. Meaning no downtime waiting for files to load, and the ability to share information is instant.

  • Want more information about cloud computing in an Irish context?
  • The Irish Internet Association (IIA) and National Standards Authority of Ireland (NASI) have produced SWiFT 10 Adopting The Cloud – Decision Support For Cloud Computing which can be found on the Cloud Computing Working Group resource site.

    Tips To Working From Home

    When you are working from home for the first time, there are a few things you need to remember. For starters, there is only you – no corporate IT department to call if you have a problem.

    So be prepared. Make sure you identify what and where your nearest support options are before you need them.

    Below are some important questions, and the answers you’d expect to hear from a reputable provider. If you don’t get reasonable answers to these questions, it’s time to look elsewhere.

  • Is there a fixed rate or hourly rate?
  • Asking the cost of a service seems like a question you’d be unlikely to forget but for many people, losing access to the computer is on par with losing the ability to apply reason and logic.

    Expected Answer:

    The answer will depend on the nature of the problem. For certain problems there will be standard charges (e.g. a service). For an error related problem they should give an hourly rate and expected number of hours to repair. You should request that a heads up is given should it look like the expected hours will be exceeded. You do not want the repair to cost more than a replacement Laptop. However remember retrieving of lost data can be a mine field – so always do your backups daily.

    If there isn’t a fixed cost for the type of service you need, or if the repair service offers a callout service, they may quote rate per hour. This will usually apply as a cost per hour or part thereof. This means that if they work for an hour and ten minutes, they are entitled to charge for two hours. Make sure you’re aware of this before you start.

  • Can You Tell Me How Many Billable Hours This Might Take to Fix?
  • Business operate on tight budgets, the last thing you want is the repair service working on it for nine hours at €50ph when the machine only cost €400 new.

    Expected Answer:

    I can’t be but these types of problems usually take [x] hours to fix.

    If it is not possible to tell you with certainty what the problem is before opening the machine, a good repair service will at least give an indication. This is your opportunity to decide at what point of investigations and costs you are willing to walk away from what might be lost, in other words, is the repair likely to cost more than a new device.

  • Do You Have a Minimum Charge?
  • Sometimes when the repair service opens up the machine, they find it is a simple solution and can have it fixed in just 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re lucky enough and your problem is that easy, you should still be made aware of how much you will be charged.

  • Should I Expect Any Charges Other Than the Hourly Rate?
  • As with anything in business, it is important to know if there are any hidden fees before you start.

    Expected Answer:

    No. or Parts will be charged in accordance with our price list

    Depending on the nature of your problem, the repair service should be able to tell you what is or isn’t included.

  • What guarantee do you provide?
  • It is important to know what level of guarantee you can expect on the service provided. For example, if you received an error message like “stop OxOOOOOOO78B” it would be fair to expect that this error message would not appear again and the computer repair service corrected the problem for you.

    Expected Answer:

    Yes. For most problems we guarantee our service for [30 to 90] days.

    Anything less than 30 days is not a good deal. If more than 90 days is offered, it is wise to read the fineprint of what is and is not included in that guarantee.

    As far as “most problems” are concerned, don’t expect any repair service to remove a virus and then guarantee that you won’t be infected by it again.

  • When Might I Be Able to Pick Up My Computer?
  • All questions about cost might seem obvious, but how long is very important, especially if you can’t operate your business without your PC.

    Expected Answer:

    You should be able to pick up your PC in 24 to 48 hours.

    Of course the right answer depends on your availability and need, but if you’re getting multiple quotes you may need to ask yourself if it is worth paying more to get a faster service.

    Also remember that just because they can take your computer straight away is not the same thing as working on it straight away. An answer like “bring it in as soon as you’re ready” is not the same as “we wil have it back to you by [x]”.

    Backup

    Don’t forget to back up your files at the close of business each day. There is no reason why you would not have your files backed up daily, the option of cloud computing makes it just too easy.

    If you prefer the hardware option for backup, you can buy an external hard drive and keep your data there. Just remember, to keep your hard drive and computer in separate locations. If there is a fire or flood, a backed up drive is no use to you if it is damaged by the same incident that damaged your computer.

    Loss of data can mean down time, loss of business opportunities or costly attempts of recovery (which may or may not be successful). No business can afford these direct or indirect costs.

    Password security

    Always use and change your password regularly, and make sure it is strong

    A strong password:

    • Is at least eight characters long
    • Does not contain your name (username, real name or company name)
    • Does not contain a complete word
    • Is significantly different from previous passwords
    • Contains at least one character each that is uppercase, lowercase, number and punctuation.

    Stock

    Make sure you keep an eye on your computer stock levels, paper for the printer, ink for the cartridges, and if possible identify a local cartridge re fill centre. Don’t miss a deadline because you had to run to the shop.

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