Product Illustration
BackNovember 24, 2021
Author: Tom Daly

How To Network Like You’re In The Office (When You're Not In The Office)

Before the pandemic, work life was way more consistent. We all knew what we were getting when we got up at 8am, grabbed a coffee, and rolled into the office: a stable network.

Our office networking environments are deployed and managed by super-smart IT professionals. They arrange multiple high capacity internet connections to feed our buildings, setup WiFi, and make sure printers work.

But then came the pandemic, offices shut down, and everyone is getting connected through our home networks. The reality - our home networks - are just not the same as being in the office. Not. Even. Close.

The hybrid workforce is experiencing new networking challenges we’ve not seen before.

The Corporate LAN is a Hidden Collaboration Tool

Besides playing Quake Tournaments (yeah, we are dating ourselves), being in the same network space (Layer 2 domain and IP subnet) means that we can interact in a simple and secure environment.

When everyone is on the same LAN, it’s easy to share access to certain types of resources, like local software development environments, file sharing, and secure access to physical devices (like IoT boards). While many collaboration tools have become SaaS-ified and are delivered via the internet, there are others that have not, or offer on-premise solutions as a means to comply with data and security regulations.

The Corporate LAN is just about the simplest form of computer networking there is. Users understand how to connect (e.g. plug in an Ethernet cable or connect to Wi-Fi). It is an accessible form of networking technology.

Networking Friction

With most employees operating outside the corporate network now, or working in a hybrid fashion, the design of networks has drastically changed. Workers have had to adapt to new tools, new systems, and network technologies.

Many have taken it upon themselves to configure their home networks to support the same kind of experience they have in the office. It probably achieves the high level goal - to feel like you’re back in the office, working as easily as you did before - but at what risks? Complexity? Security? Auditability? Shadow IT brings risks to companies in the form of data loss, intrusion, and compliance.

The Impact on Collaboration

We believe that the networking friction created by working from home or hybrid, without the same access to the Corporate LAN, impedes collaboration.

Consider a few key stats about collaboration:

  • Extremely connected teams demonstrate a 21% increase in profitability.
  • Roughly 75% of employees regard collaboration and teamwork as important.
  • 70% of employees said digital technology improved their collaboration.

Extremely connected teams are not wasting valuable time setting up networking to replicate the Corporate LAN. Those that say technology improves collaboration aren’t cleaning up from security or audit incidents as a result of sub-par distributed team networking technology. Those that deem collaboration and teamwork aren’t feeling constrained by the new normals of working remotely.

Instead, we’re leveraging new technologies that enable secure and simply connectivity for the hybrid workforce.

An On-Demand Corporate LAN In The Cloud

Big Network’s Secure Networking for Teams Solution allows your employees to quickly and easily spin-up a secure network in the cloud. With a little bit of software and a few minutes, your employees can experience the collaboration they once had across the aisle in the corporate halls.

Big Network’s technology creates cloud based Ethernet switches and provides software endpoints via our Big Apps across a wide variety of devices. When you deploy these Apps to your workforce, they are given the power to securely and instantly recreate a virtual Corporate LAN, from home, the road, and the office.

The Hybrid Workforce is The New Normal

Employees working from home aren't going away anytime soon, especially as businesses saw no drop in productivity (as many expected). Because employees were able to remain productive working away from the office, companies are reconsidering leases and other office space rental costs. But the icing on the cake is that companies don’t have to give up the corporate network connectivity they had before. With Big Network’s Secure Networking for Teams, your employees can achieve the same level of collaboration as they did before: they can stay connected directly to ensure a safe and secure virtual network. Yes, they will still use cloud-based apps outside of the network. But now, they can return to direct access with their colleague’s computers and devices, just as before.