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Remote Employees and Phone Internet policy these days.

Just looking for the latest on how companies are doing things these days for remote users.

I think things are getting more liberal in the area of IT and remote users, but want to get some input on the topic.

1. For say a Customer Support rep that is working from home would you supply a cell phone have them get a VOIp say through vonage paying for the setup and monthly charge, provide them a VOIP phone and setup a VPN backup to your office Avaya system.  Possbily some other hosting VOIP setup.  If they have VOIP already, have then get another line and pay that entirely or povide a stipend or percentage towards their bill.  

For computer use.  Do you provide them acess to a thin client solution that allows them access to their necesary resources or do you buy them laptop?

Just looking to hear what people are donig out there 'these days'?

thx
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dee30
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dee30
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If working from home is seen as legitimate by the company and the person working from home is an employee, then at my clients, we provide laptop computers with company software and remote access. The laptop belongs to the company and so should NOT be used for personal reasons (so you need a policy).

Also, the company provides phones (usually smartphones today). The company pays for the phone and the plan and again, they are not for personal use.

But we expect employees to have their own internet access and use it as necessary. We generally do not pay for that. You would have to use your judgement if the employee works exclusively at home and does not come into the office.

.... Thinkpads_User
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dee30Author Commented:
What about scanning/printing?  People bying printers with scanning capaiblities for work at home employees?

Read the above response and the costs of buying and setting up phones an vs users using their equipment and accessing resources they need.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In terms of printing, it again depends on policy and volume of work. You can get an HP 8600 OfiiceJet All-in-one or comparable at very reasonable prices.

Generally we assume employees have modest printers that suffice but if your needs are greater you may wish to supply printers.
... Thinkpads_User
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byaromsCommented:
one big issue is the backup...VPN is highly recomended...
Otherwise the backup to company storage will not work reliably... If you have PST files for these users or other files you may want to look at EdgeSafe Backup for this purpose http://www.datamills.com
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dee30Author Commented:
I'm going to look into carbanite and ironmountain for backup for remotes, b/c dealing with syncing their folders over vpn, especially for those that travel from our various sites is not something MS allows administrators to deal with easily and effectively.   I will look into edgesafe too.

I am thinking for phone we buy them a company cell or we use some type of hosted voip system that can tie into our own avay voip system. ??

Computer - just going to get them a lap and for others will roll out thin client setup.

Scanning and printing, got a new hire now that reportedly doesn't have a functioning printer but not sure we should be buying printers for telecommutors, but they(employees hired) sure expect it.  I don't come from that world and worked for IT technology ccompanies for years; first time Im not working for a IT tech company. Weird.

thx
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dee30Author Commented:
Thanks
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@dee30 - You are welcome and I was pleased to assist you. .... Thinkpads_User
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