How can thousands of desk-based employees work remotely during the Coronavirus outbreak? 

Companies are now having to look at their office staff working from home en masse without ever having set in place contingency plans on this scale before. While it will not be logistically possible for people across industries like health care and retail to work from home, laptop provision for huge numbers of homeworking staff presents its own logistical difficulties. 

Sourcing laptops was already becoming a problem for businesses as the shortage of critical components caused by use of the earth’s dwindling resources started to bite. Now major manufacturers such as HP, Dell and Lenovo cite delays of six months due to factory closures in China, leading to a 30% drop in laptop shipments.

Security concerns

Security concerns and access to company servers mean it is unlikely that the majority of workers will be allowed to use their own devices. And while Google uses refurbished servers in its data centres and telecoms company GiffGaff advertises refurbished phones on TV, refurbished computers are part of an unregulated industry fraught with safety, operational and security hazards.

However, remanufactured computers have to be regulated to ISO standards and deliver the same or better than new performance specification. Up until a few months before going through the remanufacturing process, these laptops were inside the businesses of the world. Now they are going back in with the latest software, brand new battery, 3-year warranty and immaculate appearance but are still 30-40% cheaper than going with new.

For UK laptop remanufacturer Circular Computing, demand has exploded. The company keeps 30,000-50,000 remanufactured laptops in stock ready to be deployed at short notice and reports that it is working at full capacity to provide thousands of laptops per month to businesses trying to hunt down supplies of Windows 10 Generation 6 laptops. Their laptops have also been endorsed by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in a recent mail campaign, which is a huge feat for the Remanufacturing industry. 

Circular Computing founder, Rod Neale, says, “There are so many staff in companies not set up to work from home that we are being inundated with enquiries from businesses rushing to set themselves up while stocks are available.”


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