So, we have all heard about computer networking, and we are familiar with such terms such as LAN (Local Area Netowork), Ethernet, and others. But what exactly is a network, and how can it be beneficial to have one implemented in your business? Let’s take a quick peek and see if we can find a few answers.
In essence, a network is a way of interconnecting a group of computers that are usually close to one another. The main purpose of creating a network is to simplify and allow the flow of information and resources among different computers and their users. The first known computer network was created to benefit the United States Department of Defend in the late 1960’s so that information could be exchanged in an easier, quicker, and perhaps more secretive manner.
There are three main methods in which computers are connected today: through Ethernet, which is a physical cable that attaches to each computer, which involves the use of bridges, routers, hubs, and switches; fiber-optics, which allow for greater distances between computers, with quicker communication between them; and one of the most popular, the Wireless LAN connection, which involves only a small router and no wires at all, as the name suggests.
One great benefit that many offices frequently take use is office e-mail. Instead of making phone calls, scheduling a meeting, or trying to make an announcement, supervisors may quickly jot down a memo and disperse it to whomever they need to see it–the whole office, or an exclusive group of employees. This also allows for the secure transmission of confidential information, such as financial records, which in turn cuts down on unnecessary paperwork.
Having a network in the office also allows for several conveniences. One such is a document repository. This creates a space for public folders, which can be accessed through the exchange server.
Public folders may contain items that all employees may need to access, like the employee handbook or vacation schedules. This can make it easier to bring on new employees, as they will have many helpful hints right at their fingertips so that they will not have to run to a supervisor every time they forget what to do–they can simply look it up!
Electronic time clocks are also very useful to employers. Clocking in and out is often done through a secret pin number and an electronic fingerprint reader. While we would all love for our employees to be wholly honest citizens who would never have someone clock in or out for them, this is an added measure to prevent such behaviors.
All in all, an office computer network provides many benefits and conveniences to its users as it helps in streamlining communication among all workers.