Remote Working and Your Business Telecoms
With the COVID-19 virus impacting millions of people around the globe, it's no wonder that many organisations have had to adapt quickly to maintain 'business as usual' for both customers and employees.
Unified communications have been a particular focus for Business and IT leaders to support the up-tick in online collaboration needed for remote working, while maintaining high productivity and customer service levels.
With most people staying at home in accordance with the UK government's initial guidance, a variety of telecoms and IT solutions have been utilised to maintain those all-important connections. Regardless of sector, size or location, businesses need to consider their data storage, file sharing and overall communication capabilities.
While some companies have adapted their employees' own equipment, others have provided laptops, mobiles and other devices to enable staff to continue working, despite being unable to travel to the workplace. In some cases, flexible working may already be in place as a result of previous events, such as bad weather or travel restrictions, and it has certainly come into its own during the past few months.
If you're looking to implement flexible and remote working as part of your business infrastructure now and into the future, there are a few things to remember:
Ensure that your business has secure and safe access to the internet and that employees have a suitable connection at home. Improve the quality of internet connectivity by using a wired internet connection or Wi-Fi can be boosted by updating router firmware. Consider investing in the latest mobile devices and a superfast FTTC broadband network to enable teams to communicate easily, from any location, without losing connectivity.
One of the biggest threats to business' online security is human error. The best way to ensure that employees are staying safe online is through training, to educate them about the latest risks and how to avoid data breaches. Encourage users to access password manager software and to beware of clicking on suspicious email attachments. Consider implementing an encrypted VPN or cloud-based system and restricting access to only those who need it. Always make sure that anti-virus software is current and that latest software updates are downloaded and installed.
Staying in Touch
Although not physically present in the workplace, remote teams need to be able to keep in touch with day to day business activities. Conducting conference or video calls can help with holding meetings, sharing ideas and catching up with colleagues to reduce feelings of isolation. Regardless of location, a productive working environment is still possible with the support of an efficient telecoms system (VoIP, cloud hosted) or collaborative software (Skype, Microsoft Teams). Traditional business telephone systems can be difficult to adapt and problematic when adding extensions. An IP-based telephony solution offers greater flexibility and less headaches for you and your IT department to implement. Consider a cloud-based PBX system which performs faster and is more reliable than a traditional business telephone system.
Research shows that when employees have the option to work flexibly, especially during a time of uncertainty, their productivity, creativity and well-being improves. But to set up and maintain a mobile workforce, everyone will need to access fast and secure technology. With the addition of a cloud-based PBX telephone system, productivity increases because teams can connect with each other from anywhere, with any device.
Did You Know?
The ONS Coronavirus and homeworking in the UK labour market 2019 states that
of the 32.6 million in employment, around 1.7 million people reported working mainly from home (https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/coronavirusandhomeworkingintheuklabourmarket/2019)
Gartner has found that 41% of employees want to continue working remotely after the Covid-19 crisis has passed (https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-04-14-gartner-hr-survey-reveals-41--of-employees-likely-to-)
According to industry estimates, an IP-based system can cut business telecoms costs by up to 80% (https://coleofduty.com/military-news/2020/05/26/telecom-cloud-billing-market-competitive-landscape-analysis-with-forecast-by-2025/)
If you need further advice about setting up flexible or remote working for your business, call us on 01603 550044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org