How can business owners in the UK, especially London and the South East (the recently announced tier 4 region in the UK) navigate the tier change with minimal impact?
The new tier 4 that was announced on Saturday, 19th December was a blow too many. Plans that families had made up and down the UK to spend the ‘5 days of Christmas’ with other family bubbles – quashed. Family-sized turkeys were ordered with no refund policy in place. Huge grocery deliveries were made without adequate time to reduce size before the goods hit our doorsteps. London and the South East were thrown into no-man’s-land once again, locked down into tier 4 with very little warning. To add insult to injury, on January 4th 2021, Boris Johnson once again announced that he was declaring a nationwide lockdown. With restrictions bound to get tighter before they are relaxed again, navigating these constant fluctuations in the way we live our daily lives has been nothing short of challenging.
The human impact of the winter lockdown is yet to be fully established; but what about the business impact? For many business owners, manoeuvring effectively through Government restrictions and the relaxing/tightening of them is a constant battle. How can business owners and CTOs ensure their company comes out of lockdown on top?
Preparation is key
Following the Government guidance for everyone within the UK to stay at home, and work remotely if it’s possible, businesses need to adapt and flex to this new temporary way of life. So, how can you keep your business running efficiently when tiers keep changing?
We’ve picked out 4 ways in which you can protect your business whilst negotiating the fluctuating tiers and lockdown status:
1. Get VoIP – TODAY!
Software for VoIP business telephony has been around since the mid-nineties, but in recent years it has gained in popularity. With it fast becoming the first choice for businesses, it’s no wonder that it’s changing the way we communicate. Moving to a Cloud-based Voice over IP system (VoIP) might feel a little daunting to any business owner. Businesses are changing and adapting around the global pandemic at speed. By switching to VoIP, you can not only keep your business connected, but you can also save vital funds. When looking at ways to protect our business virtually, transition to Cloud-based servers and VPNs seem almost seamless. So why not replicate this with your phone lines?
We published a blog previously around the benefits of moving to a Cloud-based VoIP system. In a nutshell, you’ll save costs. You’ll have constant access no matter where you are. You’ll have complete control, and we’ll grow with you. Our VoIP systems are completely scalable, so if you’re adding heads or creating a new department, no problem! We have you covered.
2. Secure remote workstations – don’t expose vulnerabilities
The rise in remote working has left vulnerabilities in cybersecurity especially in remote workstations. Laptops, mobiles, tablets and other devices your staff use to access your company data are prime targets for cyber criminals to strike. Unless your VPN is effectively deployed and you enforce 2 factor authentication on all remote devices, you are risking a potential data leak or breach. Cyber criminals know that when staff are transitioning between working locations, they often unintentionally bypass critical security measures. This is the perfect time for a hacker to do their worst. A stringent and well-communicated security ‘best practice’ should be rolled out to all remote staff as a matter of urgency.
4. Test your staff on their ability to spot a phishing attack
It’s all very well strengthening your security measures from outside attacks. But how well-equipped are your staff at spotting a phishing attempt? It’s just as important to ensure your staff don’t unwittingly invite cyber criminals into your network. There are training courses available that test, educate then re-test your staff on their ability to spot a phishing attack. If you were honest with yourself, could you put 100% trust in every staff member to protect your precious data? Training can be carried out remotely so no need to delay it until your staff are all back on site again. In fact, time is of the essence. Staff are more likely to get fleeced and click on links from hoax emails when working from home. So, it’s always advised to ensure your staff are fully up to speed and clued up on this kind of bogus activity. Cybersecurity training should also form part of a new-starter’s on-boarding process with regular refreshers to keep their knowledge on top form.
5. Collaborate to communicate
Ensuring the security of your collaboration and communication tools is also of paramount importance. These tools have proven to be indispensable to thousands of companies across the world in order for them to keep running throughout the pandemic. With our office-based board rooms left empty, tools such as Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft Teams have really come into their own. T4COM’s VoIP systems have a unique integration with Microsoft Teams and allow your teams to communicate through chat. Our video-conferencing is end-to-end encrypted, and all data is stored in our very secure datacenter. This means there’s no risk of an uninvited guest turning up at any of your virtual meetings or infiltrating company servers through T4COM’s unified communication systems. So, by switching your phone lines to the Cloud with T4COM, you can cross 2 of the 4 key points off this list in one fell swoop!
Carbon-copy your office for remote workers
The key to seamless manoeuvring between working environments is to mimic collaboration and communication environments in all locations. By utilising the right tech, your employees won’t miss a single thing about their workplace. Even social events can still be shared using the power of video conferencing via VoIP – no Zoom room required! Third party collaboration tools will enable your staff to get their hands on important documents whenever they need them. Communication tools such as VoIP with integrated chat and video-conferencing functions will help them have their urgent questions answered as if they were working in the same office. Strengthening your overall cybersecurity is also key to ensure you don’t expose any vulnerabilities whilst transitioning your workforce from disparate locations.
Get in touch with T4COM today to find out how we can save you 50% on your current telecoms bill. With in-built end-to-end encryption on our video conferencing facility, multiple number porting within 24 hours all wrapped up in a centrally managed service, there is no better place than T4COM for your VoIP unified communications provision.