Want to find that balance between working remotely and at the office as we ease out of lockdown? Here’s our tips for seamless connection wherever you are.
2020 was the year that many businesses were forced into working remotely, but with so many switches made as a reactive response, now is the time to review them. Being forced into agile working at a moment’s notice in March 2020 left a lot of businesses reactively switching their business practices. But almost a year on, many are still maintaining this highwire balance of making the best out of a bad situation. With the future of home working looking more and more like the new normal, we’ve pulled together some tips on how to ensure that you’re making the lockdown benefit your business.
But what about the office?
Of course, no amount of forward thinking can truly predict the future. But there are certainly tools available to you today that can help you maintain continuity. And while telecommuting is the current situation normal, what about when we are ready to return to the office? No one wants to invest into a new remote infrastructure if a breakthrough three weeks down the line means we can all return to the daily grind.
The great thing is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. With distance working technology even more seamless than ever before, here are our top ways to lean into working from home while we’re in lockdown.
Infrastructure for working remotely
Usually, when we mention infrastructure, we see collective jaws tighten in worry. But, don’t switch off just yet. We’re not about to overhaul every piece of kit at your disposal!
It’s a time like no other for virtual connectivity. There are so many options out there to take your business remote with your desktop, laptop, and even smart devices. Even your business telephony. Once tied to the phone on your desk – is now as flexible and accessible as the phone in your pocket.
Contrary to popular belief, you can access your telephony network using the tech that’s already at your disposal. Sure, there’s VoIP phones and headsets that are designed to help you get the best out of your setup, but we know that right now limiting outgoings is more important than ever before. That’s why VoIP is so beneficial to any business that currently uses a business line. But with all the panic that started almost a year ago, is the VoIP solution that you’ve opted for the best option for your business?
What is VoIP, and why should I consider the switch?
The start of the pandemic saw a massive boost in the use of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. Riddled with safety and security issues, businesses flocked to these platforms to keep their workforce connected whilst they worked remotely before truly knowing what we were getting themselves in for. And who can blame them? These relatively low-cost platforms seemed like the perfect solution for an uncertain problem. However, it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t going to be a long-term solution. Faced with the peril of ‘Zoom bombers’, many quickly came to realise that the platform wasn’t fit for practise. That’s where a longer term VoIP option steps in.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has been around for a lot longer than people think. Once thought futuristic, with more plans moving to cloud-based telephony and the ISDN switch off due in 2025 – VoIP systems are fast becoming the telephony of choice.
Its flexibility, security, and integrated disaster recovery means you can connect to your business line anywhere. As long as you have access to a computer or smart device and a Wi-Fi or 4G connection – you’re connected. What’s more, it’s entirely customisable around your business needs for a fraction of the cost of a traditional landline.
But what about your security?
At the start of 2020, many businesses were exclusively office based as the infrastructure to work remotely just wasn’t available. Whether from a lack of flexible tech, or access to the appropriate systems, COVID19 has forced the hands of many businesses to adapt to a new way of working far sooner than they had anticipated. Many of those decisions were reactive and made with the understanding that life might return to normal. But with the extension of the current lockdown, it’s questionable if and when ‘normality’ will return.
One of the biggest issues of the uncertainty of lockdowns has been the various threats to our cybersecurity. It’s so much more than the possibility of a GDPR violation or spam. The scramble to keep businesses afloat has left many with vulnerabilities in their remote solutions. From unsuitable procedures to unsecure hosting of information. 2021 is the year to look at what is currently in place and review what’s fit for practise.
But how can I keep remote staff up to date on these new changes?
If one thing is for sure – we’re all feeling a bit death-by-webcam. When it comes to security it’s important to ensure that everyone is up to speed with current acceptable practise. Keep staff abridged on any changes and make sure that policies and procedures are clear, concise, and accessible to all. Open a channel of communication for questions and offer individual or group training to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Keep jargon to a minimum, and where possible provide step by step directions with appropriate screen shots.
Security is everyone’s responsibility. Set up a system of confirmation where staff commit to having read the documents in their entirety and understood them. A minor inconvenience now could save a major upheaval should a breach in protocol happen. And remember – your staff are human which means there’s room for human error. Ensure that they are aware that management are approachable should the unthinkable happen and they need guidance.
One of the things T4COM pride ourselves on is our attention to detail when it comes to your security. We use dedicated off site secure servers and can troubleshoot all problems in house. That means that your data isn’t getting passed from pillar to post in search of a solution. With all of our video calls end-to-end encrypted as standard whether you’re a small business with one line, or a growing company with 100 plus numbers: everyone gets the same level of security as standard. Better still? We’re proud tall call ourselves 3CX specialists meaning that run our own SIP-Trunking network. No reselling or rebranding SIP-Trunks from third parties.
If you’re reviewing your business telephony or home working setup and want to discuss the best options available to you, get in touch and book one of our 15 minute consultations. They’re entirely free, no-obligation, and won’t be full of the hard-sell. Visit the Contact page and let us know how we can help.