Is working from home the new normal?

  • Is working from home the new normal?

    Is working from home the new normal?

    World health experts have warned that a second wave of COVID-19 is possible. Even if this doesn’t happen, the pandemic so far has already resulted in many companies and employees considering a permanent or semi-permanent shift towards working from home as they’ve noticed the benefits and ease of doing so.

    Our solutions below will benefit any company and will help them towards ‘business as usual’.

    What’s predicted?

    At the time of writing, the UK has been in lockdown for 10 weeks. Businesses have been hugely affected, 27% of employees were furloughed in less than a month and people claiming unemployment benefits has soared to a 14 year high.

    However things are improving and the government is slowly easing the lockdown measures in place, but now health experts are predicting a potential second wave of the Coronavirus later in the year and there are suggestions that restrictions may be put back in place as and when necessary.

    The solution – cloud services

    Most businesses have never had their full workforce working from home, but we have all had to adjust very quickly and learn that in order to get through this pandemic, remote working is essential.

    The lockdown restrictions are being relaxed and companies/employees have been advised that where safe, they can go back to work but asked to keep working remotely where possible. Now is the time to start future-proofing your business.

    There are 5 key areas and solutions that need considering to help businesses work remotely, efficiently and securely. These 5 areas may not be necessary to every business but we believe each need consideration.

    Solution 1 – Productivity & Communication Through Microsoft 365 & Teams

    While working from home in lockdown, companies must look after their employees and their mental health.

    There’s no substitute to face-to-face interaction with a colleague. The next best thing is video calls and internal social channels. The latter should be separate to work talk and is a great way to keep happy, healthy and motivated.

    The above are all combined in the leading business productivity tool – Microsoft 365.

    Part of Microsoft 365 is Microsoft Teams, the fastest-growing teamwork application. Teams is one of the best solutions on the market to communicate with colleagues, customers and suppliers. Since March, Microsoft Teams users have grown from around 32million to 77million.

    Solution 2 – Telephony

    Most business’ telephone systems are critical to the running of that business.

    Whether you provide a support helpdesk or outbound calls are your biggest sales generator; a good, reliable phone system is vital to the continuation of your business. Enter cloud telephony solutions.

    Our softphone VoIP systems can be deployed and setup in minutes. All done remotely, through the cloud, with no hardware needed. Add users easily to scale the solution as and when your employees come back to work or your business grows. For full flexibility, these systems are available across desktop, laptop and smartphone devices. Physical handsets are, of course, also available for as and when you go back to the office.

    Solution 3 – Document Management

    If you have not already started moving towards a paperless office, then now is the time.

    On-premise document storage is going to be a waste of time if lockdown measures tighten. Compared to a document control cloud solution that is available 24/7, from any device.

    Many cloud solutions are GDPR compliant, with ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials accreditations. They have also proven to improve productivity and are easily scaled. And, you don’t need to worry about office space restrictions.

    Solution 4 – Cloud Server

    Before Covid-19, many SMBs were buying on-premise servers over cloud-based servers. We found that this was due to end-users not being comfortable storing their data in the cloud, as well as the complicated pricing models that come with them.

    Now, cloud servers are possibly the biggest asset a company could have.

    With various specifications, we can deploy our cloud servers in just a few clicks. The costs are easily managed with a simple, fixed monthly price.

    Each Cloud Server comes with an optional VPN and backup and all data is stored within a UK data centre.

    Solution 5 – Online Backup

    Offline backups in lockdown are not possible. Infrastructure in the office won’t be accessible and it’s not feasible for every employee to backup their own files from home.

    Automated online backup solutions can backup all data critical to a business. There are many solutions available, some of which integrate into Microsoft 365. This secures all your emails, contacts and documents.

    Contact us today for more information or advice on any of the solutions listed above: 01473 553335 or [email protected]

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