Connectivity, communication and collaboration considerations
With the number of cases of Coronavirus rising daily, we’re all watching the news to find out what the Government will decide are the next steps to be taken in its response to this pandemic. As a growing business, we’re concerned as to what this may mean to both us and our customers.
As a communication business ourselves we’re in a good position for remote working, with 100% of our workforce being able to be just as productive at home as they are in the office. We’ve been adopting this approach to working for quite a while and have robust technology and processes in place to be able to close our office and maintain productivity and service from our remote locations.
However, we know that not all businesses are in the same boat. And there’s a vast difference between offering the occasional day working from home and being able to fully function without access to your main business premises. Connectivity, communication and collaboration are three huge considerations when thinking through your contingency plans; here’s what we thought about when working through ours, hopefully they will be useful to you too:
Your employees will be using home broadband. If you’re not already a customer of cloud or browser-based applications like Microsoft Office365, and they need to connect through VPN, make sure this is set up and people can access the systems they need. Consider offering to cover the cost of upgrading them from ADSL to Fibre Broadband (for a fixed period) if available in their local area, the additional productivity from faster speeds could well be worth the investment. And make sure everyone knows how to set up a mobile hotspot, just in case their home connection goes down.
It takes two people to have a conversation, so you need to make sure that lines of communication are kept open both ways.
Your customers need to be able to get hold of you, regardless of where you are, so divert your inbound business numbers to your employee’s mobiles (at times like this people are usually happy to pitch in). Adding a call whisper helps so the person receiving the call knows immediately that it’s a business call and what number it came in on.
Thinking about communications the other way, implement mobile or soft client apps for your VoIP system so your colleagues can easily use their hosted phone system from their home office environment. Check that their personal mobile packages are adequate to cover your business requirements, if not, you may need to investigate providing them with a business mobile.
Recent studies have shown that the swing towards home working has started to reverse and people find that loneliness is a challenge when working for long periods remotely. So, through the current Coronavirus challenge we need to make sure that our employees not only stay productive at home, but also keep a sense of togetherness and belonging.
If you use instant messaging, video, conferencing and presence in the office make sure that your employees have the apps installed on their laptops and mobiles so they can keep in touch as soon as they need to move out of the office. Sharing information is easy if you’re using collaborative software such as Office 365, SharePoint and OneDrive – use the next few days to move everything off of hard drives and onto collaborative shared areas so everyone can find everything they need, wherever they are.
Windsor Telecom provides connectivity, communication and collaboration solutions for businesses of all sizes.
To support customers through the Coronavirus challenge we’re currently waiving our minimum contract lengths for all call diversion and disaster recovery requirements to help our customers set up contingency plans for home working.
Please give us a call on 0800 160 1111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help you work through contingency plans for your business.