If you’re used to working in an office, having to work from home can present some pretty big challenges: keeping focused and managing time are pitfalls that take many by surprise when they first work at home, but communication is most often the biggest issue.
If home working has been a perk of your job before these very difficult times, you’ll almost certainly have been working for a company geared up to support you: a decent laptop computer, good Internet connection and supporting services based in the cloud, with the office continuing to be a focal point for you and colleagues.
Right now, whether or not you’re a seasoned home worker, everything has changed. The central office hub is no longer operational and phone calls may not be reliably answered or properly directed. Connecting to the office network and accessing shared files over the Internet can work just fine when it’s a small proportion of the workforce but, when it’s everybody, resources and connections can quickly become stretched, conflicts can occur and the process is frustrating for all.
Don’t put off getting it sorted
Working from home will remain and, for many, become a way of life, so to struggle along with outdated technologies and processes is only to put off the inevitable. You may already be feeling the shortcomings of a fixed telephone system and an office-based computer network, but consider also that, in two or three years, the analogue telephone network (PSTN) will be replaced by digital technology, and cloud-based systems are increasingly the choice of savvy, cost-conscious businesses.
Change is inevitable, and there will never be a better time than now to experience the dramatic improvement it can bring. It’s not as complicated as you’d imagine, and it’s far less expensive than you think.
How we can help
We’ll tell you how we do things, and we’ll help you make the best of what’s possible, without costing a fortune.
Collaborate in the cloud
Quit worrying about how the capacity and performance of your Windows server and network will keep pace with your business. Don’t waste time and money upgrading your office broadband to keep everybody connected.
The right cloud subscription will give you secure file storage and management – accessible from anywhere and with version control, concurrent editing and controlled sharing with clients.
Keep the team talking with managed, secure online chat and video communication.
Telephony for the digital age
A modern, digital telephone system can provide your business with all the benefits of a sophisticated switchboard, distributed between your office and the homes of remote workers. When everybody is working from home, set up a hunt group, with caller identification and call forwarding to completely emulate the office environment.
Answer on your mobile or via mobile app, on your laptop or with the convenience and extra functionality of a dedicated digital phone. We can get a fully configured digital phone out to the homes of employees within 48 hours, for less than £100, and include support to get up and running for the first seven days.
Phones always answered
Digital phones, distributed amongst staff working at home and the office, maybe you’ll never again have a problem with missed calls.
The cost of having a virtual receptionist service on top means every single call will be answered professionally, when regular staff are not available. We can additionally provide custom and specialist answering services, including order taking and payments, first-level support and advice, message taking and more.
Help at hand when you need it
We don’t just point you in the right direction; we will get everything configured and working, and we’ll be at the end of the phone or email to make sure your questions are answered quickly
What price, connectivity?
Doesn’t all this strategic thinking require weeks or months of planning? A big budget and risk analysis prerequisites to getting started?
Well, actually, no.
Subscribing to cloud-based Microsoft Office, with 1TB (for each user) of storage that supports sharing and managed collaboration could cost little more than £10 per user per month.
Internet-based telephony can be up and running for £250 setup and £10 per month (not per user, that’s just £10 per month for the business), including 400 inbound and 1,500 outbound minutes. Even this basic level provides:
- Disaster recovery
- Redirect to mobile, home phone, app or dedicated IP phone
- Call plans for overflow, scheduling, etc.
- Hunt group – ring phones at home as if in the office
Adding dedicated IP phones, which provide the full feel and functionality of expensive office phones, will cost less than £100 per phone.
Example: 10-person office
Take an office setup of 10 people, used to working in an office and all connecting to the same Windows server, most with a phone on their desk, now all working in their own homes.
- Office 365, including desktop Word, Excel and PowerPoint, 1TB of storage, accessible as a Windows folder – around £150 per month for all 10 users;
- Internet-based telephony with 10 dedicated IP phones (perhaps 5 in the office, 5 at home for key workers) – £950 for all the phones and then around £10 a month to run;
- Help getting things moved from old systems, support and setup, perhaps £1,300;
A business of ten people moved entirely into the 21st century for an up-front outlay of less than £2,500 and a commitment of less than £200 per month thereafter.
With a limited supply – genuinely limited because of current conditions, not as some marketing gimmick – of IP phones ready to go, we can supply fully configured to employee homes, ready to plug into a home router, within 3 working days of ordering.