1st March 2022 | By Colin Thomson
COVID-19 has drastically changed life as we know it, forcing us to change the way we live and work. Your business is no exception to this change as you transition to survive with a primarily (or fully) remote workforce. However, the right technology, when used correctly, can ensure the transition is smooth and your business continues to operate efficiently without interruption. To help you do that, here is a list of tips to follow.
One of the clear outcomes of of the last two years has been a complete shift to a new normal for workplace collaboration, communication and productivity. The idea that remote employees can get their work done and feel connected to each other with the right tools is clearly here to stay.
Although nothing can replace in-person meetings, video conferencing is certainly the best alternative, especially now. It not only helps your employees stay connected with each other, but also helps you conduct business with your clients. This is a good time to sign up for a reliable conferencing platform like Microsoft Teams and to ensure your team has all the necessary gadgets (headsets/web cams) or any other tools they would need.
Small businesses need perpetual workflows and tensionless transition between workplaces. It presents both a challenge and an opportunity for better supporting remote co-workers and collaboration technology. For smaller and medium-sized businesses, it may involve a shift in business model and adoption of video conference tools that are flexible enough to grow and change with them. Microsoft Teams makes sense for a confident future, enabling you to connect, create and share continuously whether your teams are at home, in
the office, or on the road.
In remote work situations, every meeting is a Teams meeting, often with video. Explore features like background blur to block out mischievous kids, messy bedrooms and mismatched furniture. Recording meetings makes it easy for absent participants to catch up and hear the most relevant parts.
Choose your view from large gallery view (with up to 49 participants) through to together mode, where teams appear as if they are in an auditorium, making it feel like you’re in the same room with everyone else.
You can make remote meetings more valuable experiences than in-person meetings. For instance, when you make it a Teams Channel meeting, everything is captured in a single channel conversation for your reference. All the documents, all the chats and of course, the recording of everything everyone said is in one place, and much of it is searchable. It’s a huge timesaver that also improves the quality of everyone’s work.
When some participants are on-site and some remote, everyone can enjoy equal participation, wherever they are. The mobile worker is no longer a second-class citizen when they can fully engage through Teams
2. Install Secure VPN Connections
It goes without saying that while working remotely, your employees will access your business applications from different home networks. To avoid an unsavoury security incident, as well as Zoom bombings, you need to install a business VPN that will secure the connections with encryption. Additionally, having your employees test it in advance from their respective locations would avoid a ton of hassle.
3. Take a Cloud First Approach
Working offsite shouldn’t be a challenge for your business if you already use cloud applications. However, if you do not, it is high time you consider it. First and foremost, modify the necessary settings, if needed, to ensure your cloud applications are ready for remote logins. Subsequently, ensure your team has the right devices to handle the memory and performance needs of all your business’ cloud applications.
4. Implement a Hybrid Workforce Communications Plan
In the future workplace, things will be different. Gone are the days when you would head into the office just to work at a screen. This can be done at at home. Physical presence might be required for orientations, team-building and project kick-offs; home working days may become less for times when video sessions are necessary and more for tasks that require concentration. Teams gives your organisation a shared teamwork hub, where employees can find everything they need to be more productive, in or out of the office, seamlessly.
As your workforce returns to the office after the pandemic, you may find—like a lot of businesses have—that you need less physical space. We can help you support that kind of change with strategies such as hotdesking as part of a larger strategy for more a more flexible workforce. We can help you take a holistic view of your business goals, then provide a convenient one-stop shop to make it happen. As Microsoft Gold and Silver Partners, our team of experts have the know-how to make it happen.
Employees working in silos isn’t something you want to be dealing with in these testing times. It’s time to huddle up and create a thorough remote communications plan. Make use of tools, such as Microsoft Teams for team communications, “away” messages, project-specific chat channels and even team collaboration tools to ensure every employee is on the same page.
At Network ROI, we’ve embedded Teams into our culture. It’s how we stay connected; it houses all of the capabilities we need on a daily basis, and it has become an important factor for getting every job done quickly, with certainty and excellence.
5. Examine Remote Support IT Options
With your infrastructure spread out like never before, remote IT support could save you from the hassle of managing endpoints while also ensuring no healthcare and government guidelines are flouted. Using an encrypted remote connection and appropriate authentication, a engineer can access a device and resolve issues while you get to keep a close eye on it. While the engineer is at it, he or she can also discuss the problem and the solution, eliminating any communication gaps. The list of issues that can be addressed by remote IT support include software-related issues and queries, software updates, temporary files clean-up, start-up optimisation, virus scan and clean-up, and slow computers.
Working with us, your internal IT team remains free to pursue more strategically valuable initiatives for your business.
By working with Network ROI, you gain access to the expertise and skills you need at any time, without either having to hire new people, or saddle your internal IT staff with additional tasks.
We can take you from assessing your current environment and software, to identifying the changes needed in infrastructure, tools and software. We’ll then work with you to design, launch and optimise your plan. You get all the benefits of a specialised IT staff without the expense.