Many companies around the world have embraced employees desire to work, at least in part, from home. Whilst there are challenges, a well-planned remote working policy can reap many benefits including increased productivity, reduced costs, improved motivation and skills retention as well as the obvious saving in travel time and costs.
With the onslaught of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) most UK businesses are going to have to look at this issue for the first time with the majority, if not all, of their staff working from home. This is going to affect small businesses and charities particularly hard since they tend to have less internal IT support staff to manage the technical challenges of this transition.
Telecoms will be a major headache for smaller businesses since their phone systems often use older onsite technologies. Quickly migrating to a cloud-based solution, however, is very practical and can be very cost-effective moving forwards. These solution allow you to quickly redirect your incoming calls to employee computers and mobiles as well as standard desktop handsets, with all the features you would expect from your normal system
Counterpoint is a CircleLoop partner allowing it to offer affordable, next generation cloud-based phone to all of its business and education clients. CircleLoop is a scalable and joined up telephone systems that allows easy transferring of calls, voice mail, caller greetings and menus, conference calling and many other important features.
To assist you with a smooth move to CircleLoop Counterpoint will assist with the implementation and migration and provide your staff with all training and ongoing support they need. You could migrate to CircleLoop and be up and running within hours.
Supporting staff when they are working remotely is a major challenge for businesses and education. Counterpoint’s technical services team supports thousands of users thought the UK and beyond, keeping senior management, employees, teachers and students working and productive
Supporting staff when they are working remotely is a major challenge for businesses and education. Counterpoint’s technical services team supports thousands of users thought the UK and beyond, keeping senior management, employees, teachers and students working and productive.
Our experienced team of support professionals has the right skills and tools to support your Windows, Mac and iOS (iPad / iPhone) users and devices wherever they are located. We can ensure the devices are secure up to date and working correctly.
IT security for those working at home initially seems relatively straight forward process since most employees and families have a computer and internet connection. Allowing staff to use their own devices does present their own challenges if this is not planned well.
Whilst providing a powerful tool for us to all stay connected, the Internet does present a major security issue to businesses and education. The web is the most serious vector for infecting devices with viruses and malware.
Therefore whether they are Windows or macOS computers, employee machines must be running up to date antivirus software and this need to be active. Whilst not expensive antivirus software also needs to be in place and monitored to ensure ongoing compliance with your GDPR policy.
Another key aspect of IT security that organisations should be enforcing for remote working is password security. Two Factor authentication (2FA) should be standard policy for businesses and ensuring compliance with 2FA policies will be crucial when allowing employees, staff and students remote access to services.
Team Working and Communications
Communication and motivation for those working from home can be a real challenge. Suddenly being isolated from your teachers and work colleagues.
There are however many strategies and tools that education and businesses can use to dramatically improve communication. For business tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangout, basic versions can be used for free or at very low cost. Employees can use messaging, video and audio conferencing and screen sharing to collaborate and enhance teamwork.
Education can use tools such as Google Classroom and Swivl to deliver teaching and learning content and coursework without requiring a steep learning curve.
Many organisations use software and hardware that resides on your business premises. If your users need to access these from another location this can present a series of obstacles for working from home.
Whilst larger business have the security skills and budgets to use VPN technologies this is not generally practical for education and small business and it does not deal with the challenges of working cross platform (e.g. accessing a Windows only application from a Mac).
Counterpoint offers a range of remote access solutions for both Mac and PC allowing organisation to provide secure access to on premise computers and software for their users. This allows employees, teachers and students to access software they might not otherwise have access to and systems they are familiar with, improving productivity.