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Working Remotely from Home — Business Check List

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health and economic crisis which has had a significant impact on UK businesses. While the government’s social isolation rules have slowed the spread of the virus, they have also forced businesses to shut down or to completely change the way they operate.

Many businesses have asked their employees to work from home until the risk of COVID-19 is over. Fortunately, there are many telecommunications tools which make working from home simple.

In this guide, we are going to share a checklist which highlights the most useful telecommunications tools for remote work. These tools will help you maintain a highly productive and profitable business throughout the COVID-19 shutdown.

Broadband
Nearly all work-at-home employees will require Internet access to complete their duties. In most cases, they will already have a home Internet connection installed. However, you will need to consider several factors before letting an employee use an existing home Internet connection for remote work:

• Stability
Is the employees Internet connection always available or are there periods off instability? If a team member regularly experiences Internet drop outs or lag, it may interfere with their ability to be productive while working from home.
• Speed
If your business is working with large files like spreadsheets, videos, or databases, slow Internet connection speed may be an issue. The average home connection may not have sufficient bandwidth available for the kind of work your business does.
• Data Use
Home connections in the UK often have a limited amount of data use available. This can also be an issue if your business is working with large files.
• Security
When employees use their home computer and Internet access, they may not have the same level of security available as they would while at work. There could be issues with their WIFI encryption settings, software, antivirus solution, router login, and so on.

The best solution for dealing with these issues is to set up separate business broadband connections for critical employees. This will ensure they have the high-quality Internet access needed to work productively and with a high level of security.

Another option is to give employees a dedicated mobile wifi 4G device for work purposes. This device will operate separately from their home connection — giving them the speed, stability, and security they require.

VoIP Telecoms
Voice Over IP (VoIP) is a useful technology which can improve the accessibility, affordability, quality, and portability of voice communications. VoIP is also easily extensible, which means you can extend your work VoIP system to include employees currently working from home.

Businesses can share all aspects of their office-based VoIP system with workers at home, including call handling and directory services. When employees use a VoIP system remotely, they will have access to all of the functionality available on their work phone.

Telephone Numbers
If your customers need to contact employees who are working from home, you should obtain additional non-geographic phone numbers. This will help employees can keep their personal and business calls separate. It also ensures that your business maintains a professional appearance, with a limited number of contact points.

Another excellent option at this time is to purchase 0800 free to call phone numbers. They can help your business generate additional sales inquiries, which is particularly important during the current economic downturn.

Conference/video calls/meeting
If your business relies upon regular meetings between employees, an online conferencing/meeting tool will be useful. There are several options available, with the most popular being the video conferencing platform Zoom. Other great options include GoToMeeting, TeamViewer, and Adobe Connect.

Video calling technology can also be useful for meetings between staff members. There are many options for one-on-one and small-group video calls including Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and Talky.

Text message marketing
Text messages are a useful way to communicate simple messages with your employees and customers. They can be used for many purposes including:

• Reminding remote employees about online meetings
• Sharing project responsibilities with remote team members
• Sharing links to online resources
• Providing COVID-19 updates
• Soliciting employee feedback
• Scheduling work shifts
• Quick reminders

Text message are less intrusive than phone calls and very “to the point” — which makes them the perfect option when communicating with employees who are working at home.

How Lascom Solutions Can Help
Lascom Solutions is one of the UK’s leading independent telecommunications providers. We provide a wide range of innovative telecommunications solutions for businesses including VoIP, broadband, business mobiles, SMS text message marketing, and leased lines. Contact our friendly team today on 08444 127 009 to learn how we can help your business succeed during this pandemic.

 

Smartphone Insurance for Your New iPhone or iPad

It happens in an instant, your walking down the street listening to music on your iPhone or iPad when you stumble and drop it. Your stomach sinks as you see your extremely expensive phone flying through the air before landing on concrete, smashing the screen.

 

Unfortunately, it is very easy to damage fragile electronic devices like iPhones and iPads in this way. They can be destroyed instantly if they are dropped onto a hard surface or exposed to liquid. Additionally, iPads and iPhones are frequently targeted by criminals because of their high value, with thousands of devices being stolen each year in the UK.

 

The limited warranty provided by Apple doesn’t cover breakdown outside the warranty period, accidental damage, loss, or theft. This means that your expensive electronic device is vulnerable and could be lost or destroyed at any moment.

 

Fortunately, it is possible to purchase insurance for smartphones and tablets. This can provide protection against theft, loss, accidental damage, and breakdown outside of the warranty period. Here is some more information about how smartphone and tablet insurance works, and the main benefits of purchasing this type of insurance.

 

What is Smartphone and Tablet Insurance?

Smartphone and Tablet Insurance is similar to other forms of property insurance. You pay an insurance company a monthly or annual premium to cover one or more smartphone or tablet devices.

 

If one of your devices is stolen, lost, damaged, or breaks down (outside of warranty period), you can lodge a claim and the insurance company will immediately repair or replace your device. The scope of protection goes beyond warranty or guarantee provided by Apple or the company you originally bought the device from.

 

Most mobile and tablet insurance policies will cover any accidental damage, theft, breakdown, or loss of your phone. However, it is possible to purchase plans which only cover specific types of incidents. So, if you are only concerned about your device being stolen, you can obtain coverage for theft alone.

 

In most cases, you will need to pay a small “deductible” when making a claim. The deductible is the amount of money you will pay in an insurance claim before the insurance company makes a contribution. The size of an insurance deductible will vary based between different plans.

 

Benefits of Smartphone and Tablet Insurance

There are several benefits obtained by purchasing smartphone and tablet Insurance, including:

#1 – It can save you a lot of money

iPhones and iPads seem to go up in price every single year, with the most expensive devices now costing well over £1,000. This is a lot of money to lose if your device is broken, lost, or stolen.

 

Smartphone and tablet insurance will reimburse you or pay for repairs if something happens to your device. The only cost you may have to pay is a deductible, the size of which varies based on the type of insurance plan you are on. The savings can be huge, particularly if your device is one of the more expensive models.

 

#2 – Minimizes disruption to your life

If you are like most people, your smartphone or tablet will hold the contents of your life. You might use it for many tasks including work, to communicate with friends, to manage your finances, to book flights, and so on.

 

If your device is stolen, lost or broken, it can significantly impact your personal and professional life. It could make it impossible to work effectively or impact your ability to socialize with others. Having smartphone and tablet insurance means you can lodge a claim and quickly obtain a replacement device. This minimizes the amount of disruption to your life if something happens to your iPhone or iPad.

 

#3 – Insurance covers scenarios that warranties don’t

The warranties provided by manufacturers like Apple are very limited. They will only cover defects in materials and workmanship when the device is used normally in accordance with the company’s published guidelines. If the device is used in a way that was not intended, breaks down outside of warranty period, is stolen, accidentally damaged, or lost, Apple will not help you. Insurance provides much-needed coverage for these other scenarios.

 

#4 – Insurance is affordable

Mobile and smartphone insurance is surprisingly affordable and has low deductibles. You can obtain coverage from as little as £3 a month, which is a tiny fraction of the cost of your device.

 

#5 – Filing a claim is simple
If something does happen to your insured phone or tablet, getting a replacement or repair is simple. You won’t have to negotiate with the company you bought the device from, you simply lodge a claim and pay your deductible. It is a much faster process than dealing with Apple or another retailer.

 

#6 – Unauthorized calls are often covered

If your phone is stolen, the person who took it may begin making long distance calls. This can turn the theft of your phone into an even more expensive dilemma as any incurred call charges will be your responsibility. Fortunately, it’s common for insurance companies to provide a certain amount of reimbursement for unauthorized calls.