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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.

P A Roberts High Street Garage Whitchurch SY13 1LQ

P.A. Roberts – High Street Garage – BMW Specialists

P.A. Roberts was established over 30 years ago, by Phil Roberts who identified a niche for used BMW and other quality used marques. Over the years the P.A. Roberts  has grown and become  specialists in BMW’s.

Still a family run business with son of Phil Roberts joining the business, to take them into the next 30 years.

They have around 50 quality used vehicles in stock at any one time, a 4 bay workshop, with  all the latest diagnostic equipment, they are able to offer a complete service to motorist’s, all under one roof. Each member of the P.A. Roberts team is dedicated to serving customer needs and they pride themselves on a professional, yet friendly service offering huge saving on main dealer prices.

Their brief:

Upgrade the existing ADSL Broadband with FTTC super fast broadband and to replace the exiting analogue telephone system with a new digital VoIP solution. Which would provide enhanced call routing options, giving callers and users clear HD quality audio with the facility to make and receive multiple calls at the same time and retaining the existing business telephone number.

The Solution:  

Free of charge installation Broadband of one new PSTN telephone line and FTTC broadband connection, ceasing all previous telephone lines once the existing business telephone number had been retained. A mixture of pre-configured Yealink, dect and desktop VoIP handsets were deployed in reception, sales and the workshop The cloud based telephone system was pre-configured to provide call routing, voicemail and full call reporting via a secure on-line portal.

If any changes to any of the call routing are required, these can be implemented in real-time  

The Benefits:

Faster internet connectivity speed 

Enhanced call routing options provide a high level of professionalism to the telecommunications of the business

Reduced call and line rental charges

Retention of the existing telephone number

Future proofed with the ability to add additional extensions or change any call routing to meet the needs of the business.

Supplier Choice:

Lascom Solutions provided expert advice and carried out the configuration and installation work exactly as per instructions and with in a few days of receiving the order.

Lascom Solutions have been our business telecommunication provider, for both our office telecoms and business mobiles for over 8 years. Their technical knowledge, support and competitive pricing  gives us confidence, were in safe hands with our telecoms. Phil Roberts – Partner  

If you would like further information about VoIP, business mobile or to arrange a free, without obligation consultation, contact Don Bradley today on 07891813418 or via email [email protected]    

 

There’s no doubt that broadband choices are integral to the performance of any business nowadays. You can’t get far if you and your staff aren’t able to connect to the internet. When all you really want is good Wi-Fi speed that delivers what you need, however, you can quickly end up being blinded by science.

One of big issue for businesses in recent times is whether a meshed Wi-Fi or a single broadband Wi-Fi router system is best. A lot will depend on the number of people you have working for you and where your business is located. 

To help, here’s our run down of what the pros and cons are for each type of Wi-Fi system.

The Single Broadband Wi-Fi Router

This is what we generally see in our own homes and works perfectly well for small offices and businesses where there are few users who are collected together in the same space. If you are creating a start-up and have decided to work from home for your business, a single router should be fine. Even in a small office, it should suffice perfectly well.

In the past, many home owners and home businesses with poor coverage used Wi-Fi extenders and these can still work pretty well in many circumstances.  If you have dead zones in your property, however, you may like to introduce mesh-networking technology to provide full access to everyone, wherever they happen to be standing or sitting.

Fully Meshed Wi-Fi Networks

The problem you get with a single broadband Wi-Fi router is its reach. The reason we only have the single router in our homes is because it only needs to cover a few rooms at most and less than an acre of ground.

With your business, you may have hundreds of square metres of space where everyone needs to have the same quality Wi-Fi access.

A fully meshed Wi-Fi system uses a system of radio nodes to ensure that anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device within the property can easily connect. That means anyone can set up anywhere in your office or work area, with any device, and access the broadband connection. They don’t have to walk closer to a single broadband Wi-Fi router to get a stronger signal or worry about how many people are online.

One big benefit of a meshed Wi-Fi network is that it works from a single network, so you don’t have to have separate routers with different passwords to meet your business needs. There is no single failure point and, as long as you have the initial broadband router working, you should expect even coverage across the whole network.

This automatically gives you better coverage than with a standard single broadband Wi-Fi router. The other big benefit of a meshed network is that it is scalable – you can grow it or shrink depending on your needs.

One issue you will need to take into account, however, is the cost. A meshed network is going to come at a higher price than a single broadband router. Overall, however, if you have a sizeable office space or are suffering from dead zones in your business, the benefits of a meshed system far outweigh the disadvantages. They are relatively easy to set up and can be tailored to meet your business needs exactly.

If you would like any help, choosing the right Wifi for your business or would like to know more about the broadband deals available. Just contact Lascom Solutions via email: [email protected] or call on  08444 127 009