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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.

B.J. Clarke was established in 1969 and continues to operate as a thriving family business. Since our inception, we have been proud to offer a highly responsive service and innovative logistical solutions.

Our headquarters in Overton-On-Dee, Wrexham, is ideally located close to major transport networks, linking us conveniently to North and Mid Wales, the Northwest, Shropshire, the Midlands and beyond. We work hard to deliver every consignment efficiently and cost-effectively. Our experienced team expertly plans and schedules routes carefully to provide economic value and an environmentally responsible service.

Our ability to consistently provide a professional, receptive and flexible service has earned us a reputation for quality and reliability. Our company ethos centers on our ability to provide an efficient and cost-effective haulage service that meets the most demanding requirements. As such, we enjoy long-standing relationships with many of our valued customers and gain new business through word-of-mouth recommendations

One of the ways we communicate with our team of drivers is via text messaging and we can do this simply and efficiently from our office computers. We use a service available from  text.lascomsolutions

Sending messages quickly to our drivers means we can give clear instructions and updated information regarding deliveries and consignments. This, in turn, helps us give accurate updates to our clients regarding their deliveries.

We’ve been using text.lascomsolutions service for the past few years now, it’s easy to use with plenty of inbuilt help and support. The service is PAYG and no contract, they also helped us set it up initially, uploading our contacts and message templates. This meant we could start sending messages right away, gaining the benefits text messaging offers.

A recent survey performed by the UK’s communication regulator Ofcom found that the average British citizen checks their mobile phone about once every 12 minutes.  This survey clearly highlights how obsessed the nation is becoming with mobile phones.

This trend presents an incredible business marketing opportunity.  By using text messaging as a marketing channel, your business can reach millions of eager smart phone users — informing them of online sales, product promotions, and new services.

This article will explain how text message marketing works and identify a few reasons why this business marketing strategy is so powerful.

What is text message marketing?

Text message marketing, as known as “SMS marketing”, involves the use of text messaging services to promote a brand, product, or service.  Messages can include:

  • Coupons
  • Product announcements
  • Special offers and sales promotions
  • Discount codes
  • Renewal dates for subscription
  • Upcoming events
  • Appointment reminders
  • Service updates

Text messages can be sent in real time, with the recipient seeing the message seconds after it has been sent.  In most cases, the messages used are short and will only contain information that is beneficial to the recipient.

Although most business owners assume that obtaining permission for sending text messages is heavily regulated, it works in the same way as email marketing.  A recipient must first voluntarily opt in to a text message service.  After that point, your business can begin sending them messages.  The only requirement is that all messages include a method for opting out, which is usually a text message that the recipient can send.

What are the benefits of text message marketing for businesses?

Here are a few of the main benefits of incorporating text message marketing into your business marketing plan.

Text messaging helps to improve customer engagement

Text messages have an extremely high user engagement rate.  Researchers have found that an estimated 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes of being sent and 98% of messages are read at some point.  This is far beyond the engagement rate of other forms of marketing like traditional advertising, email marketing, social media marketing and online advertising.

Being able to send messages in real-time also makes it easier for consumers to engage with your business effectively.  They can respond to your messages instantly and you can notify them of sudden events like flash sales or one off promotions.  The high level of user engagement provided by text message marketing means that marketing campaigns are more likely to generate a positive return on investment.

Text message marketing can help you learn about your customers

Unlike traditional forms of advertising, text messages can be a two-way street.  You can ask your subscribers to provide information about their purchasing preferences or how much they enjoyed a recent purchase.  This information can be extremely valuable and help you to improve your business.

Text messages can be sent instantly

The instantaneous nature of text messages provides some significant benefits for both your business and consumers.  You can share important information instantly with subscribers, keeping them up to date on special events like flash sales or free delivery periods.  These kinds of events are very well received by consumers and have a high take up rate.

It is simple to integrate text marketing with other marketing channels

While text message marketing works well as a standalone form of business marketing, it also combines well with other marketing techniques.  You can promote a social media campaign with text messages, encourage customers to sign up to your email newsletter, tell subscribers about new blog posts, and much more.  A simple message asking subscribers if they have read your business’ latest email newsletter can significantly improve open rates.

Response data is easy to track

The results of a text message marketing campaign are simple to track.  You will have access to open rates, time of open, engagement rates, and other metrics from each campaign.  This allows to improve your campaigns efficiently and maximise the amount of benefit that you receive from text message marketing.

Text message marketing is extremely cost effective

One of the best reasons to use text message marketing is its affordability.  It delivers an exceptional return on investment that is superior to virtually all other forms of marketing.  It is a more affordable than traditional advertising (paper, radio, television), Facebook ads, Google Adsense, and email marketing.  There is no substantial capital outlay required to get started and you only pay each time you send a text message.

Mobile friendly advertising is increasingly important

Many consumers are constantly using their mobile phones and turning away from traditional forms of media.  They often watch television and listen to music via subscription services which makes them harder to reach via traditional advertising.

Text message marketing gives you a direct line to the consumers who have opted out of traditional media.  This is particularly useful of you are interested in reaching consumers in a younger demographic.

We hope you enjoyed reading Text Message Marketing UK For Business.  For more information on text message marketing, visit our website.