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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]    

 

https://www.facebook.com/iphmaccredited/

Holistic Therapy Services Ltd – Trading as IPHM

The International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine (IPHM) has been developed to provide the general public and health care professionals with a body of regulated professionals, all qualified to accredited levels

One of the largest internationally recognised and trusted independent accreditation boards for complimentary and natural therapists and training providers worldwide

Their brief:

Upgrade the existing analogue telephone system and provide a new digital VoIP solution. Which would provide enhanced call routing options, giving callers clear HD quality audio, also allowing remote worker integration and to be future proofed for further expansion.

The Solution:  

Installation of a mixture of pre-configured Yealink, dect and desktop VoIP handsets operating over existing broadband connections. The cloud based telephone system has been configured to provide advanced IVR and call routing, with a greeting message announcement, 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:

There was no need to install any additional telephone lines or cabling as the system used the existing broadband services.

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

Significantly reduced call charges for both UK and International dialled calls

Retention of existing telephone number

Future proofed with the ability to add additional users and remote workers as required

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.

We already had experience of Lascom Solutions service support  with our existing broadband service and would have no hesitation in recommending their services to other business’s looking to upgrade their phone systems. Lisa Elsworth – Director

If you would like further information about VoIP or to arrange a free, without obligation consultation contact, Don Bradley today on 07891813418 or send a message using the form below

Sole traders and small-to-medium enterprises (SME’s) must work hard to succeed in the UK’s highly competitive economy.  One of the best tactics for succeeding in this environment is to harness new technologies that reduce overheads and improve business efficiency.

Many sole traders and SME’s are turning to VoIP (also called voice over IP, VoIP or IP telephony) to improve their bottom line and productivity levels.  VoIP is an innovative technology that allows businesses to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a phone line.  This article will explain how VoIP works and share a few of advantages gained by switching to this technology.

What is VoIP?

When using a VoIP enabled device, the call will be converted into a series of digital files (called data packets).  These data packets can then be transferred electronically via the Internet or any private network using Internet Protocol (IP).

VoIP services can make calls between landlines, cell phones and computer.  You can also make VoIP calls to analogue phones that have a VoIP converter installed.  This allows businesses to easily upgrade existing assets to handle VoIP calls.

The benefits of using VoIP telephone systems

VoIP can save your business money

Most sole traders and SME’s are running their business on very tight margins.  They often have to look for cost-saving opportunities in an effort to improve their bottom line.

VoIP telephone systems help by dramatically reducing the cost of a business’s outgoing phone calls.  The cost of using VoIP is a tiny fraction of the cost of calls on traditional phone networks.  VoIP is more affordable because the price for data transfer via the Internet is negligible.

Many ISPs provide plans that allow for unlimited data use, so the cost of long phone calls is extremely low.  Calls that are between two VoIP devices are often free, while calls to mobile phones and landlines on traditional phone network sometimes incur a small fee.  The savings for your business can be substantial, particularly if you often call international customers or make dozens of phone calls each day.

Having VoIP infrastructure can also eliminate the need for traditional telephonic infrastructure like multiple ISDN lines.  Your business can make phone calls using a single data connection and avoid the overheads associated with having many phone lines installed.

VoIP makes it easier for your business to grow

VoIP telephone systems can be very useful for businesses experiencing rapid growth.  Instead of having to connect additional ISDN phone lines at your premises as the more employees join the business, you will be able to simply connect a wireless VoIP device or new computer terminal to your local wireless network.  The entire VoIP system will continue to use a single data connection for all incoming and outgoing calls.

VoIP is compatible with many types of existing IT infrastructure

One of the key benefits of using VoIP telephone systems is that they typically do not require a significant overhaul of a business’ IT infrastructure.  An Internet connection with a sufficient amount of bandwidth for the number of simultaneous VoIP connections that will be in use is the only requirement.  Calls can be made on any VoIP-enable telephone, mobile phone, desktop computer, or tablet.

VoIP can be a part of a unified communication solution
VoIP is often integrated with business software packages like Client Relationship Management (CRM) programs, support desk software, and sales management tools.  This means your employees can use a single piece of software for making VoIP calls, recording client details, making sales, and performing other tasks useful for your business.

Many software tools are unified communications solutions that also have email, Web conferencing, video chat, help desk functionality, and instant messaging.  They will significantly boost the productivity of your staff and ensure a high level of customer service.

VoIP technologies easily can be used with mobile phones.  Your team will be able to use their mobile phone remotely and have the calls be diverted through your VoIP system, where they can be tracked and integrated with any software solutions you use.

Thanks for reading VoIP Telephone Systems Delivering Big Business Benefits For Sole Traders and SME’s.  For more information on VoIP telephone systems for sole traders and SME’s contact us today on 08444 127 009.