With the way the world has changed over the last month, working from home and trying to manage how to work has become a very daunting idea. At vCloud, our management and support teams have been doing this for nearly 10 years, we decided to go down this path to enable access, to give our support team worldwide collaboration, but still not compromise on everyday productivity and communication.
The COVID-19 pandemic is going to change the way we work and do things forever. I can’t see us going back to our old ways of doing work once we have been shown or find better ways of working more efficiently.
Here is a list of things you can do to enable you working from home more productive and efficient.
1. Remote Access to your corporate computer network
With vCloud we host our own cloud enabled computer network. This allows all people working in a company to work under one platform no matter the locations they are working from. vCloud’s cloud network is exactly what our slogan means, a cloud computing network with no geographical boundaries.
But if you don’t have a cloud enabled computer network, there are still other software solutions that you can use to gain remote access. Here is a list of software:
Most remote access solutions are a paid solution, but if you are looking for something free and you don’t mind ads or slower connectivity, you can use something like tightVNC. This may require your router to be reconfigured at your office to enable access from multiple connections remotely.
2. VoIP enabled Phone Systems
A fully enabled VoIP phone system these days can go a long way, especially if you have chosen a solution that is geared for collaboration between your office and especially if you are a business with multiple locations. Most phone systems these days, if you have updated I the last 3 years will have access to the following functionality:
- Full digital SIP trunking
so no need for copper lines and all calls are routed across the internet
- Support for IP based phones/handsets
meaning you can pick up your phone from the office and take it and connect it to your router at home
- Support for Softphones
Use your smartphone or tablet device as a fully enabled and configured handset
- Instant Chat
use your computer, smartphone or tablet device to chat with colleagues instantly, getting answers to question a lot faster, especially if you’re not working in the same location
Most popular solutions today like 3CX, Mitel, Asterisk, Avaya and solutions from telecommunication providers like Telstra and Optus. We use and have used 3CX for 10 years now and believe it’s the most cost effective and productivity solution available. It gives everything you need under one solution, phones, chat, conferencing and video conferencing all with the one license and no cost on how many extensions.
3. Scanning documents with smartphones and tablet devices
We are all dependent on scanning documents and saving them to folder or emailing them to our mailboxes so we can forward them on. This is probably one of the most important office functions that we need to find another way to do. As much as we can never replace our photocopiers for mass printing and scanning, it doesn’t mean we can’t find an interim solution that can work in times like this.
Again, with smartphone technology we all have cameras. Now it doesn’t matter if you are an Apple or Samsung fan, iOS or Android. One thing software development companies did right when developing software, was to make it multi-platform enabled. Here is a list of software you can use on a smartphone device to scan documents with the camera on your phone and stitch them together as a PDF document and email directly to your corporate email system.
- Evernote Scannable
- Scanner Pro
- Scanbot Pro
- Easy Scanner Pro
If your scanning documents multiple times a day though, you may want to invest in a multifunction unit that has a document feeder, so you can load the document in and scan directly there. Keep in mind though, a lot of entry level multifunction units do not support scan to email, so be sure to double check before purchasing.
4. Communication Platforms
This is a time where communication is the one of those things we need to stay on top of. Depending on the type of business you run, if you require face to face contact with your customers, then your business doesn’t need to stop because you are working from home. If fact, our existing clients have showed a growth in productivity and staff moral by working together.
Everyone today, has a smartphone with a camera, there are so many solutions that can be used to enable teleconferencing and even web conferencing with a camera. This has been on the agenda for most companies for the last 5 years but hasn’t been high on the priority list because they felt their customers wouldn’t use it.
These solutions are:
- Google Duo
- Facebook Messenger
Most corporate phone systems also have this support and can be enabled though a link you can send to a customer email to invite them. Most companies will choose this option as it’s a more corporate solution. These solutions are not very expensive these days and have become affordable to the small to medium enterprise.
Technology has pathed the way to move us from a very analog world 20 years ago to now a very digital world. I think we need to take what is happening around the world in 2020 and not only learn form what is happening, but also understand how this crept up on us and we were not prepared for it.
As much as so many people are suffering as they are not able to work, the ones that can, need to think of how they are going to work moving forward. The continuity of business and our economies is now mission critical. Just like a data backup for your business. I think we need to see this as critical, to ensure that we put measures in place and make it part of our business continuity planning for now and the future.
If you would like some assistance with remote access and business continuity planning for your business. We are here, reach out, this is not a money-making exercise, we are more than happy to work within your means and budgets to try and keep your business running through these tough times. We are all in this together.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, in Australia on 1800 825 683, Asia Pacific region on +63 2 8540 0009, or Europe on +356 2034 1618.