Snow chaos – How to prepare your business for flexible working

Are you holding your head in your hands today because you have woken to a barrage of calls from employees stranded at home due to the snow and poor traffic conditions. Unpredictable weather patterns are making it more and more difficult for business owners to feel confident in their business continuity strategies. From snow-storms to flash-flooding, the wrath of Mother Nature poses a serious threat to continuity, no matter the industry.

 Not only does the lack of employees in your office affect productivity but ultimately, cost & customer satisfaction too.

Thankfully, with the right IT infrastructure and support, there is a way to ensure your company can continue its business activities regardless of weather conditions or indeed, any other incident which could lead to business interruption – welcome to flexible & remote working.

Simpler then you think

The concept of remote work is not new. The reason some companies still haven’t been practicing it all along is simple: they couldn’t. The technology just wasn’t there. Nowadays, good work no longer happens only from 9am to 5pm in offices within cubicles. A key transition to remote working is going from traditional synchronous collaboration to asynchronous collaboration.

To achieve that, you need the right technology to allow employees to work anytime, anywhere—it’s as simple as that!  There are three main things required for flexible working:

Connectivity – Having a good internet connection

Devices – The rise of tablets and phones makes it far less cumbersome to carry around a big laptop and work on

Applications  – There are  great range of apps that you can use to help you work efficiently as you work on the go.

Apps that help encourage remote working

With some many ‘business apps’ out there, it can be hard to figure out the good from the bad.  That’s why we’ve pulled together a selection of handy apps to help you work smarter, faster and more effectively, with benefits you can see immediately.

Zoom – the video conferencing app

Group video meetings and voice calls are made easy with Zoom. Zoom offers a full suite of video conferencing and communication tools for businesses.

Key features

  • Video meetings: Remote teams can run video meetings and one-to-one video calls.
  • Voice calls: You can also run group or one-to-one voice calls when face-to-face meetings aren’t necessary.
  • Webinars: You can also use Zoom to host webinars.
  • Messaging: Team members can send messages using Zoom.
  • File sharing: Share files during and outside of video/voice chats for collaboration between members.

Office 365 – Be productive anywhere

Office 365 enables your team to work wherever they are. Whether they are based in the office or visiting our customers, Microsoft Office 365 is cloud-based which means that all of your team’s emails, documents, contacts and shared calendars are always with them. And always up-to-date. 

Key features

  • Use on any device, anywhere, on up to 5 devices.
  • No need to pay for upgrades or updates, it’s all included automatically
  • Download & use online up to date versions of Outlook, Word, Excel & Powerpoint
  • Quick and easy to set up.
  • Designed for all sizes of business, with different packages to suit you.

Slack – The team messaging app

Slack is a messaging platform designed for teams and it’s the ideal communication tool for remote workers. Instant messaging is organised into channels, which team members can join and leave, as needed, so nobody receives messages or notifications irrelevant to them. Team members can also chat outside of main topics in separate threads which prevents these messages from interfering with the most project-centric conversations.

Key features

  • Instant messaging: Live communication between every team member for seamless collaboration.
  • Statuses: Users can set availability statuses to focus on individual tasks as needed.
  • File sharing: Drag-and-drop file sharing for PDFs, images, videos and other common files types.
  • Voice & video calls: Voice and video calls directly from within Slack.
  • Screen sharing: Allows team members to show their work to others in real-time for stronger collaboration.

Box – The online storage collaboration tool

Box is a powerful online storage and collaboration tool that allows businesses of all sizes to securely share and store content online. With Box you can share and collaborate easily, both inside and outside the company. And with the Box app on all your smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops, your team can work together virtually anywhere.

Key features

  • Easy to set up & use.
  • There’s no need to invest in your servers as Box hosts your content in the cloud, so you don’t have to pay for on-site storage.
  • All your documents are safely stored online.
  • With all your important large files securely uploaded to Box, there’s no need to send them by email.
  • Box gives you full admin control over who can access files and folders.

Trello – The online storage collaboration tool

Trello is the easy, free, flexible, and visual way to manage your projects and organize anything, trusted by millions of people from all over the world.

Key features

  • Daily Organization – If your day is filled with all sorts of tasks, having all of these tasks in a single place can be essential. Trello can collate all of your tasks into lists and still enable you to get a great view of your entire day.
  • Time Tracking – Time tracking doesn’t necessarily have to be those that charge by the hour. It is actually a fabulous way to increase your productivity.
  • Organize a Reading List – If you have a slowly growing catalogue of books that you want to read, you could simply keep a list on Trello by creating cards for each.
  • Manage Your Budget – Trello can aid in the creation of a financial plan. You can set up cards and track income and outgoings whenever you need them.
  • Project Management – Whatever your project may be, Trello will be on hand to help. Creating a board with individual lists will be the may manage all those little tasks that are a part of your overall project.

McAfee – The security app

McAfee Multi Access is an online security app that can protect all your devices at once, against viruses, spam, malware and identity theft. It combines a powerful suite of protective services from the world’s largest security company to protect your phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers, both Macs and PCs.

Key features

  • Protect your business for just 10p a day – Defend your business against viruses, malware, data loss, spyware and ID theft.
  • Protect ALL your devices – One licence secures all your devices desktop, laptop, tablet and phone (up to 5).
  • Secure your device, even when it’s gone – Find, lock and wipe your phone if it goes missing.
  • Remember all your passwords and guard against identity theft – Keep all your passwords in one place, so you only need to remember one.
  • Stay safe on wifi hotspots and the internet – Get a warning if a public wifi connection or a website looks suspicious before you connect.
  • Keep your essential data safe – Data encryption helps protect your documents from prying eyes

Are you looking to adapt a remote or flexible environment in your business? 

We have many years of experience helping businesses improve their efficiency with business apps and technology that are right for their business and that performs just as it should. 

Get in touch with us today on 01748 835599 for a free no-obligation chat to see how we can help you and your business adapt to remote and flexible working. 

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