Remote Working – Things You Need To Know

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As a result of recent events and government announcements surrounding COVID-19, things are clearly changing rapidly in both our personal and work lives.

Last week at 5 Rings, we made the decision to equip all our staff with the ability to work from home and we’re pleased to report that this is now working very well. Like most people, we are now getting on with our day-to-day work lives.

Whilst we know that home-working isn’t possible for some, we thought it would be useful for us to outline some simple, practical steps that could help you plan and enable remote and home working.

Access to files and systems:

  • Some companies may only need internet access (to cloud based / browser based systems)
    • This can be achieved from any device (e.g. home PC’s / laptops)
  • Some companies may need access to office based / server based systems
    • This can also potentially be achieved securely from a home PC / laptop via VPN’s / Remote Desktops or via our RMM system (Remote Monitoring & Management)
    • Our RMM system effectively allows users to access their office based PC via a secure link from their own device (effectively making the office PC a remote desktop). Users can then access everything they need as if they were in the office.*
  • Users with laptops will likely already be able to work remotely, but if they aren’t set up then this is usually quite straightforward using one of the methods above.
  • Some customers are choosing to purchase new laptops (a very viable option) but please be aware that stocks in the UK are low and are also constantly changing.

*If you are one of our existing IT Support customers we can set this up relatively quickly and at very little cost

How to keep in touch / collaborate with each other:

  • If you use Office365 then you may already have free access to Microsoft Teams
    • Teams is an excellent tool for messaging, sharing files and screen sharing
    • You can set up individual chats and team chats
  • If you don’t currently have free access to Teams then this can be set up quite quickly

 

Telephony – Making / Receiving work calls:

  • If you are already on a VoIP system you have a few options:
    • Divert calls to mobiles
      • This works well for inbound calls, but users cannot dial out from your work number
      • Outbound calls from mobiles may result in calls coming back to mobiles, missed calls and/or personal voicemail messages
    • Take your VoIP phone home
      • The advantage of this is that the phone could work exactly as it does in the office. You may need to consider a power supply for the phone if the phone is usually powered via a switch in the office.
    • Use a softphone (laptop) or mobile App
      • You may need a reasonable quality headset for the softphone (approx. £40 each)
      • The App will work on almost any iOS or Android device
      • Bear in mind that these VoIP solutions depend on the quality/speed of the users home broadband (but they do offer a lot of flexibility)
    • UC (Unified Communications) Software
      • This is software that sits on your PC / laptop and enables you to access your shared directories and also see who’s on / off the phone. It works alongside your softphone and / or desk phone
  • If you have an onsite telephone system
    • Calls can still be distributed to mobile devices
    • We have very simple, quick solutions to be able to divert calls to up to 7 devices simultaneously
      • These could be mobiles or users home phones

 

I’m sure you’ve already started thinking about some or all of the above, but please do get in touch if you’d like to discuss anything. Rest assured that we will do everything possible to support you.