In March, an onslaught of companies were forced to quickly devise a work from home strategy due to the restrictions put into place as a result of COVID-19. As of May, many states have begun to reopen non-essential businesses, but according to many reports, a portion of those businesses will not be returning to the traditional office environment. Companies whose productivity was not impacted and who do not require face-to-face interaction on a regular basis will be exploring the option to save money on office space and/or provide a more flexible work schedule that will improve employee retention.
As this new way of working takes shape and becomes a permanent solution to a pandemic problem, there are tools that businesses need to implement to ensure that communication is seamless, and information is not compromised. Home offices will need to be equipped with technology that helps emulate and support an office environment. If you are considering a permanent work from home (WFH) resolution, we highly recommend integrating these office technology solutions:
A Multifunction Printer or Copier
Prior to COVID-19, most individuals just had an inexpensive all-in-one printer that they purchased at Staples or Walmart, which served its purpose for their personal needs. However, WFH print requirements are likely to mirror the office work environment and will demand a much more dependable workhorse that is not only networked to your system, but properly installed and regularly updated to prevent security breaches.
What you need to be aware of is that printers can pose the greatest security risk of all of your office equipment. This risk is magnified by the use of unsecured WiFi being utilized in a WFH environment. Companies must take the necessary steps to secure the information that flows through a multifunction printer or risk having that data compromised by a hacker. Whoever you have handling your IT should be ensuring that the following best practices are being instituted by all employees to protect your data:
Working from the office made it easy to call up your IT support team when you were having technical issues. Working from home, however, poses a few additional challenges. You will need IT support that is able to remotely access and, most importantly, secure your network, as well as provide remote help desk support to answer everyday questions and provide assistance with issues such as password resets, software updates, network errors, printer issues, frozen screens, and file recovery.
With employees being more vulnerable to hacking in a WFH environment, it is also highly recommended that your IT team convey all the ways that hackers can access your system and how to prevent it from happening, including the most common of them all, phishing attacks.
Cloud-Based Phone System
While Zoom may have taken the place of in-person meetings, the need to transfer, conference, record and track your phone calls has not changed. With a cloud-based system, your employees have access to business tools that are easy to deploy and enable employees to stay connected whether they are in the office or on the go. In this way, the cloud provides a consistent business presence and helps to increase productivity with seamless access to CRM tools, email, instant messaging, voice and videoconferencing. Another benefit of a cloud-based system is an auto attendant feature that allows you to easily direct calls from your main line to various departments that are working from home.
While cloud-based system features are very extensive, moving your telecommunications off of PBX platforms and to the cloud can be less expensive relative to monthly service rates versus that of a traditional system, helping to reduce costs and, ultimately, increase profitability.
If you need more information on any of these services, our experts are available to answer your questions by calling 800.633.3673.