7 tips to facilitate working from home effectively.

The social distancing measures introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an unprecedented number of people to start working from home. Whilst there are both business and personal advantages to working from home, without the right support in place, it can be a challenge. Take a look at seven proven strategies which can help remote workers to remain motivated, productive and effective.

1. Keep critical resources accessible and secure

With employees now working remote and using personal devices, maintaining security on company data and resources is more important than ever. Maintaining system security, ensuring data protection and making sure that back-up’s take place should be a priority. Remote IT support can provide the added expertise needed to make sure the core functions of an organisation remain intact.

2. Start leveraging the cloud

Whilst existing software may function perfectly in an office environment, the added complexity of working remote may expose how dependant that software is on everyone working in a single location. By leveraging the cloud, you can provide access to company resources no matter the location. Office 365 is a perfect example of this, allowing staff to access company data securely from any location with their internet connection.

3. Ensure IT support is available

It’s not just remote workers who will value the services of an experienced IT specialist; it’s important that IT support is available to maintain servers and other company resources. Managed IT Services can complement your existing IT Support by detecting and resolving issues before they begin to impact on your ability to trade.

4. Enhancing communication with staff and customers

The restrictions put in place by the pandemic mean that, for many businesses, the need to keep customers and staff informed is even greater than usual. In the current environment is it essential to maintain your communication technology. From trouble-shooting email issues to ensuring your inter-office chat systems are in accessible and reliable, remote IT support can assist.

5. Increasing the speed of your internet connection

A change in working practices, and an increase in internet usage may mean your internet speeds and quota are no longer suitable. Making a quick phone call to your internet provider to see if you can increase your internet speed may relieve the frustration of slow internet connections.

6. Assess your ability to work through this crisis

If COVID-19 has brought anything to light, it’s that some business are not prepared for staff to work from home. By using an IT Consultant, you can plan for these scenarios and implement strategies and technology to mitigate the risks. Working practices won’t be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic has abated and an IT specialist can advise on how best to future-proof your IT to ensure that remote workers can be accommodated with ease.

7. Flexible IT support that adapts with your business

It’s difficult for businesses to work out just how much business they’re likely to generate in the next few weeks or months. Remote IT support can be used flexibly, providing additional capacity if needed, but with no need to pay a retainer if not required.

Contact us to find out how remote IT support can ease the transition towards remote working.

5 tips to stay productive while working from home.

With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing millions of people to work from home, we thought it would be a good idea to provide a few tips to help you remain productive. Working from home presents some unique challenges which, if you’re not careful, can lead to lower productivity and increased stress levels. Follow these five steps when setting up your home office to ensure a smooth transition to working remotely. If you do it right, there’s no reason why you won’t be productive. In many cases, you may find yourself more productive at home than when you’re at the office.

1. Make sure you have a good internet connection

The first thing you need to take care of is your internet connection. You won’t be able to do much without one. So if you don’t already have an NBN connection, make sure you upgrade before setting up your home office. If you are currently on the cheapest slowest option you may want to consider upgrading to a faster connection. You should also make sure your connection is reliable. If you live in a remote location it could be several days before an engineer can get to you. So having a backup connection is also a good idea. A simple 4G/5G mobile data package will provide you with enough emergency bandwidth should your primary connection fail.

2. Make use of cloud software

Working from home these days doesn’t mean working on your own. There are several options open to you which, if used correctly, can improve collaboration. For example, Office 365 and Google Drive both allow you to share documents securely with colleagues. Instant messaging app Microsoft Teams is another useful tool for collaboration, which provides a more customisable solution than instant messaging services such as WhatsApp. Microsoft Teams helps you to organise chats into public or private streams. You can also connect the app to other apps including Office 365, Google Drive and Salesforce. This allows you to create an integrated working environment which is much more productive than email.

3. Think about security

At home, you are not protected by a sophisticated corporate firewall. That means you need to think carefully about how you connect to the corporate network. You should ensure all devices are free from viruses and malware. Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date and carry out a full virus scan. You should also ensure you are using the latest version of your operating system and that all security patches have been applied. If you use a single password to access all your devices you should think about upping your password security. There are many password managers out there such as LastPass which can help you create and manage secure passwords for all your devices and apps.

4. Stick to your normal working hours

When working from home it may be tempting to lay in bed until lunchtime and then work into the small hours. But you should avoid doing this at all costs. Research shows that people who work irregular hours are more prone to mental health issues, disrupted sleep patterns, gastrointestinal problems and cardiovascular disorders. So stick to your normal working hours if at all possible. This will reduce the risk of disrupting your body’s biological clock. This will help you stay alert, keep your concentration levels high and give your body time to recharge. This is particularly important when there is a virus ripping through the population.

5. Avoid distractions

Working from home means you are exposed to a bunch of distractions such as the TV, internet, garden, family dog, kids. You name it, they’re all there to stop you from getting on with your work. And don’t forget no boss is looking over your shoulder to stop you from taking advantage of them. So it’s a good idea to set up your workstation in a separate room. Then let everyone in the house know that this is your work area and you should not be disturbed during the working day. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from socialising during coffee and lunch breaks. But for the most part, you should work away from the rest of the family.

Need IT support while you’re working from home?

Working from home can be a rewarding experience, but there are certain issues which need to be overcome. One way you can smooth the transition is to ensure you have adequate IT support at home. Many corporate IT departments don’t have expertise supporting hundreds of home users. That’s where we come in. Our experienced team are experts at supporting the needs of independent home workers. Our solution provides secure remote access allowing us to solve most issues quickly without the need for a home visit. So don’t worry about not having the support you need while isolating at home. Get in touch with us today for a FREE quote to see how we can help you remain secure and productive.

5 reasons why you need remote support services

Has COVID-19 forced your company to adopt remote working practices? Working from home poses IT challenges for both business and the workforce. From difficulty setting up devices for work, through to concerns regarding security, back-up and data protection; The current crisis brings many problems to light. Responsive, fast and capable of working on a wide variety of networks and set-ups, remote IT support can ease a range of COVID-19 related challenges. Here are five reasons why a large number of businesses are embracing remote IT support to keep their operation running smoothly.

1. Flexible IT service when it’s needed

Sometimes you might require critical assistance; at other times a little maintenance or updating is all that’s needed to keep your system working smoothly. Remote IT support offers an adaptable service that’s geared to meeting your needs. Support can be offered to individual members of staff, working from home to ensure critical services are maintained. Both scheduled and emergency work can be easily accommodated.

2. Geography isn’t a barrier!

A major advantage of remote IT support is just that: it’s remote! Particularly if your team are now working from home, workers will be located over a far larger area. In addition, many will have different set-ups, requiring individual solutions. A remote IT worker can solve problems regardless of physical location.

3. You only pay for what you use

In these uncertain times, it’s hard to set budgets for your l IT capacity. When you use remote IT solutions, you only pay for what you use. The flexible relationship between client and provider promotes optimal value. Remote IT professionals are used to being “summoned” to solve issues, then moving on to other work. This strength ensures you receive high-grade support exactly when and where it’s needed.

4. Spotting problems before you do

With Managed IT Services part of the responsibilities of remote IT support can be to keep an eye on your network to make sure everything is running smoothly. In the event of anything untoward being discovered, remote support can take defensive and restorative action promptly – often before users notice that anything is amiss.

5. A workforce with enhanced skill in remote working

Nobody knows what the working environment is going to look like post-COVID-19, but it’s unlikely to be as it was before the pandemic. Remote support can work with individual employees as well as entire businesses, giving them the capacity needed to work well remotely. This expertise is a long-term resource that is likely to be useful further down the line.

Remote IT services include: updating and maintaining server software; file management; maintenance and diagnostic procedures; solving specific issues on a laptop, server or desktop; providing appropriate training and support for workers who are trying to get to grips with the complexities of accessing their work from home.

Get in touch to find out more about the quality and cost benefits of accessing a remote IT service.

Do you need professional IT Support.

We can help you on-site and remote. Contact us today!