Working remotely: How it can help your business

Downtime can make a big difference to all of our businesses. There are many occasions where you or your employees cannot get to the office whether its weather, family or accidents. Problems caused by The Beast from the East and Storm Emma was something unseen by everyone. Many organisations had significant financial loss and operations ground to a halt. This is where working remotely comes into practice.

Working remotely

Employees working remotely can be found in a number of different industries, however, it is more common in technology. This is due to the nature of most tech jobs—especially jobs for developers and programmers—that require a strong attention to detail and long hours of focus. Working from home reduces the number of distractions these workers face, allowing them to get more done during work hours. Companies benefit from these remote employees by getting projects completed faster with fewer mistakes.

How technology can help you

With the growing availability of high-speed internet, fibre and 4G, employees do not need to be in the office to work efficiently. Hazardous weather can make working from home essential. Especially from working parents, trying to balance careers with the demands of family life, to millennials with expectations of flexible hours and the dream work/life balance. Companies cannot ignore the ongoing necessity of mobility solutions.

Collaboration and Access

As long as you have a properly structured and secured network, your business should be able to run efficiently. You will need a cloud strategy for applications and storage. This will help you get more work done when you can’t get to the office.

Working offline can help for a while, but eventually, you will need to access certain applications, files and data. As much as you can do offline you need to be connected with your colleagues and customers too. If you have broadband at home, you can get on your corporate network either via a VPN or a hosted desktop environment. Both give you the same tools you need have access to in your office. If you lose power and your broadband disappears with it, you can work off your device’s battery and a 3G Mobile Broadband MiFi device. With hosted desktop solutions, you don’t need to bring your laptop home. If you have a home PC or tablet, you can log in to your virtual desktop and continue from where you left off when last in the office.

Communication

IP Telephony and Unified Communications mean that calls can be taken and made on your PC or can be redirected to a mobile or home phone. Employees can remotely log in to their profile and continue to operate as if they were actually at the office. A great feature of weatherproofing your communication is to be able to urgently contact all staff and customers. This could be to let them know your premises is closed or other emergency plans.

Profitability

The barriers to mobile working have disappeared for most companies; the cost of laptops and mobile devices has decreased significantly in recent years, high-speed broadband is more widely available both indoors and outdoors facilitating working on the move. It’s crucial to either provide or make sure employees have all the right tools for remote working. Businesses must make certain that their staff are able to deliver a positive service to their customers while working remotely. There should be no difference in the quality of work, whether employees are at home, in the office or on the move.

 

The flexibility that a ‘work from anywhere, anytime on any device’ ethos allows employees to have an added extra. Due to the popularity, it is now becoming expected in the job description. As much as it increases productivity, efficiency and recruitment, you can risk losing competitiveness. Employees are unlikely to settle for anything less than a digitally enabled and flexible working environment.

EE expand 4G across remote areas in the UK

ee mobiles

EE are growing towards its motivation to cover 95% of the UK with superfast 4G by 2020. Already 105 new sites have been built in the last six months to cover mobile not-spots.

New coverage will deliver connectivity for EE customers and the Emergency Services Network. In the last 12 months, EE has filled more than 12,000 square kilometres of mobile not-spots–equivalent to more than 1.5 million football pitches.

New site expands for EE

EE has:

  • Upgraded more than 4,000 existing sites to provide 4G
  • Built 105 brand new sites, delivering mobile coverage to the most remote parts of the UK.

The new sites have carried more than 200 emergency 999 calls from people that may previously have been left without help. The sites are being delivered as part of EE’s £1.2bn Emergency Services Network (ESN) contract with the government. This means that rival operators will be able to place their own kit on some of the same infrastructures.

The 100 new sites are spread across Scotland, North Wales and Northern England. EE is already in the process of building a further 350 new sites to continue filling in mobile not-spots.

EE’s ambition is to cover 95% of the UK geography with 4G by 2020.

Marc Allera, CEO at EE, said: “Mobile coverage is critical to consumers and businesses and can provide a lifeline for those in need of support from the emergency services – that’s why we keep focusing on filling in more mobile not-spots across Britain.”

4G sites have already been switched on in remote locations across Scotland. Including Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands, CairnGorm Mountain, and the Isle of Skye, as well as West Dumfries and Galloway. This work has seen geographic 4G coverage in Scotland pass the 75% mark at the end of 2017, with EE going further than any other operator.

iPads: Daily uses to benefit your business

The Apple iPad has been proved to be one of the most popular devices available. Its powerful on-going mission is to maintain a hard grip on the growing tablet market. Throughout every upgrade and generation, the growth and market share of these tablets have continued around the world. This is due to its premium build, great quality, and clear design with easy to use software.

IPads and tablet computers are connecting people around the world, whether through social media websites, emails or visual chat apps. These tablets are essentially a combination of a modern smartphone and a laptop computer. Business owners often use tablets to get tasks done on the run, create presentations for meetings and update websites and blogs. They are lightweight, compact and affordable.

Going out and about

People are constantly travelling for business whether it’s to meet with clients, present projects or travel between offices. Tablets help people to get work done whilst on route. This means travel time is used well and people don’t fall behind on their work. With the range of apps and offline working, it’s as easy as ever to not have an excuse as to why a task has not been done.

Making Transactions

Businesses can use tablets to transfer money via the internet. This means that business people can meet with customer or clients and handle the transaction while both parties are present. This gives the buyer more control and confidence, as he is there when money is taken from his account.

Another way companies are using iPad’s are as a form of payment gateway in shops. For example, if you would go to a coffee shop, instead of a cash register they could have an iPad. This would be secured to the reception desk and customers could come in and either self-order or an employee could order it for them on the iPad. Many businesses are taking this new approach to look modern and innovative.

Online Updates

Employees use iPads to keep in touch with clients and perform day to day work tasks. You are always connected. A tablet allows you to update the company website, blog and social media with links and promotions. This is a quick and easy tool to use when you are away from your computer. You can answer emails no matter where you are, with a clearer and bigger screen than a mobile. A lot of apps now have cloud or live updates, so that if you are working on a project you can save it in live time.

Great customer experience

The iPad lets you give your customers a better quality of service, using service desk apps that allow you to manage service tickets and access customer records on the fly. In addition, payment processing apps like Square Register let you take customer payments straight from your tablet. Square Register comes with a free card reader that plugs into the iPad’s headphone input, meaning you’ll never have to make your customers wait to complete a transaction.

Modern Technology

Another benefit of using an iPad in a business is the way the customer/clients view the company. A business should be up-to-date with technology and operating systems. This shows professionalism and smart business skills. Applications can be downloaded to manage schedules, plan your day or remind you of appointments. This is great for you or your employee’s organisational skills as well as timekeeping. You can track billable hours through a tablet and use diction applications to create your own memos.

Presentation skills

The iPad’s power, portability and high-quality display make it ideal to use in presentations. Its manageability is easy and can go into any bag or briefcase. Apps such as Apple’s own Keynote run professional presentations from the device itself. The iPad’s optional VGA and HDMI adapters let you connect the device to a large screen, for presentations in large venues like lecture halls.

Want to know more about how iPads can help your business? Call us today on 01691 661166. Or check out our Business Mobile page.

How can mobiles work for your business?

Mobile phones are a vital piece of equipment for many business owners and their staff. Business mobiles offer substantial advantages, including to boost productivity, mobility, safety and morale of your workforce.

Flexibility

Using mobiles in business allows for increased flexibility when working. The more flexible you are, the greater the chances you can show clients your business is the one to go with. For example, if you’re away from the office, customers can still communicate with your employees. Scheduling meetings are easier because you’re not tied to a computer or desk. You can have a conference via your mobile while you’re on the go or travelling.

Technology

There are millions of different mobiles and most of them have the capability of performing many tasks that your computer can. You can access the Internet, write emails and send documents from wherever you may be. This allows you to be on top of time-scheduled issues. For example, if a client needs a proposal as soon as possible and you have already left the office for the day, you can still upload and send the document from your mobile phone using may of the applications.

Customer Service

The ability to reach employees at any time makes an important contribution to customer service. When customers call, they can be confident of reaching their contact on the first attempt. For example in a construction business, employees have individual customers which they build a rapport with. With these close client-employee relationship it makes it easier if the customer feels like they can rely on them. Business mobiles enable employees to deal quickly and effectively with inquiries, improving customer satisfaction.

Mobile Internet

Having access to the internet at all times, without worry of location is invaluable to business owners and their employees. Laptops can be used to have internet access on the go, however, they are not always readily available. It proves to have its advantages when employees are not currently working, but need to receive important e-mails sent out by the business. This allows quick access to the internet for any fact checking, data analysis, or research that needs to be done quickly.

Want to know more about how mobiles can help your business? Call us today on 01691 661166. Or check out our Business Mobile page.

New IT support service launches

A Shropshire telecoms firm has launched a new IT networking and support service for local businesses.

Ocean Telecom has introduced the new service in response to demand from current clients who wanted their telecoms and IT managed under one provider.

Jeremy Rose, director at Ocean Telecom, said: “The combination of telecoms and IT services that Ocean now offer means we have the expertise and capabilities needed to deliver a unified communications package.

“Our clients are happier in the knowledge that we can look after them should anything cause them downtime without the need for involving several different service providers to fix it.”

The relationship between IT and telecoms has strengthened over the last few years with the rise in popularity of hosted IP telephony, which relies on broadband.

“The launch of the new service is a natural progression in the movement away from traditional land lines and towards hosted IP,” added Jeremy.

Daniel Anderton, who joined the company in November last year, will lead the dedicated IT support team, alongside Chris Spriggs. Based in the Oswestry office on Mile Oak Industrial Estate, they will work closely with director Jeremy Rose supporting clients in areas including IT networking, remote support and on-site IT consultancy and troubleshooting.  Daniel has gained over six years of industry experience from an IT company and inhouse at some of the area’s largest firms.

Daniel said: “I’m really impressed with Ocean Telecom and it’s a great opportunity for me at this stage of my career. I’ve joined one of the areas most respected telecoms firms at a time of growth and am looking forward to playing a big role in growing the IT department and working with clients from lots of different sectors.”

Jeremy adds: “Offering IT networking and support is a great addition to the existing business and is already proving to be popular with our clients.

“The purpose of the new service is to allow businesses to have their telecoms and IT support in one place and avoid the costly downtime which can occur when different providers are involved.”

A simple tool installed on the business’s network monitors it around the clock – and when a system or function fails, it is fixed immediately, in many cases before the business has even realised there’s an issue.

Ocean Telecom is one of the region’s leading telecoms providers, supporting businesses with mobile, broadband, landline, email and hosting.

To find out more, visit www.oceantele.com or call 01691 661166.