With the right tools and some technical knowhow, you can keep your business going through rain, sleet or inches and inches of snow.
How do you make remote working work for you?
You might not have asked yourself this question much before, but the recent extreme weather may have brought it to the forefront of your mind. As the somewhat dainty-sounding Storm Emma teamed up with the less dainty-sounding Beast from the East, temperatures dropped to well below zero across the whole of the UK, bringing snow, misery and then some more snow.
Schools closed, weather warnings were issued, the NHS needed the armed forces to get its staff to work... And businesses, like everyone else, felt the effects of the bitter winter chill.
With roads too icy to drive on and public transport heavily disrupted, many companies were either forced to shut up shop for the day or work with a skeleton crew in place. That means lost time and, of course, lost money. In previous years, the cost of extreme weather has cost the nation as much as £500 million a day, and there’s little reason to think this time will be much different.
Business As Usual
But just because some businesses are finding themselves frozen stiff, it doesn’t have to be that way. Take TMB’s Group Hampshire office, for example. Despite being close to the south coast, it was still hit hard by the snow. Most of the team were unable to get into work, or they had to stay at home to care for children whose schools had closed for the day.
Yet somehow we managed to maintain full service. From a customer’s point of view, it was business as usual. Our support team were still there for our customers, our salespeople continued to answer queries from prospects, and our HR and finance staff weren't been greatly hindered by the weather either.
The Secret Of Remote Working
So how did we do it? Do we have some kind of super power?
No, not at all – unless knowing how to make best use of technology to maintain normal working operations counts as a super power.
The fact is with the right combination of computer hardware and software, many businesses can get through a period like this with minimal disruption. At TMB Group, for example, we can use remote access to enable our team to use their work PCs via special software on their home computers. Alternatively, they can take their laptop home and connect to the business network over the internet, doing practically everything they would normally do in the office. Plus Microsoft Office 365 makes it a doddle for them to access documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, as well as their emails and Skype messages.
Remote Working And Security
Being able to access our network from outside of our premises is convenient, but it also raises a ton of questions related to security. Any kind of external connection into our business network could be a potential weakness; if can get in, then what’s to stop unauthorised parties doing the same?
In short, what stops them is our team of cyber security experts. They make sure we have the right security measures in place and that they’re being used properly, so our defences are good and strong.
That doesn’t mean our whole workforce have to be computer experts, though. From the point of view of the end user, getting connected is easy, and then they’re free to get on with their work without fuss or bother.
Indeed, this very blog post is being written in this writer’s living room, using the power of a laptop and Office 365. It will be then be uploaded to our website, published and posted on social media – all without moving from the sofa.
Meanwhile, the snow continues to fall outside, whipped around by Emma and the Beast. But the TMB Group team, spread out across the South East and London, are working on, undeterred.
Can you say the same about your own team?