Top 9 Tools to make Working from Home Work

It seems as though working from home is slowly moving from ‘the new normal’, to old news, at least in our attitudes and acceptance towards it. 

 

While many employees have welcomed remote working with open arms, it’s businesses, leadership and management, and of course, the IT team, who have really been thrown into chaos by it all.

Perhaps the only people less enthusiastic about working from home are the parents of young children, but that’s for very different reasons.

And despite the common belief that businesses want workers back in the office to justify overheads or micromanage their staff, the reality is that the move to remote work has posed a variety of challenges, not least of those in the area of communication.

 

Better Business Communication = Better Business

Now that there is a little less of the pandemic-fuelled turbulence interrupting our operations, it’s a great time to really take a look at your remote working set up, and look at ways you can enhance your business functioning through better collaboration and communication.

Even for workplaces that have continued to work on site, or are having employees return to the office, be it staggered or full time, the forced move to remote work has brought attention to our way of working, and in turn our IT infrastructure, and means of collaboration.

It’s easy to do some basic research and decide on the software, equipment, and other tools you want to use but there’s so much variation in different services that you may come to realise what you’ve chosen isn’t suited to your business after you’ve paid the bill!

Luckily, we’re here to give you some expert advice on which software, tools, and equipment you’ll need for your business to succeed.

 

Working From Home

 

Which Tools are most useful for Remote Teams?

Every business is different. You might find your business really needs to prioritise collaboration and coordination between staff, whereas another business has a much more customer service focused business, and therefore needs features to support a better experience for their customers when they call.

The list below is by no means extensive, but it does go a long way in showing how important your communications set up is, particularly when we have flexible working scenarios as we do in this day and age

 

Strong Internet Connection

Now, it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, there are very few businesses in Australia that are completely offline these days. 

That said, the quality and strength of internet connections can vary, and this will have a major impact on how your communications infrastructure is set up and managed.

While you can’t dictate the wifi situation your staff have in their own home, the internet connection at the office needs to be as fast and as strong as possible to ensure the most productivity and efficiency.

There are very few things more frustrating in this world than a dodgy internet connection. Don’t believe us? Try working online with patchy internet. You will soon agree.

 

IP Phone System

With the vast rollout of stronger internet connections, the growth of Voice Over Internet (VoIP) phone systems has exploded. As our operations have had to adapt to our flexible and remote working conditions, so to have our phone systems, and boy does it make the customer experience all that much better with an internet based phone system opposed to an outdated standard phone line. 

IP Phone systems like 3CX offer advanced features and benefits to suit your workflows. Firstly, the availability of softphone applications which allow users to work from anywhere has been a game changer for business communication. Advanced call management systems including call queues, customisable menus, call recording, and a plethora of other useful features, are a gift not only to your customers, but also to your overall productivity and growth.

 

Working From Home

 

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage not only helps teams operate and collaborate more efficiently, it also helps minimise costs, in the form of overheads, physical storage space, and in-house resources.

In addition to its accessibility and convenience, cloud storage is a secure way to manage and store data. Having important data stored on the cloud eliminates the risk of losing all your data if something were to go wrong with your equipment on site, or a server outage occurs.

 

Project Management Tools

Being able to track tasks and manage projects on the go is a major boost to productivity and quality of work, particularly for teams working remotely.

There’s a tonne of tools out there, including industry specific software and custom made systems, so choosing something that links your teams, integrates with your CRM and other internal systems, and is simple for your teams to use, is a real game changer.

 

Internet Security

While no one software or feature can guarantee complete security in this modern age of scams and cyber threats, VoIP phones, when configured correctly, are more secure than landlines.

Cloud services will assist with encryption and loss prevention, giving you peace of mind in the face of a security breach of equipment failure.

 

Email 

This one’s a no brainer, but so many businesses are still struggling with which email software to use, and how to use it most effectively.

Modern email providers offer much more than a simple inbox these days, with the right email client you can schedule meetings, keep track of appointments, track tasks, and more.

This point is less about having an email set up, than it is about having the right one. Do you?

 

Working From Home

 

Instant Messaging

And because we can’t stress the importance of communication enough: Microsoft Teams allows your workforce to connect and communicate with one another instantly. Create workgroups to go over specific projects or connect with specific individuals, whatever you need to get the work done!

You can also use Teams to make and receive video calls, make presentations, send and receive files, and so much more. Businesses that use email for all of their communications are sadly missing out on a whole new level of efficiency and ease.

 

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 allows your team to work on documents from their desktop, the cloud, or even within Teams. Whether it’s PowerPoint, Word, Excel, or any other Microsoft application, you and your team can work in real time, no matter where you’re working from!

 

Video Conferencing Apps

As great as email and instant messaging is, the past few years have really shown us how important face-to-face communication is.

3CX has HD video conferencing that is easy to use, making it simple to create, host and join meetings, wherever your team is. You don’t even need an app, attendees can join from their browser!

 

What Equipment do I need for Working from Home?

So now that we know what software and tools we need, we’re on to the final part of our checklist, equipment.

  • A Headset that gives you good audio and sits comfortably on your head, you’ll want that when you’re listening to long meetings.
  • Good PC or Laptop is a must, you need one that can run VoIP software and run the apps you’ll need to use for your work.
  • Comfy chair for those long periods of sitting in front of a monitor.
  • Desk with enough room to cater to your computer, files, and morning coffee!
  • Good webcam for video conferences.
  • Dedicated office space where you can isolate yourself from any distractions.

 

Make Working from Home even easier!

Communication is crucial for working from home. Microsoft Teams Calling and 3CX both provide a user-friendly experience with HD video conferencing, business text messaging, expert help-desk support, softphone applications, and more! 

 

Let us help you get set up today!

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