With the current challenges we are all facing in not having the face to face contact, I thought it would be useful to share how we ourselves work at CIS, outline some of the tools we use and provide a few tips on how you can ensure your organisation achieves the same.
CIS has had a DR plan (Disaster Recovery) in place for seems like forever, however, we never imagined we would be in this position due to a human virus instead of a cyber virus. The CIS office environment allowed us to work from any desk and move about to meeting rooms or other people’s offices and continue working. We have a focus at CIS on working where you need to get the job done When the Coronavirus started to take some momentum, the management arranged a Test Day where everyone worked from home so we could identify any flaws that needed ironing out and get some feedback on how people felt with what they had achieved. We felt very sure with the results we would get! We like to drink our own champagne!
Having a business with a laptop environment and hosted VoIP phone solution with softphones and mobile apps in the office there wasn’t any additional hardware or software needed -just good broadband at home (let’s be honest home broadband is normally better than a business line -for now anyway, that may change, but more about that later). We are very lucky as most of our employee’s love working on computers, so they have a fixed home set up others have adapted kitchen worktops, dining tables and a comfy sofa.
I personally work in my kitchen with natural daylight, my laptop opens on top of a pile of recipe books and an additional monitor which is plugged straight into my laptop. I also have a full keyboard and mouse to use and headphones for VoIP calls and video conference calls. My home broadband is fairly good, and I connect using Wi-Fi. A home broadband connection is normally shared with 49 other home users and while most are not fully working from home there will be not much conflict. However, as more people work from home you may experience the performance deteriorate.
Our telephony system EVE (Exceptional Voice Everywhere) is cloud-based and with my EVE desktop app and headphone/microphone plugged directly into my laptop I can receive and make calls as if I was in the office. I can also use the chat facility to communicate with the team and see who is available, on lunch, on a call or attending a virtual meeting.
At CIS we use the Microsoft Office 365 “Teams” application to collaborate on projects with the team and external 3rd parties where needed. It allows us to share documents, chat, set tasks, video calls and so much more. It’s all in one place which makes it easy to navigate, access and communicate. Of course, we take advantage of our own Private Cloud and we all can access the company documents we need to complete our tasks using a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
We are in the early stages of this pandemic and unsure of what lies ahead. At CIS we are now looking more at the wellbeing of our staff after all working from home can be a lonely place for some people who are not familiar with this. It may continue for months to come as well, so at CIS we are implementing more social connections using technology to inject some fun, interaction and putting aside time for just chatting -replacing those conversations when making a round of hot drinks in the kitchen at work. Setting some fun and silly challenges and other ways to boost morale when needed and maintain it as much as possible.
All this and we are still delivering on our services and commitment to our customers and helping new clients stay secure and productive.
If you need help or some guidance in how you can achieve a secure remote working environment for your business -please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Phil Saville