Top Telecoms Tips for Remote Working.

It’s not every day you think about having to close down your office. But across the world, that’s beginning to happen. And it might not be long before office closures reach the UK.

If you’re a business owner, and you haven’t been living under a rock, then you’ve probably given some thought to how Coronavirus might impact your business.

Most of your concerns so far are probably economical – global markets have already been affected and this is bound to trickle down to SMEs. But there’s a good chance that you may need to think practically too, if enforced office closures come into effect.

Since we’re discussing with clients how to prepare their telecoms for any office closures, we thought we’d share our top tips in this article, too.

A quick note before we start: your options do depend on the technology you’re currently using. The Raw Hosted Telephone system (voice calls over the internet) gives you more options and flexibility than traditional premise PBX (in-premise) systems.

But nothing is more effective than having a prepared and tested plan. The plan needs to be implemented quickly so your business will still operate during an emergency – vital to business continuity.

1. Keep your workaround simple and, where possible, familiar to normal business.

Bear in mind your team also needs to understand and implement your plan. There’s no use having an intricate web of carefully laid plans if no one on your team understands what’s supposed to happen. Try and make your solution as simple and intuitive as possible to the way your team is used to working.

2. Avoid changing the way main call handlers receive and distribute calls – keep them using their normal phones where possible.

A hosted platform allows this and is easy to implement. However, if you’ve got what’s commonly referred to as a landline for your business, it’s going to be a bit harder.As you probably won’t be able to take the main reception phone home from the office, options like call diversions and multi-dial are your options here.

3. Test your equipment.

If key users are going to take IP phones home to work remotely, send the equipment home in advance and check it works as expected. The last thing you want is someone sitting down to work from home and encountering equipment issues from the get go.This extends of course to more than phones – you’ll want to make sure laptops and PCs have full access to all the files and shared folders, make sure the email works and access to remote desktops.

4. Use features like voicemail to email to ease distributing messages or Multi-out dial to divert your main number to multiple destinations at the same time, instead of just one mobile.

Multi-out dial is useful when you have a team who you’d like to all get the call at the same time, useful for inbound sales calls you want to guarantee answers to.

5. Manage expectations.

In the unfortunate event you have to close your office and work remotely or have only half the available staff you currently use – communicate with your customers and suppliers on any temporary changes to how you’re operating.Especially during the Coronavirus Outbreak, people will be understanding, but to understand, they first have to be communicated with. If you have a large customer base, then you may have to rely on a mass-email or text message. But ideally, you would call key customers or customers who will be heavily affected to explain the situation.

6. Get any extra equipment in advance.

Don’t rely on purchasing additional hardware at short notice – not unlike toilet roll, you may not be able to get this due to stock being in short supply.Extra equipment you might want to think about are things like power sources for your IP phone and an ethernet cable long enough for your iP phone to reach your router.

7. Prepare a list of all relevant contact numbers for all staff that are going to need them.

If you have a cloud-based CRM, then your team already has access to all the numbers they need – but if you don’t, make sure you prepare one.

Got any concerns about how your business could be affected by remote-working and office closures that we haven’t covered? get in touch, or (since we’re a telecoms company) ask us over the phone on 0345 1210206.