We all felt a second lockdown was coming. The rising number of cases of COVID-19 and the increase in people being admitted into hospital led Boris Johnson to his announcement on Saturday night to the dismay of most people who were watching. Among the most disappointed will be the hospitality industry, non-essential shops, personal care providers and gyms. Unless they have a takeaway, delivery or online arm to their business, these business will have to close on Thursday.
There are plenty of businesses though that can remain ‘open’ while their staff work from home.
The first lockdown caught many businesses on the hop. PCs were quickly cleared from office desks and plugged in at home as a stop-gap and, where possible, incoming calls were diverted to mobiles. This may have worked in the very early days, but as the first lockdown turned from weeks into months, these quick solutions did not stand the test of time.
As a telecommunications company, we made it our business to call our customers to see how they were coping. These calls revealed that some businesses simply shut up shop, even those that we believe could have worked equally well remotely. Others relied on voicemail messages and others had diverted their calls to mobiles, but whoever picked them up could not then transfer calls to another member of staff.
Some businesses though had embraced remote working technology not only to get them through lockdown, but also through the socially distanced days that began in July. They will be well-prepared for this second lockdown.
Unsurprisingly, we published multiple blogs around remote working solutions around the first lockdown – and you are more than welcome to browse back through and read them – but we felt it would be easier to summarise them in a downloadable guide.
Our Business guide to the ‘new normal’ - as we face a second lockdown gives you a brief overview of the communications and IT technology available to help you remain ‘open’ at this time. It covers:
- Telephony – handsets at home, handset twinning with mobiles, and softphones
- Unified communications tools, such as video conferencing, presence status, instant messaging and screen sharing
- Microsoft 365 and email services that can be used anywhere on multiple devices
- Linking to office desktops via a virtual private network
- Data centre hosting for easy access to company servers and systems
- Data backup and security for remote working devices
None of us know how long this pandemic is going to last. It certainly isn’t a short, sharp phenomenon. We are into our eighth month already. Businesses that are able to keep trading cannot afford to shut up shop every time a lockdown is announced. The technology is available to make remote working an efficient reality, so you can continue to take and transfer calls, attend meetings and stay in touch with your colleagues. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us if we can help you in anyway.