14/12
2021
Remote working is back…are you all set up?

It’s a long way from full lockdown, but there will be some disappointed businesses and staff re-adopting a work from home policy this week after Plan B was brought in by the Government to protect the NHS while Omicron numbers rise in the UK.


For some people, working from home has never stopped as they have found a productive freedom away from the office. For others, they have relished going back in and re-connecting with work colleagues and customers in person. Many of these people will have to get used to their remote working set-up again.


It makes Raconteur’s recent article “Remote working tools: are they still fit for purpose?” rather relevant. Interestingly, the author cites Microsoft Teams and Zoom as “little to choose between the two”, as video conferencing platforms, but I can already hear the spluttering of my colleagues who would beg to differ, not least due to the well-publicised security and privacy issues that Zoom had.


My colleagues would also say Teams reigns supreme because of everything else it can offer, aside from video conferencing, and the way it integrates with other tools. The same can be said of many unified communications (UC) apps that we have delivered during the past two years. Rainbow from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Collaborate from Horizon, and Collaboration from Wildix all offer video meeting facilities but link with email accounts, calendars and phone systems too.


These were designed for business use and provide professional video meeting facilities that are not dependent on passwords. The tie-in with other communications tools means the presence status indicators can display if you are in a call because it is linked to the corporate phone system, or if you are in a meeting or on annual leave because it is integrated with each individual’s calendar.


These tools also offer chat facilities. Yes, we could use WhatsApp and other messaging platforms, but surely it is better to utilise the one that’s part of what you already use for video and audio calls to reach out to individuals or groups, in the same way you would if you asked a question across a desk or to a room full of colleagues, rather than sending an email?


I have been working from home for the past week and I have attended a video presentation from swcomms’ MD that went to 70+ people, a live address from our group CEO that went to 600+ members of staff, I have had multiple group video meetings with our marketing department, made and taken Teams calls using my laptop and my mobile, shared documents and my screen multiple times, and sent and received multiple chat messages. All from one UC platform. I have not needed to be in the office and I do not feel I am missing out on any technology that would make my job easier.


Two years ago, I was quite happy with email and the odd call while I worked at home, but I would be lost without these other tools now and like the access it gives me, both to my team and to the rest of my colleagues...and they know they can get hold of me easily too.


I found Raconteur’s article interesting, because if businesses are not entirely happy with their work from home tools, they should seek on advice on a solution they will be happy with! What are they waiting for? It’s not just about video conferencing though; a true work from home solution should be multi-faceted and work effectively wherever you are based.


Many of the phone systems we have installed this year have been as the result of businesses needing a work from home solution for times like these, as well as for members of staff who are interested in remote working as a long-term option. With the right technology on board, the distance between the office and home should be irrelevant. 


If your work-from-home tools are no longer fit for purpose, please email me and I will get one of my colleagues to call you back.

Posted by
Caroline Moore's avatar
Caroline Moore on 14/12/2021

Former newspaper journalist, Caroline joined the company in 2008 with no previous knowledge of the industry.

She set about stripping back all the jargon to produce plain English marketing collateral to support the sales teams. Now slightly more well-versed in the dark arts of voice, connectivity and data services, Caroline writes blogs, case studies, data sheets and social media updates to engage with potential and existing customers.

This industry is far cry from her previous working life when she worked as communications manager for Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints.


Contact: caroline.moore@swcomms.co.uk



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