By Raheema Khan
The impact of Coronavirus continues to affect our daily lives; with millions of us now working from home. Undoubtedly, many of us are still adapting to the enormity of this challenge, and it’s very likely that what was a short-term measure could end up being more long term.
With the announcement of the government easing lockdown measures, the advice to work from home remains unequivocal: all those who can work from home should work from home, and all those who fall into the “extremely vulnerable” category must not come into work under any circumstances.
So, for those who are still considering working from home, or those who are still struggling to readjust to the new working environment, Bradford based communications provider is here to help.
Nasar Hussain, founder and Managing Director of award winning telecoms business, ITC (Telecoms Simplified) – based at Listerhills Science Park told Asian Sunday that there are many benefits for businesses that encourage and support their employees to work from home, aside from adhering to government guidelines.
There are some obvious advantages, beginning with time efficiency – if you’re working from home it means you’re spending less time on travel. This has other knock on effects such as reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on travel. Studies have also shown that remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based counterparts, resulting in increased productivity.
Nasar shares his key ‘must haves’ to help you settle in and closely replicate your work environment at home.
Ensure staff have access to work IT systems/telecoms:
- They will need a laptop/PC
- A secure Virtual Private Network (VPN)/Remote Desktop (RDP) or various third-party software available (if not already using the cloud) allowing staff to connect to their office machine/server, thus allowing users to have access to ALL the systems they have when working in the office
- Telecoms – There are apps available for either iPhone or Android phones that allow people to make/receive calls as if they were in the office and also transfer between other members of the team – effectively giving users the same access they have whilst working in the office
- The apps allow business as usual (BAU) in most scenarios allowing companies to use their existing music on hold and out of hours voicemail(s)
- The app(s) also allow users to have all important conference calls which is vital in keeping all stakeholders in the loop and to have regular catchups with team members. This may be especially important so management can listen to issues that staff maybe experiencing either with work or their new environments.
ITC are offering “micloud VoIP” apps (phone and desktop) free of charge for up to 3 months to existing and new customers.
The above will give all team members the same functionality as they had sitting at their desks at work, while being in the safety of their own homes during the current pandemic.
“Staff are very often used to working from multiple screens, at dedicated workstations in their office environments. When working from home they will most likely be working from laptops and can be in a variety of locations throughout their homes from being sat on their beds to sitting at coffee tables”.
Nasar suggests (where possible) to move users’ desktops and screen(s) to their homes and provide a desk and seat for staff. He recommends: “There is no obligation to do this, however a small investment on each team member in these circumstances is the right thing to do, as this replicates their ‘desk at work’ and helps to keep good posture with the right tools for the job.“
A solid home internet connection is also essential to ensure positive workflow.
Nasar advises that employers should encourage staff to log into their internet using a Local Area Connection (network) cable. If that’s not possible then decent Wi-Fi should suffice.
Furthermore, Nasar advises companies could perhaps provide equipment to boost Wi-Fi range with prices starting from £25 to £195 for a decent Access Point (AP) to boost wireless reach as basic routers provided by price conscious residential suppliers may not have decent WI-FI range as standard.
ITC’s vast experience in communications spans over 15 years in business and their know-how is bolstered with a dedicated team that provide around the clock technical support, strengthening their bespoke business continuity measures.
Other tips suggested by Nasar are to keep a routine to help you be efficient (but more importantly to keep spirits up) are as follows:
Dressing for work: LOOK the part, FEEL the part, ACT the part, BE the part.
- Get dressed as if you are going to work
- Sit at a workstation in a quiet part of the house/desk where possible
- Keep active and go for regular walks
- Drink plenty of water (only applicable when not fasting)
- Try to get some regular exercise – plenty of options online. A personal favourite is the Body Coach – he is great for quick HIIT sessions (10 to 15 mins)
Nasar told Asian Sunday before the outbreak of Covid-19, he generally worked from home three days a week as he has already set up his infrastructure and provided training for his team, whom he trusts and relies on to keep the cogs turning at his office while he works remotely.
He believes that in following the above he can be effective and efficient which allows him to look at strategies to grow his business.
Nasar warns that it is an easy temptation to lounge about in his pyjamas, laying on the couch which would result in a drop in productivity.
In conclusion, Nasar says: “Be positive, we can’t help this situation we find ourselves in, so make the most of it and be the best you can be; this starts with getting dressed to go to work and following a routine.
As a business owner it is vital to offer as much support as possible to staff to realise their full potential and ensure we maximise the impact we make in these challenging times.
** Get up and dressed for work. LOOK, FEEL, ACT and BE the part! **
Nasar and his team at ITC are available to help and support you with any technical issues that you may have working from home, or simply advise you with friendly business support in line with their ethos “a personal approach to business communications”.
They can be contacted on 0345 652 0450/01274 952 123 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org