Like most businesses across the UK, this last week has been a rollercoaster.
We have been working hard to help our customers react swiftly to the changing environment.
For many, we have been actioning contingency plans which were in place as part of a tech strategy, and this has made our reaction times much faster.
Many of our clients already use Remote Desktop Services, which allows complete access to business systems from anywhere. For clients without these systems in place, we have been working to set them up to minimise any potential disruption.
For some, this has meant rapidly sourcing hardware solutions to make remote working more practical. The fact that there is now a shortage of laptops highlights the urgency of this.
Communications can become trickier when staff are dispersed, but not if you have the right technology in place.
Our remote telephony services help businesses overcome challenges smoothly. With a VoIP telephone system in place, staff can either take office handsets home and carry on as normal, or simply download an app on to their mobiles to send and receive calls on their own devices.
Another factor that becomes more pressing with remote working is cyber security. We ensure that all our clients have firewalls, VPNs and encryption services in place and integrated into their remote working set ups.
This becomes a harder task when staff are using personal devices for work, which is often inevitable, so we have been making sure our clients’ businesses are operating efficiently without putting their data at risk.
One thing that has become clear is that those who already had a tech strategy and flexible working systems in place, have managed to react much faster to changing events than those who are suddenly having to change their systems now.
For many years we have been advocating a certain level of preparedness for events like these, but preparation inevitably involves cost, and it is difficult to be fully prepared for such an unprecedented situation.
For businesses without such measures in place needing our help, we have had to think and act creatively to make sure they have the basic physical and security solutions to keep their operations running smoothly and safely. But that’s our job and of course, we are here to help as many South West SMEs as we can in the coming weeks and months.
We have now successfully supported the transition of our clients to remote working where possible and are ready to help others. Do get in touch if your organisation is part way through this process, or has encountered some challenges.
The Technology for Success Business Group met for the first time virtually this month. We had to postpone the talk by Robert Camp, Innovations Director at Stephens Scown – saved for another time – but had a very positive response to discussions around, yes, you guessed it, remote working.
We were joined by a variety of people from SMEs working in diverse sectors: Vikram Kamerkar and Tom Davies from Minerva, Magda King from King Recruit, Andy Dunan from National Physical Lab, John Lewis from Neat Strategy, Sky Randall from Sarah West Recruit, Ben Herbert from Bishop Fleming, Rhian Huxtable from Insight 6, Andrew Ellis from Like Minds, Anthony Peake from Agile Datum, Judith Ludovino from TelePA, Dan Pritchard, Elle Taylor and Joe Bevan from Astley Media.
We talked about the tech, but probably more about the people, and how we communicate, stay positive, help each other and ensure our organisational productivity and culture can thrive.
Because of the response, we will be announcing a new free Technology for Success programme specifically targeted at SW SMEs who are working hard, but facing some huge challenges, as they try to get to grips with the ‘new normal’.
This will of course include the technology options to support, manage, communicate and operate successfully across a dispersed team, whilst maintaining high levels of customer service, GDPR compliance and security from cyber threats. More details to follow early next week.
Over the coming days we’ll be sharing our Top Ten Tips for effective remote working.
As always, the team at Timewade are happy to be contacted for free advice as your business transitions to remote working: firstname.lastname@example.org