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Optimise your IT for remote working

Many people have been working remotely for almost a year now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Unsurprisingly, the concept of working away from the office is something that a diverse cross-section of businesses are considering introducing into their business models going forwards.

Remote working has a number of benefits, including a better work-life balance for employees, and lowered business expenses, such as the cost of office space and utilities.

If remote working is going to become part of your regular routine, then we highly recommend that you optimise your IT provision now in order to avoid any issues in the future.

Improve your connection

We’re all familiar with WiFi issues and, unfortunately, it is something that can ‘just happen’. There have been issues with the volume of users now connecting remotely, with bandwidths struggling to cope.

However, there are some quick and simple ways to improve your WiFi connection without spending a fortune.

It may seem like an obvious one, but being closer to your router actually does wonders for your connection. If possible, set up your workstation next to your router or even place it on the desk that you are working at.

If you’re still struggling, we recommend that you invest in a WiFi extender or booster, which can be purchased online at a reasonable cost.

You could also talk to your WiFi provider to see what options are available for you to update or increase your plan.

VoIP systems

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are great when it comes to both remote and flexible working. It’s definitely something that we recommend you invest in (if you haven’t already).

A VoIP system converts your voice into a digital signal, allowing you to make a call directly from a computer.

These systems are powered by the internet, allowing devices to be moved around freely wherever there is WiFi. This is beneficial when scaling up or relocating as it eliminates lengthy downtimes and incurred maintenance costs. Simply plug in and connect to the internet, and voila! You’re ready to go!

VoIP systems are generally a more affordable option in comparison to traditional phone lines and require very little maintenance. And the majority of problems that do arise can generally be resolved remotely. It’s worth noting that traditional phone lines are in fact being phased out and will be completely replaced by VoIP by 2025.

We recommend that you switch to VoIP now to get ahead of the change.

Be resourceful

Use a second monitor. If you’re used to working with a bigger screen while in the office, a laptop might seem small in comparison, especially when working on tasks that require a keen eye.

Consider using your TV screen as your desktop or get a second monitor to connect to your laptop – all you need is an HDMI cable. Going wireless is also another option, and for this you could use Chromecast, AppleTV another streaming device.

Use headphones with a microphone. This might seem like a pretty obvious thing to suggest, but you will be surprised by the amount of people who use headphones without a microphone, or who don’t use headphones at all.

When you’re on a video call, try using headphones with a microphone to avoid any background noise interfering and ensure that you can be heard clearly.

Stay up to date

It can be easy to forget the importance of keeping your applications and software up to date when you’re out of the office.

Maybe your IT department usually takes care of this, or your work colleague reminds you to do them.

Don’t miss out on vital updates for any of your programs and devices. Ensuring that all updates are done as soon as possible means that your device will stay protected against hackers and cybercriminals, who are looking for weak spots to take advantage of.

It also helps to keep everything moving efficiently by staying up to date with the latest features and tools.

Protect your data

We recommend that you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help protect your data. A VPN is essentially a secure tunnel to access the internet. Cybercriminals will look to exploit a range of areas, so it is important that your online activity is protected.

As employees spread out, so does your company data, making it an easier target for cybercriminals. Security is often cited as a major reason organisations are hesitant to allow remote working, but solutions and best practices are available.

Setting up extra cyber precautions, such as a VPN, can significantly reduce your risks and give your employer more peace of mind.

Having immediate and reliable access to company data is vital whilst working remotely. All members of staff need to be able to access servers and files easily, wherever they are. There are two main options when it comes to storing data, on premise or the cloud.

Cloud solutions are a great option for remote working as they can be accessed anywhere with the correct login credentials.

This means the security of a cloud server may be called into question; however, additional measures such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and better passwords will ensure your team can access files and data securely when working remotely.

On-premise refers to local hardware, which means all company data is stored on servers, computers and other devices within the company site.

One of the main advantages of an on-premise solution is the security, which is of critical importance today. Whilst no single method can ever be 100% effective at preventing breaches, storing data locally can help keep remote hackers out of a system. However, it is imperative that organisations implement safeguards to protect their on-premise devices.

A data centre is also an option for protecting your data. At its simplest, a data centre is a physical facility that organisations use to house their applications and data, incorporating software, firewalls and antivirus.

Additional benefits include round the clock monitoring and maintenance, constant accessibility and backup facilities.

For more information on our services and how they can assist remote working, get in touch with a member of our team.

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