At Red Lab Media, we have been working remotely as a company for all of our existence. We provide solutions that are hosted in the cloud and make it easy to work from wherever you need to be. With the COVID-19 outbreak affecting most organizations, I thought I should present a list of the technologies that you could use to enable your staff to work from home.
Most organizations already have email hosting in place for their staff. Working from home just means you need a way to manage your email on a home computer, which may not be set up with email apps like Outlook or MAC Mail. You will need to add your email accounts to your phone or tablet or use your email provider's webmail interface.
If your company uses something like Microsoft Office for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations you will need to install them on your home computer or use another set of apps like Google Docs and Sheets.
Depending on your organization's current phone system, you will need to address the ability to respond to phone calls to your main number. You could forward the calls for each extension to staff cell phones if that capability exists. Also, if your phone server supports emailing voicemails you can get them this way. In any case, if you are changing the way you answer (or not answer) the phone you should update your greeting message to include that information.
Whether you need to gather your staff for a meeting or discuss business with customers, you will need an online web conferencing service. It is critical to use this technology to get some face to face (video) time with everyone.
Being able to join together to discuss projects and issues becomes more difficult when your staff is not physically together. There are a number of great tools to share ideas, files, and other information together online.
Updating your website with any news and announcements is an important step in communicating with your customers. Take the time to learn how to update the content on your website or have a web agency that responds quickly when changes are needed. This also might be the time to explore putting your products and services in an online eCommerce store for your customers to order if your location is closed.
Running the day to day operations of your business is a core part of most staff duties. Having software that is available in the cloud is crucial for remote work. Older software technologies require the software to run on your internal network and remote access is only available through VPN connections. This adds a lot of technical requirements to your remote setups.