FIVE TOP TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME
As the outbreak of Coronavirus intensifies, schools will soon need to equip staff to work from home. As a trusted provider of phone, IT and cloud solutions for more than 20 years we share our best tips to help you make sure your staff are ready and your systems secure.
MAKE FULL USE OF AVAILABLE SOFTWARE
Ensure that software applications can be accessed remotely from home. Cloud-based applications should facilitate this. For many workers Microsoft Office 365 will be the default package where they can manage their emails and Office documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) from any device. If you need to make conference calls with your colleagues then Microsoft Teams can be added, enabling you to communicate and have meetings by chat, voice and video, with sharing of documents across all team members.
DIRECT CALLS TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Keep communication channels open by making sure calls are handled by the right people. Depending on the phone system you have there are essentially two options:
1. VOIP/SIP system – on this system you are able to divert existing individual numbers to alternative extensions.
2. ISDN system – If you are still using ISDN lines then you can only call forward all of your main numbers and direct dials in bulk to a single alternate number. This means that one individual will end up getting all the calls for the school regardless of who the caller requires (or, is looking to speak to) and transferring calls could be problematic.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE ISDN PHONE LINES?
We are offering a free instance of our cloud based system so this enables you to:
- Use an automated switchboard to route the calls e.g press 1 for School Office, 2 for Bursar etc.
- Have full presence visibility of whether colleagues are on a call or available for a call to be transferred
- Simple call transfer process
- Option to use softphone or mobile application whilst working from home
- Free audio conferencing
Please find further information on our free cloud phone system trial. www.clarioncomms.com/homeworking
SYSTEM CHECK – ACT NOW TO CHECK SETTINGS
Ask your staff to check their internet connection and test settings now on home routers, desktop computers and laptops. All of these may be utilised for work as long as a reliable internet connection also exists. It’s important though to remember that personal devices need to be fit for purpose and secure so in some cases you may need to provide them with additional equipment so they can perform their jobs.
USE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Keep your staff comfortable and they will be more productive. Encourage them to work in a suitable environment, ideally with ergonomic seating and natural light. They may need to be equipped with laptops, handsets or headsets to access company systems, enable them to take calls and work hands-free on other tasks.
MAINTAIN A PROFESSIONAL APPROACH
Encourage staff to maintain the same regime when working from home as they would in the office. For example, they could take the same breaks as when they are at work. Ask them to follow their usual goals and targets, keep them updated with any changing information and make sure they know how to reach other colleagues when they need assistance.
Finally, give them advance notice of any forthcoming video conferences so they are suitably dressed!
Do please call or email us if you need any guidance –we’ve been helping schools and colleges do this for the past 20 years and can provide a fast turnaround to get you set up remotely and ensure you maintain business continuity.
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"We initially had a trial period to test all the features of Clarion’s system. Following this we had a short lead time for install. Everything arrived preconfigured and programmed as requested, so we were simply able to plug in and use the system."