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With November just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how adverse weather conditions could affect your business. Last year’s winter was pretty harsh and we know some of our clients had problems with staff being unable to get to work due to transport issues caused by snow, ice and high winds.

Naturally, this kind of situation leads to lost productivity and reduced levels of customer service and revenue. Luckily, there are measures you can put in place to make sure your team can work from home if they need to. You could even use ‘Work from Home Days’ as an extra benefit for your staff, offering them as a reward as well as a means to an end.

Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to get your business winter-ready.

Move essential business systems into the cloud

A cloud-based solution such will let your team access and work on files from any location. These can be shared using DropBox or similar, with updates visible in real time. You can also move other systems such as accounting software into the cloud, so there’s no need to go into work to carry out essential day to day tasks.

Solutions like Office 365 also offer instant chat services, so your colleagues can keep in touch and update you on their work progress. Or you could set up a private What’sApp or Facebook group if you prefer.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

This is a solution that lets people log into your company systems and see exactly what they’ll see when they’re in the office. A VPN offers the advantage of being able to access systems that can’t be placed in the cloud, such as bespoke CRM software.

However, there are risks attached to using a VPN as you may not be able to control the security measures set up on the user’s device if this is personally rather than company-owned. An insecure Wi-Fi connection also opens up your networks to hacking, viruses and other forms of cyber crime. So if you choose this option, you should only let people use a VPN if you’re satisfied their device and internet connection are secure.

Telecons and video conferences

Today’s technology means you don’t need to be in the same room with other people to hold a meeting. You can set up a secure teleconference service that can be accessed from any mobile phone or landline using a meeting ID and PIN number. Or if your staff have access to a web cam, face to face meetings can still take place from anywhere with an internet connection.

Voice mobility

If you have a cloud-based phone system, it’s possible to connect this up to your team members’ smart phones (it’s best if these are company-owned). Your staff can access the system just as they can in the office, making and receiving phone calls in the usual way. Customers and suppliers will have no idea that they’re working from home.

Skype for Business

Microsoft has designed Office 365 to integrate with Skype for Business to provide an enhanced service that can prove invaluable to employees working from home. As well as making video and audio calls, you can share files and even make PowerPoint presentations to clients or colleagues. Files can be shared remotely, and you can invite other users to collaborate with you from any location.

Ask Jalapeno to help get YOUR business ready for winter

If winter weather is a worry for your business, you need to prepare now before the real cold and bad weather set in. The qualified engineers at Jalapeno Business Services can help. We’ll discuss your requirements in detail and recommend a solution that meets your needs and suits your team members.

Get in touch today on 01636 681 110 to find out more. You can also email us at enquiries@jalapeno.is or complete our online form to request a call back. Or why not get the ball rolling straightaway and book a FREE systems audit today?