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Planning for weather-related disruption

Nov 30, 2018

Living and working in Dorset surrounded by areas of outstanding natural beauty is a total privilege which is easy to take for granted. But alongside the lovely views, being in a rural area comes with its own unique disadvantages.

At this time of year when the weather makes a marked change to include temperature drops and flood warnings, it can be disruptive and frustrating for business owners and employees alike! Whether it makes the journey to work impossible, causes school closures, or power cuts – the knock-on effects can have serious financial consequences.

With a little bit of forward planning, if your team are unable to work from the office, they’ll still be able to work from home with ease. And even if you aren’t a rural business prone to the above issues, it’s still worth having an emergency plan!

Making and receiving phone calls from home

There are so many advantages of a hosted VoIP phone system, that we could write an entire blog series! But there are a few reasons why it’s particularly great for remote working – whether intended or unplanned.

VoIP is web-based. This means that you don’t actually need a physical handset to make and receive calls, as long as you have a good internet connection and a laptop/ PC with speakers and a microphone, you can make and receive calls. With the system we use, there is also a brilliant mobile app to accompany you on the go, and it is also easy to divert calls directly to mobile numbers.

In the event that no-one is able to answer the phone, voicemail sound files can be emailed straight to your inbox to avoid you missing anything.

Download your FREE VoIP for small-medium businesses guide >>

Accessing emails from home.

There are several options for this, including a cloud-based solution like the Hosted Exchange which we offer to our customers and also use ourselves! It’s accessible across all devices, whether they be PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, and means that emails can be accessed easily (and uninterrupted) from anywhere.

Staying connected

Remote workers can connect to the office network using something called a VPN. This works as if their PC or laptop was actually in the office. This solution is especially useful if users need to have access to shared files which are stored on the server.

Another option is using a Remote Desktop, which means you are connecting remotely to another computer within the office. Sometimes we recommend a combination of VPN and Remote Desktop – our recommendations depend on how a business works, what needs to be accessed, and what there already is in place.

For all these options a good internet connection is essential, something you may struggle with if you live in a rural area. For those who do struggle, there are quite a few different location-dependent options which would be worth discussing with an IT company.

The one thing all of these have in common, is that they require a little bit of forward planning. Discussing your options with an IT company is highly advised so that in the event of Beast from the East II you’ll be prepared with an implementable technical solution so that your business won’t need to take as much of a hit!

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