If you think we’ll all go back to the workplace after lockdown ends, think again. According to the BBC, “A survey of just under 1,000 firms by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that 74% plan on maintaining the increase in home working. More than half planned on reducing their long-term use of workplaces. A smaller survey of bosses whose firms had already cut workplace use suggested 44% of them thought working from home was proving “more effective”. So, it’s safe to assume you’ll need to future proof your remote working operation for the long term. What key items should you invest in? We’ll break it down below.
Cloud storage & tools
First, this is probably the most obvious. If you’re planning to rid yourself of physical premises and all the costs associated with that, you need the cloud. And cloud storage like Azure and productivity software like 365 is a no-brainer. Also, Microsoft 365 is an excellent platform to consider due to its ubiquity. Above all, most of your employees will already be familiar with Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint. So, when combined with OneDrive & SharePoint, you’ve got a robust remote working platform.
VoIP phones & conferencing
However, despite the popularity of video conferencing services like ZOOM and Teams, many operations still need traditional telephony. But, you can bring your organisation into the future with cloud-based VoIP systems. Many, like ours, come with a softphone app. So, that allows your agent to take and make calls from their mobile or desktop without a handset. And this is ideal for home-working staff members. Unlike video conferencing apps, you’ll get detailed statistics and record-keeping options. Above all, these are essential for customer-facing roles.
SalesForce is one of the biggest players here. Moreover, they are endlessly scalable and extremely robust. And their marketing and sales functions are essentially second to none. But there are other options on the market. First, SugarCRM is really customisable for small to medium organisations. Next, ZohoCRM is very affordable and offers extremely user-friendly interfaces. Lastly, Hubspot is becoming increasingly popular due to its free entry-level CRM system and simple interface. And for eCommerce businesses, Shopify offers good integrations that mimic basic CRM functions.
Other products to consider
Finally, there are more tools out there to help you streamline and improve your remote working operation. And many are time-savers, visualisation or collaboration tools. Also, most are free or very cheap to subscribe to. So, we’ve compiled a list here of our favourites:
- Krisp noise-cancelling software for taking calls in loud home environments.
- Skitch by Evernote for video conference notations.
- Teamviewer for remote desktop takeovers (for those less tech-savvy colleagues).
- Slack for quick, real-time chatting.
- Toggl for time logging and task tracking.
- GanttPRO for critical project tracking and dependencies.
- Canva Pro for image creation and digital design.
- Miro for virtual whiteboard and collaborating on ideas visually.
- NordVPN for secure browsing.
- Authy for two-factor authentication.
- Basecamp for great marketing team collaboration.
- ProofHub for operational team collaboration.
Want more help to future proof your remote working operation? Talk to our helpful team.