As the UK heads into a pre-Christmas cold snap and we prepare for a heavy winter snowfall at the end of this week, thoughts turn to the chaos UK businesses faced at the start of 2010 thanks to the white stuff.

However, current technologies mean that businesses do not have to feel the impact of widespread disruption across the UK. By utilising services such as Hosted VoIP, Exchange email, instant messaging and cloud computing, and creating virtual offices for employees, businesses can carry on as normal while the rest of the country grinds to a halt.

By allowing your employees to set up and office in their own home and forego their regular commute during the disruption, you can save your business time (employees won’t be late) and money (no lost business due to absences).

But what if an important client calls their phone number?
They will be able to answer it! Using Business VoIP, your numbers can go anywhere, even if it is a different country! All you need is a broadband connection, and a softphone on your computer or the VoIP phone you use on your desk. This is all possible because the number is tied to the account, not the physical connection like BT lines. As an added benefit, your business will also save money on calls and line rental.

But what about their email and messages?
Using a Hosted Exchange service means your employees have ‘anywhere access’ to their email, contacts, calendar and tasks, whether that be through Outlook, a web browser or on their smartphone. They can send and receive mail as if they had ploughed in through the snow! All the information is held in ‘the cloud’, so anything you do when away from the office is synced with your Outlook client when you return.

But what if they need access to files on their computer?
Your employees can either use a remote access service, such as LogMeIn, to access and control their computer from their home PC. Alternatively, a sharing service like Dropbox allows you to share folders (and the files within them) on your computer with colleagues. You can then either install Dropbox on your home computer or access the files from a web browser.

If you add all the simple and affordable services to your business, your employees won’t be among the thousands losing working hours when stuck at home.

Talk to our sales team about how Business VoIP and Hosted Exchange can help you and your business prepare for winter on 01225 800 808.

(Image by Paul Walker)


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