With flexible working becoming the norm, it is important to know what options are available to make working from home easier and more productive. Here are some key pieces of equipment and software that can get you working from home like a pro!
A VoIP system is something not to be overlooked when it comes to your business phone system. It allows you to pick up your phone from any location, even when you are not at your desk!
In our office, we utilise a VoIP system with “Soft Clients” which basically means a piece of software installed on our computers or mobile phones which turns our device into the equivalent of a desk phone. This keeps our desk free from a bulky physical phone which can come in very handy when space is limited at home. It also means we can answer calls from anywhere!
When utilising a soft-phone, as well as a solid internet connection, a headset is a must. We particularly love wireless headsets which connect to our computers over Bluetooth and keep our hands free for typing.
Getting hold of laptops during 2020 was a nightmare! Prices easily doubled during the worst times. These days, however, they are becoming more accessible. We recommend laptops for home users, as they are flexible and allow for both office and home-based working. Make sure you purchase one with an SSD or M.2 drive instead of a standard HDD as these do not contain moving parts and therefore do not get damaged as easily when travelling around.
Having at least 2 screens has become the norm for a lot of staff, so when working from home it is only natural to want more screen space and stay productive. For a lot of companies, we recommend docking stations which allow you to plug your monitors, keyboard, mouse, headset and network cable into a device that sits on your desk. You then just have 1 cable to plug in to your laptop and you have access to everything you need! This is great when flexible working from 2 different locations, saving you from plugging and unplugging a tangle of cables every morning.
Zoom seems to have run away with the accolade of number 1 choice when it comes to online meetings throughout the flexible working revolution, however, is it the best software to use?
With Microsoft 365 being the most popular cloud services provider in the world amongst successful businesses, with 345 million subscribed users worldwide, Teams is certainly the software of choice for us. Not only does it provide the same functionality as Teams (plus some extra features), but it is also completely free with your Microsoft 365 Business subscription.
Teams allows for file sharing, video calls, voice calls, instant messaging, and collaboration features for colleagues. It should never be overlooked when looking for a solution to online training, meeting, or instant messaging needs.
Not all businesses are a fan but tracking productivity on computers is possible by utilising software such as ActivTrak.
ActivTrak can be installed on computers silently and allows supervisors to monitor for non-productive times on systems that could include things like no activity on the computer, non-productive web browsing, and non-productive application use. It also provides regular screenshots of the device so you can monitor screens.
Utilising a good mix (or all) of the above will ensure a productive home-working environment is provided to staff.