Without a doubt, 2020 has proven to be an unprecedented time, calling for a new way of doing business. A recent study by Wrike revealed that nearly half (49%) of their respondents had never worked from home prior to the pandemic.

How has your organization been affected? You can use the following survey questions to poll staff and get a feel for the success of your transition to a remote workforce.

  1. How seamless was your transition to remote working?
  2. Are there additional tools or technology that would allow you to have a better remote working experience?
  3. Are there ways the organization can help support you more while working remotely?
  4. Are you experiencing any challenges while operating/working remotely that you do not face in the office?
  5. On a scale from 1-5, please rate your feeling of connectedness to other team members and employees.
  6. On a scale from 1-5, please rate your overall experience working remotely.

While it may require some level of adjustment, working remotely doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right tools, it can even help you become more productive.

Through advances in communication, many of these work at home trends will likely have staying power and continue to be utilized for years to come.

At Ontech Systems, in the greater Milwaukee area, we’re seeing an influx of interest in businesses adopting the cloud, interests in mobile security, and requests to streamline remote communication.

The following tools can help your organization achieve these goals – and then some!

1) Instant Messaging Through Microsoft Teams

Teams originated as Skype until Microsoft acquired the tool and ultimately created Microsoft Teams in 2017.

Deploying Teams doesn’t have to be difficult and it’s easier than you might think. While the cloud based phone system functionality of Teams is still in its infancy, this tool is an incredibly easy-to-use instant messaging app and it’s great for internal calls as well. Accessing chat within Teams is as simple as logging into your Office 365 account.

On the flipside, you may need a technician to help you set up some of the advanced features such as screen sharing, webinar access, and presenting mode. Ontech Systems is available to help you build out Teams to its fullest extent. Just contact us online or reach us at 262-522-8650.

2) Collaborating with Microsoft SharePoint

Many people confuse Microsoft Teams and SharePoint because they are frequently used together. Here’s a quick overview to help you keep them straight:

  • Teams – Primarily used as an instant messaging tool.
  • SharePoint – Used as a collaboration tool that integrates Teams group chat, announcements and OneNote features.

*Also worth noting is the difference between OneDrive vs SharePoint.

For a real-world example, let’s say your sales team wants to create a training portal.

You would begin by creating a SharePoint site that corresponds with a Teams SharePoint channel. The data in this case resides in SharePoint, not Teams. Communication through this portal could take place on Teams group chat.

You could additionally connect a OneNote notebook with the sales team’s SharePoint channel to share sales meeting agendas and build out the training library to for the rest of the sales team to view. What this amounts to is an “intranet” that can be developed for internal use and added onto as resources and team members grow.

3) Remote Access through LogMeIn

Need to access your work computer from a different location? No problem, LogMeIn to the rescue. This widely used remote access tool allows you to gain encrypted, secure access to your computer from anywhere, at any time. In fact, this is what Ontech uses exclusively to support our clients.

Note: Ontech’s managed service clients already have access to LogMeIn since this tool is included with all managed service subscriptions.

4) Advanced Phone Features through Allworx

Allworx is a cloud based phone system that is great for businesses who need advanced control over calling features. An app called Allworx Reach essentially turns your cell phone into an office phone, complete with extensions where you can see when other people are on the line, and others don’t see your personal cell phone number. This is a perfect solution for healthcare organizations or attorney offices since it will appear to callers as if you are calling from the office.

Allworx Reach is available as an Android or iPhone app and it allows your organization to save money by paying for a user license rather than an expensive phone system.

Whether you need to quickly instant message a co-worker, gain access to your work computer, collaborate with your team or maintain a professional phone support experience for customers, chances are good that you have questions, and we have answers.

Give Ontech’s support team a call with all your remote work questions at 262-522-8560 or send us a request online.

business communication trends in 2020
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