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Typically, when your office equipment or internet connection acts up at the office, you place a call to your IT guy. And, just like that—the problem is solved, and you can continue with your workday.
But, as the work from home (WFH) migration continues and most of us are further required to stay home and remote into the office, where can you look to find IT support?
If you haven’t already, now is the time to ask yourself, “What office technology and tools do I need to work from home effectively?” Or, maybe you’ve been saying, “Now that I work remotely, there’s tons of office technology I never knew I needed.”
The unpredictable Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic came as a shock to all of us, as this was something no business or family could ever adequately prepare for. However, it has made us more aware of the technology we need that supports our new normal.
Before times changed, many of us were unaware of how much technology we needed to get through our workday successfully. Our telephone connectivity, IT infrastructure, and office output systems (such as printers) were all working in the background—sometimes leaving us forgetting they even existed.
So now that so many of us are working out of the comfort of our homes, how can we transfer all of our technology systems, so that we are just as efficient and productive as we would be at the office?
WFH Office Technology: Everything You Need From One Company
As I mentioned earlier, none of us thought an actual pandemic like COVID-19 would occur, virtually shutting down all aspects of our everyday lives. Most companies had one “IT guy” who visited their business a few times a year or only when a problem occurred.
For many small businesses, this was the only IT support they required. Most of their IT support was minimal and remained consistent with the needs of their employees and customers.
However, other businesses had a more complex IT support system in place, based on many different vendors or “IT guys” to keep all aspects of their technology up and running.
Meaning, a company could have up to three different technology vendors, one for internet and server connectivity, one for telecom and phone systems, and one for their office copiers or printers.
During a time when everyone worked out of one or two offices, the utilization of multiple technology vendors might have been ideal. But, during our current times of remote work, this system just doesn’t cut it.
All-In-One Technology Providers: Save Time and Money
When I talk about partnering with a technology company that is capable of providing all the technology services your business needs, I like to refer to the concept of a department store in a mall.
Take a minute to think back on how things were before department stores existed. What happened when a family of five needed new clothes? It could take multiple stops at different stores to accommodate the needs of each family member—not to mention a great deal of time. How tiring and inefficient!
Nowadays, we have department stores that allow us to walk in and purchase every item (and so much more) we need in a concise amount of time. It’s almost a flawless process.
Even better, we now have all-in-one retail sites online (such as Amazon) to purchase just about everything we need by a simple click of our mouse. From household items to apparel, to landscaping needs, we don’t have to navigate to more than one website to cross off every item on our to-do list. We don’t even have to leave our house!
Since so many of us are used to these types of all-in-one services, why not capitalize on them as they pertain to your business technology needs?
If you’re a business who outsources all of your IT needs to more than one vendor, imagine how much time you’d save by having one dedicated company— a company that supports your IT infrastructure, phone systems, and copy machines.
Another point to consider is the potential cost savings available to you through a bundle deal from a technology solutions provider. You’ll know you’ve come across a great office technology company if they have bundle deals specific to the needs of your business, employees, and customers.
Also, in the instance that your office technology does malfunction (which will happen, no technology is perfect) only having to contact one company versus three is already saving you potential downtime.
Spend time learning about their special promotions offered to your business based on what you specifically need, such as:
- Immediate remote support for all your employee’s phone systems and laptops
- The best ways to reconnect with your customers or prospects remotely
- The in-home devices that allow you to assemble and mail out weekly reports to your staff and customers
It might seem like a pain to switch IT providers during a hectic time like we’re in now. However, trust me when I say it will pay off in the long run.
Our businesses are forever changing, and working from home (WFH) is something that will become more and more common, even once this pandemic becomes a thing of the past.
Office Technology You Never Needed (Or Knew You Needed)
You’re probably noticing that your home office is lacking a few tools that would make your job a whole lot easier. Although the beginning of this pandemic seemed more short-term, we’re now experiencing more long-term and full-time WFH initiatives. So, what does this mean for your home office?
There are a few technology tools that your business requires now that you’re working remotely, and many are ones you never knew you needed or even knew existed.
- A multifunction printer or copier. Your small inkjet copier that was collecting dust in your guest room is not one designed for your fully-functioning home office. You need the same capabilities at home as you did in the office, and that’s where a multifunction printer (MFP) comes in handy. Typical MFPs today can copy, scan, print, fax, and email documents. Additional add-on software can allow them to do even more to manage the document workflow and secure documents so that an organization can increase efficiency, control access, or meet industry compliance guidelines.
To learn more about the differences between a copier and an MFP, read our article Copier or Multi-function Printer (MFP) — What's the Difference?
- A secure internet connection and robust IT infrastructure. When all of your employees were working under one roof, it was relatively easy to manage the security and infrastructure of their technology devices. But now that many of them are WFH, it’s up to them to make sure they’re operating safely and securely. Unfortunately, cybercriminals take advantage of times like this when they know many businesses aren’t practicing safe internet protocols, making your business files extremely susceptible to online attacks and cybercrimes. You’ve got enough on your plate already, right? Don’t let a cyberattack be another thing you have to worry about.
- A phone system and accessories. Many remote workers have been scrambling to find ways to set up call forwarding from their desk phone to their mobile devices or cell phones. As our need for communicative tools is at an all-time high right now, a fully-functioning phone system is a must. But, many of us are also noticing the need for extra telecom tools that we never really knew existed, such as noise-canceling headphones. We’re experiencing more distractions than normal working from home, and any extra tools to help us accomplish our daily tasks are of high demand.
It’s also important that all three of these technology systems work well and sync together. What good would it do if your phone was unable to connect with your conference calling and video conferencing apps on your computer?
To be honest, I barely scratched the surface of the number of technology tools you need as a remote employee. However, mentioning some of these bare essentials will help get your wheels turning on what devices and services will best assist you as you navigate and adjust to working from home.
The Final Say On The WFH Technology You Never Knew You Needed
It’s a tricky time for all of us right now, especially for businesses that are struggling to adjust to new and remote ways of working. As you continue to learn the best ways to serve your customers, remember the essentials of what your business needs.
Your business and employees deserve the tools and resources for continuous collaboration and revenue growth, in the easiest and most cost-effective ways possible. Take some time to research office technology providers who offer bundle deals so that you can take advantage of having your technology all in one place.
At AIS, it’s important that we inform and educate our readers of the best ways to stay connected while also growing their business. Even in times of uncertainty, there’s still an opportunity for businesses of all kinds to excel and continue on its path of success. To learn more about WFH technologies or any of the products and services we offer, reach out to us. We’re here to give you peace of mind to help you win more business.