Balancing the need to cover over Christmas and allowing staff to have time off is a regular challenge to companies across the world. Who had Christmas off last year? Who has family? Who has enough leave left? Just some of the questions usually asked of managers when fielding leave requests for the Christmas period.

But what if you could still cover the phones and deliver excellent customer service from home?

It is entirely possible to permit home working at any time of year without compromising security, productivity and service levels. Where staff with families can enjoy some quality time while still servicing customers and doing whatever it is that they do. There aren’t many opportunities where workers can have their Christmas cake and eat it but this is one of them!

Plus, if the great British weather also chips in this winter, it doesn’t matter if there is six feet of snow outside or the wrong kind of leaves on the line. Staff can work just as productively from home whatever the weather.

By using a few low-cost IT solutions, you can allow flexible working at any time of year. This has both business benefits and health benefits for your staff.

What you need to enable flexible working

Contrary to popular belief, it is not expensive or very complicated to get your business ready for flexible working. You just need three essential things, a good internet connection, a secure device to work on and a cloud-based platform to support it. All cost much less than you might think.

Internet connection

Most of us who live in urban areas enjoy decent internet speeds. If you have that, you can work from anywhere. By using a secure VPN into your office network your employees can work securely from home. They can also use Skype or Microsoft Teams to keep in contact with each other and team leaders.

Laptop or tablet

A decent laptop will perform just as well out of the office as inside. Load it with VPN software, video conference apps, productivity apps like Office 365 and anything else staff need to work and they are ready to go. Whether you’re providing front line support to customers or managing a project, with the right tools and the right approach, you can do it from anywhere.

Cloud-based platforms

I mentioned Office 365 above, Microsoft’s cloud-based office platform that can be used from anywhere. Unified Communications platforms are another useful tool to bring productivity right up to date. A single solution can integrate messaging, conferencing, follow-me numbers, telephony, data sharing, collaboration and more. Vodafone OneNet is just one of the UC platforms we use to deliver true go-anywhere productivity to businesses of any size. It offers a reliable service you can count on to deliver first-class service to your customers where you, or they, may be.

If you haven’t yet considered flexible working, now might be a good time. Many of the solutions we use at Excalibur provide flexible, cost-effective productivity to business. That they come with the added benefit of enabling home working while maintaining service levels is just a bonus. One that will felt by both your business and your staff!

To learn more about how your business could benefit from cloud solutions, unified communications and flexible working, contact the specialists at Excalibur today. We’re here to help!

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