- While there are no guarantees, the UK’s lockdown is due to ease during late spring and early summer 2021.
- While many UK businesses will be moving to a work-from-home model, many others will be returning to work – or following a hybrid approach.
- With a distributed workforce, IT support becomes even more important. Here’s what your business needs to know to avoid any IT issues post-lockdown.
Almost 18 months since the beginning of the global pandemic, the world is a very different place for all of us.
With so much back and forth with government restrictions and recommendations, it can be tough for businesses to know where they’re up to. But, assuming we stick to the plan, the UK will be returning to a more normal way of life during May and June 2021.
If you’re running a small business, that will probably mean changes to the way your teams are working. While some may stay remote, others may return to the office – and that means your IT support strategy needs to adjust.
Here are our essential recommendations for surviving the post-lockdown world without giving your IT support team too many migraines.
Step 1: Ensure your IT support is flexible enough for hybrid roles
If there’s one thing most businesses will be very familiar with by now, it’s being reactive to change.
Because of this change, you’ll probably find that some (or even all) of your employees might wish to hybridise their role – working some of the week from home, and some from the office.
In this case, you’ll need to make sure employees have the right IT equipment for the job. For example, you might consider issuing laptops to your employees so that they can easily pick up where they left off, whether they’re at home or in-office.
Step 2: Brush the dust off your on-premises IT setup
When is the last time you had a full office with everyone working in one place? If you’re like most of the UK, the answer to that will be somewhere around March 2020.
While it’s true that offices weren’t frozen in time when the pandemic hit, it’s also true that many have been operating on a much more scaled-down basis since then. It’s natural to assume that everything will just work when more employees start returning to work, but – as with all things in the realm of IT support – this usually isn’t the case.
We strongly recommend that you carry out a short audit of your core IT systems before employees start coming back in larger numbers. This means reviewing your broadband connection, taking a look at your networking configuration, and even your desk layout (especially if you never incorporated social distancing measures).
Do you have enough bandwidth to host multiple video calls at once? Can your IT setup support the hybrid working model without breaking a sweat? These are all questions which will help you take these changes in stride.
Step 3: Consider your telephone system in a hybrid world
There was a time when most of us were shackled to our desk phones, but the shift to working from home has changed all of that.
Whether you started leaning more heavily on digital platforms like Microsoft Teams, or simply never got around to it, the move back to the office post-lockdown is a good chance to review your telephony.
If your employees are still reliant on a landline connection linked to their desk telephone, it’s time to look into other options – like VoIP, or “Voice over Internet Protocol”. Here at Get Support, we can help you with VoIP solutions which make telephone calls simple, whether your employees want to receive them at their desk, their laptop, their smartphone, or anywhere else – the sky’s the limit.
Step 4: Review your cybersecurity strategy
If you’re a regular on the Get Support blog, you’ll know that cybersecurity is an issue which is very close to our hearts.
Having a bulletproof IT support strategy really begins and ends with the right level of cybersecurity, especially with a more distributed team. A full or partially remote workforce means that it’s much more likely employees will be using a.) their home internet connections, and b.) their personal devices to carry out work activities.
Your risk tolerance is entirely up to you and your IT support strategy, but we certainly recommend that you take a full audit of potential risks before employees start returning or moving to hybrid work. For the ultimate across-the-board protection from digital threats, we also recommend deploying a robust system such as Endpoint Detection and Response.
Step 5: Revisit the setup of your meeting rooms
Hey, remember meeting rooms?
They were once an everyday fixture of working life, but in the last 18 months that’s changed… a lot.
Now that employees will be returning to the office, it’s probably a good time to revisit your approach to meeting rooms. There are two main reasons for this:
- Depending on regulations and the comfort levels of your employees, you will probably want to introduce some form of social distancing.
- You’ll want to ensure your meeting rooms are optimised for hybrid working. This might mean introducing connected TV screens, microphones, and a room-scale webcam so everyone can join the meeting whether they’re in the office or anywhere else.
Save time on your return-to-work with an IT Support agreement from Get Support
Gearing your business up for the post-lockdown return to the office is no small feat – and it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re busy running your business.
So, if you’d like expert advice and guidance about every tiny detail of your IT support setup post-lockdown, Get Support is here to help. We offer comprehensive IT support packages which cover everything from technical troubleshooting to long-term IT strategy.
To learn whether or not an IT support agreement might be right for your business, call the Get Support team today on 01865 59 4000 – or just fill in the form below.