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As we enter the third (and hopefully final) lockdown due to COVID-19, the majority of us find ourselves once again working from home.

Luckily, we’re all a lot more prepared this time round at remote working, having had quite a bit of practice last year. Nevertheless, it is really important to ensure that your business has everything that it needs to in place so that you and your employees can work from home safely and productively over the next weeks and months - keeping your business costs down and increasing efficiency.

As such, we’ve put together this quick recap to help you get settled in to the lockdown ahead:


If you’re still using an old-fashioned phone system to speak to people inside and outside of the organisation, you’ll no doubt be finding this hard to manage whilst working remotely.

Consider switching to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution, such as Microsoft Teams Business Voice. It can handle the calls for the whole company, office-based home or mobile, with much better flexibility - answer calls from a handset on your desk, a Bluetooth headset or even your mobile in a foreign country! 

For lockdown remote working and beyond, Microsoft Teams becomes a key method of communication both inside and outside your business - using chat, voice, video and full telephony. With our customers (and our own staff!) we have found that users adopt to this extremely quickly with very little training and staff become more productive.


We’ve been bleating on about this for a while now, but it can’t be stressed enough – working from home poses additional security concerns and therefore additional opportunities for cyber criminals.

For each employee, consider the following:
  • Has the employee’s PC got good anti-virus installed?
  • If so, have the signatures been updated regularly and are they currently up to date?
  • Is that PC used exclusively by the employee or do the rest of the family use it? (It is commonly known that some gaming sites can be a regular source of malware and virus attacks).
  • Is the PC on Windows 10? (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.1 are all now unsupported by Microsoft and are therefore security risks).
Now is also a good time to update your backup strategy to prioritise your data. Ransomware attacks (the most common type of Malware attack) usually emanate from an employee opening an email attachment, which then spreads to the internal company shared drives, encrypting all files and demanding a payment to enable you to unlock the files. These emails be extremely sophisticated, and there is therefore always a risk that someone will be deceived by them - which is why it’s so important to make sure data is backed up sufficiently. Take a look at our page on backup and DR for more information:

Business Continuity

Cyber-attacks are much more of a business issue (rather than just a tech problem) - the average up-front cost of a cyber-attack on small businesses is between £3,000 and £9,000.

This lockdown, as with previous lockdowns, may create difficult challenges for your business, so it’s really important that a data loss incident doesn’t add to them!


Previously, home working was not at all conducive to collaborative working between teams. Now, there’s a wealth of technology available that can ensure that teams can communicate and work effectively - arguably as well as working together in an office.

During last year’s lockdowns, millions of businesses adopted Teams for chat and video, but not many utilised the collaboration aspect of Teams. Creating a Team across different functions and locations means that staff can work together, benefiting from:

  • Focused messaging – avoiding a deluge of emails “discussing” options with Reply-All.
    • Centralised document storage in the Cloud, so that vital documents can be worked on from anywhere.
  • Users can collaborate on documents at the same time – imagine five people all working in the same spreadsheet or proposal document rather than having different versions floating around on email.
  • Additional apps are available  - To-Do Lists, Planners and hundreds of different apps can be added to a Team.
If you’re not sure where to start with Microsoft Teams, we can help you set this up and make sure all staff are comfortable with how to use it.

Get in touch

As part of the Microsoft suite, Teams works very well with other products in the range, such as Outlook and SharePoint. Sharepoint is a cloud-based document store that can be used within Teams, allowing users to access the documents they need whenever and wherever they are.  Version control and users being able to work on the same document will aid productivity whilst being able to share documents externally with customers & suppliers will support co-operative working.

For a more in-depth look into getting set up for remote working during this lockdown and beyond, download our ebook.
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