With so many employees across the UK now working remotely, communication is more vital than ever. However, remote working comes with its own challenges to overcome.
Firstly, with a large number of people working from home, there will be a serious test of the country’s domestic broadband and communications systems.
Some web and app communication tools may become busier than others and to keep in touch with customers or suppliers using different methods, it is advisable to have access to as many means of communication as possible, especially as some may experience heavier than usual demand.
It’s important to keep in touch with suppliers and customers, you never know what opportunities may present themselves despite the current situation and it’s best to be informed sooner rather than later if supplies are going to be difficult to obtain or a customer is going to have problems paying.
There are many tools for communication and here is a selection all of which are either free or can be upgraded to a premium level.
Google Messenger has a desktop version which enables SMS communication via a PC. Instructions for use: Messages for web
Hangouts enables calls, video calls and messaging via app or desktop: https://hangouts.google.com/ and from the Play Store for mobile.
Duo is a multi-platform video calling app and web-based platform: Google Duo – The simple video calling app.
For business 365 users, there is Microsoft Teams: Download Microsoft Teams on any Device
Facetime is on all iPhones.
Slack: Where work happens a good replacement for email.
House Party: Houseparty | Face to Face Social Network
There are many other tools but the best advice is to have multiple platforms available to you in order to be able to communicate with people effectively; reliance on one method is probably inadvisable.
Google G-Suite (the paid, business version of the familiar Google applications) allows real-time collaboration on documents, spreadsheets and presentations and includes the various communication tools above plus email and calendar. G Suite: Collaboration & Productivity Apps for Business
Microsoft 635 Business but gets a little pricier to bring it up to the level of capability enjoyed by Google users: Microsoft 365 Home | Business, Enterprise or Education Suite
The following provide either free or fremium (try before you buy) versions:
If you want an upgrade from a notebook or the simple note-taking apps on your phone or laptop: Best Note Taking App – Organise Your Notes with Evernote
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
If you have time on your hands and wish to help prepare yourself for when normal business activities may be resumed, you can improve your business knowledge through some short courses. MOOCs are usually provided by universities and are mostly free. They are created to encourage people to return to higher education and to prepare them for getting back into study. Here’s the offering from the Open University: All our free courses
Futurelearn is a collaboration between the Open University and several other UK universities. At a basic level, the courses are free but you can pay to get certificates and other upgrades: FutureLearn: Online Courses and Degrees from Top Universities.