Remember when work meant sitting at your desk in an office 9-5 Monday to Friday.  And then sneakily some of the larger companies (with larger budgets) started to offer some flexibility.  It was possible to work remotely (from home or anywhere with an internet connection) and it was also feasible to expect systems to be available for longer hours. Hmmmm….cunning. Fast forward to NOW and everyone – particularly younger upstarts – expect to some extent to be able to work when they want and where they want.  It’s a changing attitude to work where salary isn’t necessarily the most important thing to potential employees.  Flexibility and ‘work-life balance’ are important when you want to attract the best staff and now the small business can compete with the big corporates by using readily available technology to satisfy this new workforce.  You can easily run your operations from anywhere….and everywhere.

A good broadband connection, a laptop and a mobile phone completes the setup for your remote worker.  So what do you need at the business end?  Well, for starters

Office 365 – When something seems too good to be true it probably is…but not in this case.  Microsoft really has made Office 365 hard to refuse:

  • Online versions of the world’s best-selling office productivity suite including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint;
  • 1TB professional file storage and sharing per user (500,000 HD photos, 500 million word documents).  Enough!
  • Business-class email including calendar, and contacts with a 50 GB inbox;
  • Online meetings, video conferencing, social networking;
  • Excellent support, security, backup and continuity.

Online CRM systems – to manage your interactions with current and future customers to make your business more profitable and your life much easier.

Many CRM systems are now available online as a service.  Software-as-a-service (SaaS) means that the software or hosting company provides all the infrastructure, development and management – the client simply pays for a user licence each month.  This means that you can have something available anywhere, anytime and on any device without the cost and headache of setting this up yourself.  New developments and updates are included and you can expect a higher level of uptime and service.

As the system/application is internet based it doesn’t matter if you are using a Windows PC, a Mac or indeed anything that is connected to the internet.  And all your staff are looking at the same information all of the time.  Have a look at Zoho (www.zoho.com) or Insightly (www.insightly.com) – there are others.

Doodle – is an online scheduling tool that can be used quickly and easily to find a date and time to meet with multiple people.  Often a problem when you’re trying to arrange things and everybody is off doing their own thing.

These systems are always on, accessible from anywhere and give instant access to and communication with co-workers.  And this is just a start.  There are many, many more productivity, collaboration and general business tools out there on the market.  You simply need to find the right ones and make sure they all play nice together.

Want to investigate how mobile working could benefit your business?  Or talk about Office 365, Online CRM or anything else that comes to mind?  Drop us a line (info@atticustechnology.co.uk) and we’ll use the power of remote working to get back to you…wherever we are.

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