It’s that time of the year again. Employees are taking advantage of their vacation time, flex schedules are implemented, and snow days are expected. All of which can make your office a barren wasteland in December. However, this shouldn’t stop productivity for your business. Here are five tools to put in place to keep your business running during the holidays:
1. VPN – If you aren’t using one already, you probably should be. A VPN (Virtual Private Tunnel) allows you to connect to your office network from any computer with internet access. It’s not quite as simple as it sounds though. A VPN requires a true business-class firewall and can be complicated to setup so you want to work with your IT Provider. However, it could be a life saver if you need to access files or specialized programs securely from home.
2. Terminal Services – Terminal Services is a feature already built in to most Windows-based servers. This technology allows you to connect to a virtual session which runs all of your business applications. Your Remote Desktop also gives you faster access to company files and can be accessed using just about any internet connected device, including smartphones and tablets.
3. Outlook Webmail – If you are already running Exchange Server (Microsoft’s email software) on your server then you should take advantage of Outlook Webmail. This is a web-based client to your company email that looks very similar to Microsoft Outlook. This website can be accessed without the need of Terminal Services or a VPN so is very cost-effective for small businesses.
4. Cloud-based Phone System – Traditionally your business would have a clunky phone switch on premises that required a lot of administrative overhead for limited functionality. Today you have a lot more options. Consider a cloud-based phone system. This option allows you to enjoy the same features of a traditional VOIP phone system, such as receiving your calls on your smartphone or laptop, for a fraction of the cost. You only purchase the phones and can use them wherever you have internet access.