The recent outbreak has forced many businesses to work remotely. In the age of cloud, small businesses can mostly use their systems via the internet, meet virtually and share files more easily than ever before.
Foundation of remote working is to have a solid internet connection. If your home Wi-Fi is not reliable enough, we strongly suggest getting a prepaid mobile broadband. A small device by Telstra or Optus or any other provider of your choice that has portable Wi-Fi and works over 4G.
A virtual or Web meeting lets you connect with any laptop, tablet or phone with camera to join a conference call. All you need is a reliable internet connection. Even if it weren’t for Coronavirus, it’s the foundation of future of business collaboration and you should be using it regardless.
Both offer free versions: Zoom limits you to 1-1 meetings and only 40 minutes of group meetings on its free tier whereas MS Teams allows unlimited use. Zoom is easier to use and less confusing for first timers and if that’s important to you, then you may need to spend $20 a month.
Another option is Google Hangouts, if you already have GSuite subscription.
Tools for Virtual Meetings
Virtual meeting works quite well on tablets and phones for audio/video meetings, but PC/Mac lets you do more with screen sharing such as co-working real-time in excel or presenting a PowerPoint deck. If your PC doesn’t come with camera or a good noise cancelling microphone, invest in a good webcam:
Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam is the best camera after years of trying various brands. We find this produces great quality, works with PC or Mac, has noise cancelling microphones and will last for years.
Optional upgrade: Headset
If you plan to do a lot more meetings and really want flexibility to move around while on calls you might want to get a headset for even better audio experience.
Plantronics Voyager Legend is our top choice for long battery life, charging case and a decent price tag of $150 or the Plantronics Explorer 50 for $39 as a budget option.
For the ultimate all in one, we suggest Jabra Elite 65t. Superb sound does everything as above plus great for music enthusiasts and gym use. Retails at $250, but you can generally find good deals around $180.
Emailing files back and forth is never a good idea. Even if you are not working remotely, you should be using a cloud-based collaboration platform such as OneDrive Google Drive or Drop Box. Some of the benefits of cloud file sharing: automatic version control, automatic backup, sync with PC/Mac and availability of same files on all devices (mobile and tablets). Also you can share large files as links and co-work on them simultaneously.
We prefer OneDrive as it lets you grow with other options in O365 and has a lot of good training material out there to get you started. Also, you get a Microsoft’s trusted web version of office suite for free.
Hope these tips were useful in getting you started. We at Noorix Digital Solutions would love to hear your feedback and if you would like to know more about how to get best out of technology for your business. Bookmark our blogs for more tips on small business IT strategy.