Remote working…..keeping you connected

With the Government announcing its latest measures and encouraging us to work at home if possible, to help the delay phase of the UK’s response to COVID-19, we are now in uncharted territory in the workplace.

Whether you think the global response is an overreaction or not, what is likely to happen over the next few months is undoubtedly going to be unprecedented.

Companies are now facing employees having to work in isolation. As a precaution over the last week many employers have trialed working from home before the Government announcement.

 “We’re being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment and, so far, it hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations to implement,” says Saikat Chatterjee, Senior Director, Advisory at Gartner

Whether at home or in the office, employees are continually accessing data as part of their daily tasks.

Few organizations feel prepared for large-scale remote work, but you can take steps to make the experience productive.

The internet has enabled both companies and employees to maximize their potential through remote work. Even if your technology or infrastructure is inadequate, there is still plenty of time to implement a quick fix that will prepare your teams for working in isolation.


It is important to ensure your team continues to communicate even when they are away from the office. Communication may become a struggle if companies do not have the appropriate technological infrastructure or culture in place to implement.

Leveraging mobile email apps, instant messaging platforms like Slack and internal social media platforms will ensure your team is still able to communicate in an efficient and effective manner. Ensuring that you have all the current personal details for staff is important, mobile numbers and ensuring staff have access to their emails is essential.

Task management systems like Trello, and Clubhouse will also be valuable systems to utilise to ensure your teams stay on task.

More established tools like Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom can help you keep in touch with colleagues, customers, suppliers and stop your business from grinding to a halt.

Remote Access:

Some companies will still need to access programs or files from their work computers or servers. You can use Microsoft OneDrive to sync your files as part of Office365 or setup remote access to your normal PC from home. It was important to make sure these programs were up and running before isolation became widespread, however your external IT provider will be able to arrange in your absence.

Here are a couple of recommendations:

Good Chrome Remote Setup Free:


Company Data:

If bookkeepers and sales teams genuinely can’t do their job without access to company data on servers or computer’s in the office, then there is little point in sending them off to work from home without access to those files.

Many accounting solutions are now cloud based making remote access easy, however, for those that are only accessible in the office such as Sage50, it is important that a remote access software is used or you make use of Sage Drive – see here.

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Utilising a data reporting tool like Cascade50 which uploads Sage50 data to the cloud for teams will also be of benefit. It will allow business owners to understand their cost base, cash position and profile of sales being achieved whilst in shutdown. Cascade50 can easily be setup without access to your site, using your external IT provider to install the connector alongside your Sage50 data. It takes around 5 minutes and you would be able to access all your data, insights and analytics within the hour.

Data protection is also an important factor when accessing data from home. GDPR has ensured that software vendors comply with keeping data secure, however, home computers may have to be properly secured and employees reminded about data security and protocols. This will need to be discussed with your IT provider.

Cloud-based productivity tools and other employee-facing technologies are increasingly prevalent in today’s workplaces so this shift should not be a culture shock and I predict that this will be the start of a significant change in the way people work. 

The sudden large-scale remote-working change across the UK will likely create opportunities for workplace efficiency improvement and cultural changes in how we work moving forward.

The real challenge is to ensure that the health and well being for staff is maintained as best as possible. Employers are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees, including those who are working away from the office. Whilst working from home has historically been viewed as a luxury or perk – there is a real danger that staff become sedentary and this is not good for either mental or physical health and well being. So as well as the obvious risk of COVID-19, employers need to ensure home working is viable and encourage regular exercise (at home when in confinement) and be open about the challenges we will all face…….communication is vital.


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