Grant McGregor News

Are you ready for the volcano? – Time to implement / review remote working for your employees?

August 29 2014

Remember that ash cloud that caused havoc across Europe around four years ago? Unfortunately we’ve got some badnews. We may be facing yet another eruption and this time its Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano.

Whilst various news reports are claiming that there haven’t been any signs of eruption yet, the volcano was hit by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake, sparking concerns that the magma will soon be on it’s way to reaching the surface.

If the volcano does erupt, it is feared that it will cause another ash cloud like the one produced by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010, which resulted in Europe’s airspace being shut down for six days.

Why are we telling you this? Well if you currently have employees that are out of the country on business or are taking a family holiday and due back soon, you are going to need a back-up plan. We understand that even a massive volcanic ash cloud isn’t an excuse for your business to grind to a halt, which is why we suggest implementing and reviewing remote working for your employees.

 

How can remote working help?

Just in case you’re unaware – remote working is now actually a real way of working! Yes, you can still run a successful business, even without having all of your employees working under one roof. Allowing your employees to work remotely can benefit your business in a number of ways, such as:

– Reduce costs (less rent and overheads)

– Increased productivity (employees motivated by getting to work from home)

– Environmentally friendly (less journeys to the office = less pollution)

But how can remote working help you in the case of a volcanic eruption? Essentially, if you have all of the equipment and software set up for remote working and the volcano does happen to erupt over the next few weeks, your employees will still be able to access your business software, emails and any other files they need. This means they will technically be able to carry on working, no matter where they are stranded!

 

What do you need to set it up?

Now you have realised why remote working is so beneficial (particularly in the case of a volcano eruption) you need to know how to go about setting it up. Below we have provided a brief outline of some of the possible solutions your business could benefit from, based on our experience in this area.

 

Setting up a VPN

In order for your remote working plan to be a success, you will require VPN services. VPN stands for virtual private network and is just what you need to provide your employees with secure, remote access to company resources (including files, applications and printers etc.) Setting up a VPN will mean that employees can connect to your server via a secure tunnel, which will encrypt all of the communications going in and out from their devices. The connection can be made over the internet, allowing users to access your data from any location and on any device.

 

Remote working

The alternative option is to allow remote access. This technology will allow employees to remotely access their email accounts and shared files from remote locations. It works by allowing clients to use the wide area network infrastructure to connect to a remote access server.

If you are not sure whether a VPN or remote working solution will be best for your business, please get in touch. We are more than happy to discuss the solutions in detail and help you decide on the best one for your business.

 

Cloud based solutions

If you were considering allowing employees to work remotely before the news of the volcano eruption came along, then you are probably looking for a more permanent and cost effective solution. In all honesty, virtualisation and Cloud solutions are the way to go. Saving data to a secure Cloud and investing in hosted email solutions will mean that employees can safely access the data and emails they need to get their work done, no matter where in the world they are located or what device they are using.

 

IT support

Whilst VPNs, remote access and Cloud solutions are all well and good, if you don’t have a great IT support team behind you, you are going to struggle when it comes to troubleshooting your remote working system. The majority of small businesses can’t afford to employ IT support in-house, which is why we recommend outsourcing the work to a trusted provider, someone just like Grant McGregor!

 

Working with Grant McGregor

When the last Icelandic volcano erupted back in 2010, we received an influx of calls from business managers in a panic. Thankfully we kept calm heads and got to work, doing what we do best. Our wide range of bespoke VPN, remote and Cloud based solutions meant that we were able to help a wide range of clients set up remote working so that their employees could do their jobs, even if they were stranded in a different country!

Whilst we are more than happy to provide emergency IT support services to clients, for your benefit, it is better to be prepared for the worst case scenario, i.e. the Bardarbunga erupting. Get in touch with Grant McGregor today to discuss how you could benefit from implementing remote working for your employees.

We specialise in providing a wide range of first class IT services. It is our aim to level the playing field out for small businesses and ensure they can benefit from some of the enterprise IT solutions that big businesses benefit from but at much more affordable prices.

A volcano eruption does potentially have the power to cost your business time and money. Prevent it from disrupting your working day by seeking out Grant McGregor’s first class remote working solutions.

 

Already set up for remote working

If you have already jumped on the remote working bandwagon then we applaud you! However, before you start feeling smug about your wise decision, we highly recommend testing all of your equipment and ensuring employees can actually access your database from remote locations. You don’t want the volcano to suddenly erupt and then discover that actually your remote working plan has holes. Again, this is something we can help you with. If there is something missing from your system or you could do with a quick evaluation, simply give us a call 0131 603 7910.

 

Conclusion

So far there haven’t been any actual eruptions, but given that an eruption does have the potential to shoot plenty of ash into the atmosphere and disrupt flights all over Europe, it’s best to be on high alert

The Icelandic Meteorological Office has downgraded the Bardarbunga from a code red to a code orange. However, if your business can’t afford to be disrupted by a huge powerful volcano eruption, you’ll need to ensure you have a remote working plan in place. Luckily for you, we’re here to provide a helping hand in the matter. Give us a call or drop us an email for more information.

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