5 productivity secrets for large remote teams

Author:
James Singleton
Partner Manager & Product Specialist

Remote work is here to stay. But we’ve got some work to do to get it right. The question is: how effective are remote workers today?

In the absence of face-to-face office interactions, communication as a team can suffer. The larger the remote team, the more difficult it can be to synchronise schedules, overcome language and cultural barriers, and foster that group feeling that is so integral to a happy and productive workforce.

It’s for this reason that existing communication ecosystems won’t be enough to support the shift to remote, or even multi-office, work. So what do businesses need to do?

Unlocking the potential of your large remote teams

Productivity doesn’t happen by accident — it has to be built. That’s why organisations need to devise a strategy, and take specific steps, to ensure their teams can communicate effectively, no matter where they are.

Here’s 5 ways to ensure your remote team is communicating and collaborating just as effectively as they do in person:

Define how your team will communicate

What do you expect from your teams when working remotely? The etiquette that’s second-nature in an office environment is a little less clear when working virtually. Are all team members requested to have cameras on when in meetings? Should questions be saved for the end of a VC?

Being upfront with your team about expected virtual protocols can help streamline remote communications, whether it’s general housekeeping (e.g. muting microphones during meetings) or focused on operational excellence and new ways of working.

Create smaller, more agile teams

As your employee's transition to remote work, it might be time to reconsider the size of the teams they’re in. Why? Because trying to maintain large working groups, without face to face interaction, can be difficult and counterproductive.

Inevitably all work centres around projects — that’s true for any organisation. So when working virtually, try splitting large teams into smaller groups, designed to tackle specific parts of a larger roadmap. This can be much more productive and help play to team member strengths.

Over-communicate

Humans are social creatures — just because we’re working remotely, doesn’t mean we want to work in isolation.

Maintaining good working relationships is key to productivity. Team leaders need to play an active role in creating ways for members to inspire, connect and motivate each other.

Whether it’s organising a virtual lunch or team quiz, finding ways to connect as a team, just to talk or have fun, is crucial to maintaining well-being. Thankfully, the rise of sophisticated video conferencing tools can go some way to replacing face-to-face interaction.

Host shorter, more efficient meetings

Even with the best will in the world, it can be hard to concentrate on a laptop for extended periods of time.

When working remotely, shorter and more focused meetings can help teams work more effectively. Establishing and sharing an agenda document in advance, with clear objectives and desired outcomes, can help people come prepared and ready to work collaboratively.

Invest in the right technologies

Very few organisations expect their in-office employees to come equipped with their own tools and technologies. It’s far easier for the business if everyone’s working from the same software system, the same file-sharing server, email provider, etc.

And the same thing goes when working remotely. Built specifically to cater for large remote or multi-office teams, Mitel MiCloud Flex helps improve business productivity by streamlining virtual communications.

A Unified Communications solution

Mitel MiCloud Flex delivers a full suite of cloud-based collaborative technologies. From instant messaging to VCs, phone calls to file-sharing, and everything in between, MiCloud Flex allows your team to fulfil all of their communication needs from one single app.

And it works regardless of where they’re based or how many people are using it.

Mitel MiCloud Flex, brought to you by JT

As the Channel Islands’ leading provider of choice for Mitel, JT has proven experience delivering collaboration and communication solutions for varied business sizes, bespoke to a variety of requirements. Also supplying, where required, a suite of intelligent Mitel video and audio hardware, we can ensure a complete, collaborative experience in and out of the office for your teams.

Get in touch with the JT team today, and let’s book a Mitel Flex demo for your business. It’s the first step toward smarter, more productive, and more unified working habits for your large remote teams.

Enquire now >



Preparing for a remote or multi-office future

Author:
James Singleton
Partner Manager & Product Specialist

Flexibility and agility are two of the most important characteristics for any business, but especially as we move into a new world of working.

While the events of the past year have been tough, they’ve also afforded us a glimpse into the future of the workplace. Many organisations have seen that their teams don’t necessarily need to be centralised in one office space — not if they have the right virtual tools.

It’s time to consider the working arrangements that will help see your organisation through 2021 and beyond.

Remote, office or multi-office — what are the benefits?

Remote working

The benefits of remote working can be far-reaching and profound. Studies have shown that, on average, remote workers are more productive and collaborative, more innovative and more engaged, too. Likewise, companies who implement remote working and are more attractive to employees (aftercollege.com), particularly when it comes to younger workers.

Working from home enables employees to skip lengthy commutes and customise their workday to suit their needs. Working remotely can be highly motivating for staff and, when handled appropriately, helps deliver a greater work-life balance.

Office working

The office has long been a staple of the working world, and with good reason. In an office environment, collaboration comes naturally — a stark contrast to the sometimes problematic task of weaving together multiple remote worker schedules.

Multi-office working

The growth of flexible, “co-working” workspaces has birthed a third option for teams to consider: multi-office or satellite working.

By harnessing co-working spaces, businesses can essentially do away with their traditional “headquarters” and instead have several smaller offices that employees are free to work from at their choosing. This providing a space for employees to collaborate face-to-face, work together when necessary, and maintain that feeling of being one cohesive team.

When planning the year ahead, flexibility is key

Different employees require different working arrangements at different times. Therefore, it may be more prudent to invest in tools that allow your business to ramp up its office or remote working capacity as and when needed.

Rather than committing to one particular form of working, organisations should instead focus their efforts on flexibility; ensuring that communication methods are just as effective when employees are working remotely as when they are in the office.

Thankfully, there are solutions available to do exactly that.

Increase operational flexibility with Mitel MiCloud Flex

Mitel Micloud Flex delivers a full Unified Communications solution — incorporating chat, video calling, telephony and screen-sharing. With a single app, Mitel Flex allows your team to use the same communication tools across any device, regardless of where they choose to work from.

With Mitel MiCloud Flex, no longer will your team be beholden to wired telephones and static desks. Instead, they receive the freedom to work remotely or on-site, as and when they like.

Future-proof your team with JT and Mitel’s MiCloud Flex

A robust feature set and the latest Voice over the Internet Protocols ensure that MiCloud Flex is the team collaboration tool to prepare your office for the future, whatever that future might look like.

As the Channel Islands’ leading provider of choice for Mitel, JT has proven experience delivering collaboration and communication solutions for varied business sizes, bespoke to a variety of requirements. Also supplying, where required, a suite of intelligent Mitel video and audio hardware, we can ensure a complete, collaborative experience in and out of the office for your teams.

For a demonstration of Mitel Flex’s capabilities, or to get started using the service, contact the JT team today.

Enquire now >



How Mitel’s MiCloud Flex helps team collaboration

Author:
James Singleton
Partner Manager & Product Specialist

Technology continues to fundamentally revolutionise the workplace. The days of employees being tied solely to static desks and phones are soon to be behind us.

This newfound freedom in where and how we work has presented a new series of problems for businesses, however. How can companies ensure effective communication and collaboration among teams, when their employees are across the country or globe?

Unified Communications with MiCloud Flex

Unified Communications with MiCloud Flex

We’re seeing a new surge of technology-driven communication tools — from messaging applications to video conferencing solutions, and everything in between.

The sheer volume of solutions and tools now available can be overwhelming for even the most capable worker or IT team, not to mention managing logging into and being contactable across often multiple platforms.

What is Unified Communications?

Unified Communications (Unified Comms, for short) describes the integration of these many, disparate communication and collaboration tools into a single, centralised system.

By combining or integrating multiple functionalities in one platform, Unified Comms facilitates the flow of communication among devices and personnel, easing the burden of managing these separate tools individually.

However, Unified Communications traditionally relied on a complicated network of hardware and cables, which can be costly for larger organisations.

To solve this problem? Take your unified comms into the Cloud with MiCloud Flex.

MiCloud Flex delivers exactly the same capabilities that you would expect from a traditional telephony system, but without the purchase or maintenance costs of the associated hardware. In addition to combining IM, VC and other now essential team communication features — meaning unbeatable value for large organisational teams.

The benefits of Mitel Flex for large business teams

Built on Google’s Cloud infrastructure — yes, that very same framework that Google uses to service over one billion users a day — MiCloud Flex utilises Voice over the Internet Protocols (VoIP) to transfer calls and deliver information safely and securely.

What does that mean for the average business? In short, teams of any size are now free to choose where and how they work, and MiCloud Flex’s suite of Cloud Voice services will help foster collaboration.

Here’s just some of the way that MiCloud Flex can help teams work better together:

Caters to multi-office environments

With MiCloud Flex, users are free to enjoy the same communications experience anywhere, at any time, and on any device.

Because all of the Mitel Flex services run from a single app — and information is stored virtually — communication and collaboration remain seamless, regardless of where your team chooses to work from that day. It's as easy to schedule and host a meeting between colleagues from home as it is in the office.

All applications feature the same advanced security protection, helping sensitive data remains safe, even when your team is not on site.

Collaborate smarter

MiCloud Flex boasts an extensive and robust feature set, fulfilling the collaboration requirements that are essential to your business (and even some that you may not have considered).

With Mitel, communication is instant. Whether instant messaging, making calls or organising a team-wide video conference, it’s simply a case of choosing who you wish to speak to and by what means. Visual voicemails, an attendant console and presence-based awareness also contribute to a market-leading Unified Comms solution.

Maximum flexibility and scale

With MiCloud Flex, your organisation receives dedicated hosting via Google’s secure Cloud data centres. This means your company is free to create its own bespoke communications environment, without the complexity or responsibility of managing it yourself.

What’s more, with full control over upgrades and maintenance if desired, or opting for a managed service your communications can scale with your business needs.

Transitioning your teams to Mitel’s MiCloud Flex

As the Channel Islands’ leading provider of choice for Mitel MiCloud Flex, JT has proven experience delivering collaboration and communication solutions for varied business sizes, bespoke to a variety of requirements. Also supplying, where required, a suite of intelligent Mitel video and audio hardware, we can ensure a complete, collaborative experience in and out of the office for your teams.

For a demonstration of Mitel Flex’s capabilities, or to get started using the service, contact the JT team today.

Enquire now >



JT launch their 10-year Sustainability Strategy

JT has launched a 10-year Sustainability Strategy, setting clear targets to reduce its impact on the planet and local environment, and to become a carbon neutral business by 2030.

The JT Sustainability Strategy focuses on two main ambitions, centred around Planet and People. Not only are they focused on reducing environmental impact, but the strategy also outlines their focus on promoting diversity within the organisation and connecting and bringing together our communities. For over a century, JT has been at the very heart of island life, adapting to change and leading innovation and technology in the communities it serves. Today JT has a very clear purpose, which is to help connect their people, customers and islanders to their sustainable future.

The Telecoms operator worked with The Carbon Trust to benchmark and baseline their carbon emissions, bringing existing environmental activities together into a robust and formal planet policy and future vision. That includes using more locally generated renewable energy, reducing their fleet size and moving to electric vehicles, scaling down and repurposing their property estate, while also supporting their customers and partners to reduce their own carbon footprint.

The People strategy also outlines JT’s focus on the community and their commitment to supporting local charities, vulnerable groups and champions the importance of digital education and online security for all. Workforce diversity and inclusion is also a key focus area for the Group which they see as critical to ensure growth and attract the best talent.

Graeme Millar, JT Group CEO, commented: “Climate change remains one of the most urgent challenges for our society today. The fight to contain it requires a genuine commitment from all of us, it’s an opportunity for everyone to work together to protect the world we all share. For us, this is a really important part of our 10-year strategy alongside our ‘social sustainability’ commitment to do good in the communities we live and work in. We’ve a responsibility to champion and lead on digital inclusivity and education and I’m excited to see the benefits that will bring to our islands. We’ve set ourselves some ambitious targets, which won’t be achieved overnight, we hope when we report back each year, we can demonstrate positive steps forward.  We know we won’t get it right first time, however with the support of our people, customers and partners we hope to see good our commitments to supporting our purpose, while providing positive digital and social experiences.

Energy use is an essential part of day to day business operations, but all telecom operators have considerable scope to cut energy costs and consumption which is why JT’s teams are determined to make efficient and sustainable changes wherever the opportunity presents itself.

Tom Noel, JT’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, said: “We’re already making great progress in reducing energy use in all our buildings, using a series of simple solutions such as sensors that make sure lights are not left on, something every business can commit too. We’re putting our foot firmly on the accelerator to achieve wider sustainability goals within our communities, supporting the aims of being a force for good. That’s not just about reducing our use of energy and switching to renewable sources, it’s also about being at the core of community life and supporting a digital future for everyone, because we really believe that the way forward is together’’.

Read our 10-year Sustainability Strategy  >



JT SD-WAN Solution with business employees working remotely and hybrid

5 key benefits of JT’s SD-WAN Solution

A reliable and secure network is key for any business and because of the recent seismic shifts in general operations, business requirements in the connectivity space have needed to evolve rapidly. Never before has it been more crucial to ensure that your business can function in an adaptable and cost-effective manner while also ensuring your network can cope with these changing demands.

That's where JT's SD-WAN, a fully-managed network overlay solution, can play an essential role in simplifying network operations while optimising network performance. JT's SD-WAN gives organisations access to an efficient, economical solution that's reliable, secure, and highly scalable.

Software-Defined Wide Area Network: Why make the move to SD-WAN?

You may be familiar with the acronym 'SD-WAN'. But do you know how this innovative approach to wide-area networking could future proof and benefit your business? Here are 5 key benefits of JT's SD-WAN:

1. Rapid Deployment / Low Capital Investment

SD-WAN is a cost-efficient, scalable solution. When you partner with JT expertise, we simplify the start-up process for your business by managing the infrastructure.

JT's investment into the 'head-end' of the service, configured and hosted on our core infrastructure, means deploying SD-WAN over your network is much faster than traditional private networking solutions and indeed faster than most other SD-WAN services. It also means, that you get the full suite of features that would typically be available only to organisations who host and configure their own infrastructure.

As we've done this for you, you get to skip that part and enjoy a comprehensive managed service in nearly no time at all. This offloads a significant amount of the upfront costs and, thanks to our multi-tenancy capabilities, JT's SD-WAN will work for your business, no matter how large it is today or tomorrow.

2. Network Infrastructure Agnostic

Do you have multiple network connections, provided by multiple carriers, including MPLS, DIA and LTE, patched together and spread all over the globe? Well deploying SD-WAN as software overlay, allows businesses to manage, and simplify, their existing networks in one place. For businesses that rely on alternate networking services, integrating them with SD-WAN is straightforward. This means that you can keep your existing networks when you start using SD-WAN.

3. Seamless integration with MPLS

For those looking to maintain an existing MPLS, JT’s SD-WAN is easy to integrate sitting 'over the top', working in conjunction with MPLS to prioritise certain traffic on certain routes as you need it.

For existing MPLS customers, this means that your MPLS solution can be managed through the SD-WAN with ease, giving you the service you're used to without adding complexity just simplifying visibility and control.

In addition to the simple management offered by JT's SD-WAN, the integration with existing services like MPLS at a telco level, provides insights that most other SD-WAN services simply can't provide. You'll be able to keep data on your packets and routes without compromising your multi-site networking.

4. Insights & Intelligence Based Routing

JT's SD-WAN provides a layer of intelligence over your WAN automatically prioritising routing by application or traffic type. Being able to utilise all infrastructure options, MPLS, DIA, broadband or even LTE, new sites can be added to your network quickly and efficiently.

This gives you complete control paired with individual insights. It's a solution that's as flexible and adaptable as you need it to be.

5. Built-in Security

Built-in UTM/NGFW security from an industry pioneer JT's SD-WAN comes with built-in UTM and NGFW security. These solutions effectively protect your data and applications across your networks. It's a robust security solution from a pioneer in network security. JT's SD-WAN is also flexible enough to seamlessly incorporate third-party security solutions, service chaining your existing firewall solution into your network.

JT launch secure business service after successful hospital trial

Dr Chris Hare, Consultant Cardiologist, Jersey General Hospital, said: “I spent a full weekend on-call deliberately reporting all emergency scans from home. There were quite a few and they were complex. With JT’s SD-WAN, it was possible to review scans while patients were still on the table enabling rapid decisions about whether more was needed to be done or if they could return to their ward. With the system we had in place previously I would never have even considered attempting this, they were too slow, making it quicker for me to drive to work. But this new solution from JT is a gamechanger.”

Read more >

A Fully Managed Service

JT’s SD-WAN service comes fully managed as standard. Your network is managed and supported by our skilled team 24x7x365. We can remotely detect and resolve issues before they become service-impacting, no matter where on your network that is, be it St Helier or Singapore.

Complete the form below to learn more about how JT’s SD-WAN can make your networking more intelligent.

 



Information re planned maintenance of business operating systems

As part of on-going investment in its infrastructure, JT will be working with its suppliers to conduct planned maintenance on some of their business operating systems, including payments and charging systems, during March 2021. The work is necessary to ensure the systems that JT use remain up-to-date, secure and continue to provide the services customers expect to the highest standards.

These upgrade works will take place over the weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 March behind the scenes with minimal customer impact. During the upgrade, customers can continue to use JT services as normal, however prepaid top-ups will not be possible between 3pm on Saturday 20 March and 9am on Sunday 21 March, so we would encourage customers to make any necessary recharges ahead of this time. Customers will be able to view their bills but will not be able to make any bill payments during this time.

JT commented: “The planned works are part of JT’s on-going commitment to provide a high quality, reliable and secure service to our customers. From time to time as technology improves, our systems need to be updated which is why we are taking this step now. We wanted to give our customers notice of this, as part of our on-going programme of works investing in our platforms; for example we have already informed our customers who use our self-serve portal of some recent upgrades. Our friendly advisors are always on hand to help if customers have any questions.”

If any customer experiences a problem please contact us by emailing home@jtglobal.com and one of our JTHelp Team will respond to you as quickly as possible.