Legacy Technologies in the Work from Home World

Much of the focus of conversation during the recent WFH discussion has been on the ease of document collaboration and intrateam communication. Using tools like Office 365 or G-Suite allows your users to collaborate easily and effortlessly. Much less focus has been placed on solutions for legacy communication methods. What do you do if your vendors only send invoices via snail mail? How do you stay in touch with clients when they only have your desk telephone number? There are solutions for both of these scenarios. Unfortunately, like most things in the WFH world, your ultimate choice will be dependent on your company and the infrastructure you have in place. However, below are some high-level ideas that should at least give you an idea of the options that are out there.

Snail Mail

Easy

Hand Forward

The easiest and fastest way to forward USPS First Class mail is the hand forward. If you will still have someone on-site, they can mark out the address and barcode on the front of the letter and write a new address to the right of the old one. No new postage is needed. USPS will send it to the new recipient.

Mailroom Forward

If your business is located in a building with a mailroom, ask them to bulk your mail weekly and ship it to the person who will be sorting through it. They will probably charge you a small fee but the benefit is that you can stop and start this process at any time.

Moderate

USPS Regular Forward Mail

Whether you’re making a long-term move or you’ll just be at a new address for just a few months, USPS® mail and package forwarding services can send your mail to you. USPS charges a small fee for this. Learn more at https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm

USPS Premium Forwarding Service Commercial

USPS will consolidate mail into a single package and ship it via Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail to the address of your choice. Learn more at https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm

Complicated

Open and Scan Service

Companies like VirtualPostMailTravelingMailbox, and PostScan Mail will open and scan your mail and deliver it electronically to the email of your choice. This option is more complicated because it involves USPS paperwork to give the service permission to open your mail and there is a fee involved.

Phone Options

Easy

User Forward on No Answer

The easiest method to forward calls from an office extension to another number is the User Forward. Most phone systems have an option (usually in voicemail settings) which will allow the user to forward calls to another number if the primary extension is not answered after a set number of rings. Your users can set this up themselves to forward calls to their mobile phones. The drawback to this is that it doesn’t allow the user to call from their office extension.

Moderate or Difficult

Virtual Extensions

I labeled this as both moderate and difficult because it is difficult if you don’t already have a system that can handle it but moderate if you do. From online services like Grasshopper to industry leaders like Cisco, there are many app-based options for virtual extensions. These applications offer users the ability to answer and call from their office phone lines via a smartphone.

Difficult

VOIP VPN and Physical Telephone

Most modern voice PBX systems are IP (basically web address) based. Just like you can setup a Virtual Private Network that makes your computer look like it is within your office network, you can do the same for a telephone. With the right hardware (sometimes even software only), you can plug your desk phone in at home and it will work the same as it does in the office.

For more information on how you can adapt your operations and get your team prepared to work from home visit inspirantgrp.com/covid19

Date Published:
March 12, 2020

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