Posts on Nov 2020

7 Business Benefits of a Fiber-Optic Installation

Fiber-Optic Installation Westchester NY

An internet installation using fiber-optics can offer major benefits to businesses of all shapes and sizes. You may be wondering if the quality of using fiber-optics justifies the costs and how it compares to traditional copper cable internet connections. It is far newer technology and that means greater capability, scaling, and accessibility offering most businesses a great return on their investment. Coupled with VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and the cloud creates a powerful combination for business communications.

Let’s look at the benefits of upgrading or utilizing a fresh fiber-optic installation for your businesses internet and communication systems.

As a business telecommunications company in the Westchester County NY metro area for nearly 3 decades, we understand the needs of business owners from their communication provider. That involves keeping employees well connected with high speeds and superb uptime so productivity never takes a hit due to their connectivity. If an issue arises they need a provider that responds and fixes the issue immediately. That’s the reason we’ve built Top Line Communications the way we have.

1. Connection Speed

Fiber-Optic Installation Westchester NY

Fiber-Optic Installation Westchester NY

Fiber-optic web connections are far faster than the fastest copper internet installation with speeds from 5Mbps up to 100Gbps. No matter how much bandwidth is being used internally you should not experience any internet slowing or freezing. A poor internet connection can cost employees an hour or more a week and that can lead to loss of days or even weeks of productivity over the course of a year. Your companies web connection should never be a problem that costs you money. It should be a tool that you employ in every aspect of your business.

2. Reliability

Fiber internet connections offer incredible reliability in comparison to copper internet connections. This is due to the fact that fiber is far superior to copper in the transfer of data. Fiber connections are not at risk from inclement weather the same way that copper cabling is (where data can stall or be lost through damage). Fiber is also resistant to different types of interference like electrical or human tampering. Spotty internet connectivity can have serious costs to your business. The smallest amount of unplanned connection loss can bring productivity and communication to a stand still. If your company is making calls through the internet (VoIP) or uses applications (cloud) which connect through the web reliability is an absolute must.

3. Bandwidth

Businesses that need fast connection speeds for data transfer (transmission) can find it’s far too easy to reach their bandwidth “cap” with copper cable internet connections. Though no system is truly unlimited, fiber-optic bandwidth is significantly greater than traditional copper. Also, the speed will not waver as greater demands to the system are required. Large bandwidth is needed for these items:

  • Web/Video Conferencing
  • Streaming HD Video
  • File Sharing
  • Cloud Computing/Applications
  • SIP Trunking

Signs your system is not up to scratch would be connection delays, dropped/spotty calls, pixelated/unclear video quality, etc. If you’re currently having bandwidth and connection issues through your current system you will greatly benefit from fiber-optics.

4. Connection Strength

Using a traditional copper DSL or Ethernet connection means that the signal will become weaker as the user moves further from the switch. Fiber-optic signal strength does not degrade nearly as quickly over the same distances. Business and organizations in larger spaces will see immediate benefits from stronger more consistent signal strength throughout the entire facility or office. This is a huge advantage where employees are conducting work or their office is located further away from the telecommunications room. This is also the case for smaller facilities as well. Proximity to the communication control room is far less important when using fiber-optic connections as the signal is stronger and degrades less the further away from the start point.

5. Cloud Applications

CRM (customer relationship management) to data storage, the cloud is the modern day business technology for hosting, applications, and more. An incredibly high number of organizations (over 95%) are now using cloud in some way shape or form. The increased speed of fiber-optics in comparison to traditional cable wiring means better connections to your data and apps on the cloud. Every business benefits from less delays in accessing cloud-based information through an SaaS (software-as-a-service). Sales and customer service will improve with this seamless accessibility. Down the road as you utilize more and cloud based services your connection will be up to the task.

6. Security

Cable internet connections are more vulnerable to information theft from hackers because of cable tapping or other intrusive methodologies. There is a single way to impact a fiber-optic internet connection and that is to physically cut the lines themselves. Because the cost for a system hack or data security breath can be upwards into the millions, maintaining your security is paramount. We all hear of data breaches from large companies but it is actually more common for small organizations to be threatened from security breaches. Often due to outdated systems like copper wiring. Fiber is one of the most powerful ways to improve your company’s cyber security.

7. Cost Saving

We’ve seen above some of the many benefits to using fiber-optic internet connections compared to older copper wiring. But one of the most important benefits to your business is the reduction of costs. By elimination speed and connection issues your productivity will not be deterred due to your internet connection. Every dropped call or spotty conference can lead to a a lost customer and lost revenue. Spotty connections to your data on the cloud can lead to a missed client or a forgotten crucial document to that new contract you’ve been in the running for. Fiber optics offers cost saving in the monthly costs, but also in the fact that you are connected far more securely and reliably than traditional connections.

To put it simply, fiber-optic internet connections are superior to traditional copper cabling in every way. As our technology improves ever quickly, being able to match that speed and utilize these changes can really help your business. If your tech team is gearing up to move applications and service protocols to the cloud using a fiber connection will support those endeavors. SaaS (Sofware-as-a-service), cloud computing, cloud storage, and VoIP are all businesses services that have huge potential from a cost saving perspective. Using these with fiber connectivity can make all of the difference.

For the best in Fiber-Optic Installation Westchester NY, look no further than 30 years of local expertise right here at Top Line Communications. We live where we operate right here in the lower New York region and are proud members of the WBC (Westchester Business Counsel). Call us today for a consultation and see how we can upgrade your businesses communications and save you money at the same time. Stay safe from all of us here at TopLineCommunications.com 1-888-426-8647

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What’s the Future of Offices & Meeting Rooms?

Best Westchester Business Phone Systems

Remember the good old days back in January when there was no lockdown in the USA and people still commuted to work every day? As we know, things look a bit different today and with the number continuing to rise on a national level there are some real concerns about the economy and what we call a workplace. 

So, answering the question, “What’s the future of offices and meeting rooms?”, may seem unclear and if you operate a business or a business service it is a serious question. Is our traditional idea of work, offices, commuting, day job, meetings, and more changed forever?

Experts say no. Here’s why.

Offices & Meeting Rooms are Not Going Anywhere

Best Westchester Business Phone Systems

Best Westchester Business Phone Systems

It is true that many organizations completely abandoned their offices and in-office work back in March. When people began to work from home and large companies moved all of their operations outside of the office there was real fear that traditional office work would be dead forever. 

But, the reality is that face to face meetings and central office locations will never be completely removed from the workspace. Even now at the height of the pandemic people are going back to work at their normal office location, albeit, at a typically staggered or reduced timeline. 

For example, financial firms who moved all of their employees to remote working during the pandemic now have those same employees commuting back to their office 2 or 3 days a week. This is a major change from months past and shows companies desire to get people back to the office safely. The office isn’t dead, protocols have simply been enacted.

Now you wear a mask into the building and wear it anytime you are not at your desk. If someone is exposed to Covid-19 or tests positive the entire office stays home and gets their own tests, only returning to work following 2 or 3 negative tests over the course of a week or 10 days. So, the point to take away from this is that companies are returning employees to office locations with some new safety measure in place. 

The businesses are not canceling building leases and are still trying to get people into the office safely. 

Collaboration is Better in an Office Setting

There have been widespread reporting and internal studies to determine workers’ effectiveness from home. These studies have shown promising levels of productivity for individuals working remotely. But when it comes to collaborative tasks where employees must work together to accomplish a task, working together in an office room has proved more productive than when collaborating remotely. 

Face to face meetings has proven time and time again their effectiveness when compared to remote collaborative work. This is one of the biggest reasons for businesses maintaining their buildings even when no one was going in to work. 

Getting Back to the Office

Working remotely has proven a great tool that companies can turn to for the short term when need be for health concerns. But employees and businesses alike want to get back to work at the office and doing so requires some changes that previously did not exist. Here are some of the ways offices are re-imagining their office spaces.

Re-Imagining Office Spaces

The coronavirus has changed our lives in many ways and that includes how we design offices moving forwards. Some of the biggest changes include:

  • Thermal temperature checking systems or manual temperature checks
  • Creating more space between desks or cubicles
  • Staggering employee schedules to reduce the number in the office at once
  • Covid protocols in place for any positive test 
  • Providing lunch to employees so they don’t leave to get their own
  • Creating larger meeting rooms
  • Hand washing stations
  • Free masks
  • and more

Office managers have gotten creative in how they are keeping people safe at the office. 

Video Conferencing Meeting Rooms

With people returning back to the office, office managers have put a large focus on creating larger office meeting rooms which have video conferencing available. This is the way of the near future in terms of office meetings. Some employees and staff in the office and other employees in a different room in the same office, or from home, or another location.

By focusing on meeting rooms set up for virtual connectivity, businesses can ensure safety while not losing any productivity. 

But, you’ll want to be sure you have a high-speed internet communications provider, preferably with fiber-optics and VoIP. If you’re planning on web meetings, you’ll need reliable fast internet. That is a pre-requisite productive remote work and collaboration, a good internet connection. (See our article on What Makes a Fiber-Optic Connection Superior?)

You cannot expect employees to get anything done if their video conference keeps dropping. So be sure you have suitable internet infrastructure for this sort of video conferencing. 

For the best in VOIP for Business Westchester NY, look no further than over 30 years of local expertise. We live where we operate and are proud members of the BCW (Business Council of Westchester) for 5 years. Call today and see how we can improve your business communications today. Stay safe from the entire team and we can get through this if we work together! 1-888-426-8647

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Helping Remote Employees Have a Healthy Home-Work Balance

Small Business Communications Westchester NY

Working from home has been a great experience for most companies set up to do it properly. But even though employees are working from home, the sense of being attached to their work is actually higher than it was when they could leave work at the office each day.

Before the pandemic less than 20% of people worked from home. Now that number is up to a staggering 70%+ staying home at least once a week and about 50% of people are working from home for half of the work week. This means that companies need to change certain aspects about their operation to fight of stagnation and keep productivity moving forwards.

Downside of Working Remotely

Small Business Communications Westchester NY

Small Business Communications Westchester NY

You may have heard stories about working from home improving employee satisfaction (see our post on business phones for home work here). When done well a flexible home and work environment can improve your employee’s quality of life and productivity at the same time. But businesses that don’t lay out home work expectations and who do not keep contact high with their employees can lead to employee “burn out” or feeling overworked.

There has been research which shows that working from home can lead to almost 5x more employee “burnout” than those commuting to the office daily. Part of the problem is that with more freedom to work from home employees feel they must do more and put in extra time and effort to justify working from home. With some signing on the moment they wake up and signing off officially only when they go to bed. This means constantly checking emails and doing work related tasks at all hours of the day (and for some the night).

It can be hard to disconnect when you are now always living and sleeping where you do connect for work. Let’s see how companies can help their employees have a superior work-life balance

Check in Regularly

You should be doing more than checking on your employees’ output for the day. Of course, it’s important to see where someone in on a particular task or project, but it’s equally as important to see how your staff is doing outside of working. If you have employees who go to job sites throughout the day, you check in on their progress and to see how things are going like the traffic and weather where they are. It may seem like small talk, but it shows people you’re thinking of them and they have value to your organization. The same applies when employees are working from home. Check in regularly and ask how the family is coping with these times. It will go a long way.

Encourage Real Time Off

People working from home are less likely to seek real days off to take care of things they need to do. This can be things like a vacation, but it can also be personal days for health care and other reasons. Encourage PTO (personal time off) by letting them know that quality is better than quantity and that means doing good work when you are working. Not just working endlessly. Strain comes to employees when they feel they cannot take a day off because they’ve “already been home for so long”. But you should draw that distinction clearly for them. Tell folks to take days off as they need as though it was pre-pandemic times, and even more so. As uncertainty in the economy and work right now has added a lot of stress to people’s daily lives.

Create a Daily Routine & Set Boundaries

With people working from home the guidelines are less clear for simple things like taking a break or going for lunch. It’s a smart idea to set some company wide boundaries and routine standards. Set simple expectations like “sign off” breaks and officially stopping work at 5pm or 6pm. It’s unhealthy for employees to start working when they wake up and keep going until dinner time with little stops. This is what leads to “burn out” and a huge loss of productivity, motivation and even employee mental health.

Team Bonding & Group Time

Yes, this sort of thing is harder when people are working from home but since one of the biggest issues with people working from home is loneliness, it’s important not to forget this aspect of work-life balance. If employees used to meet after work and have a drink or do a trivia night, organize one through Skype or Zoom. Provide the minimal funds to get a real trivia night going or even host it yourself. This is a way for everyone to bond and kick back to enjoy each other’s companies without talking shop.

Designated Workspaces

The home is the place of work for remote workers almost 80% of the time. That can be great, but it can also lead to a wide range of distractions like the kids or pets. If your employees will be working from home advise them to create a “work room” or a “workspace” that is separate from the normal living spaces. This is a great tool to help employees separate work from home while still being at home. Going to the “office” can be as easy as going to your study or an extra bedroom or even the desk by the window. You can even recommend putting up some small wall dividers and making a sort of cubicle if need be. This is more for the mentality of separating work from home while at the same time offering a clear designation from work and home areas.

Utilize Your Business Communication Technology Properly

Keeping people connected and collaboration high can be a challenge when working from home. That’s why it’s critical to ensure you’re using the best business telecommunication systems available for this sort of work. When workers can collaborate, from anywhere, at any time; they have an advantage to get things done.

Many workers spend over an hour every day going between various apps on their smartphones and computer to get tasks done. That is a lot of time that could be useful for accomplishing other goals and would be better used by the organization in a productive way. If there are too many “cooks in the kitchen” nothing gets done and the same applies for working from home. Too many applications and portals are a bad thing.

Having an all-in-one platform like Top Line Communications is critical to streamlining your businesses internal and external communications. A Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) is a platform that combines all the needed tools for working from home. Merging video conferencing, Voip for business, team messaging, file sharing, screen sharing, international calling, and so much more.

Employees can work on the same document and access things like calendars, messages, files, and programs whether they’re working from home or from the office. Over 15% of workers say their more productive at home than at the office. That means providing them everything they need to work from home well and with a sustainable work-life balance.

For the best in Small Business Communications Westchester NY, look no further than 30 years of local expertise. See why Top Line Communications is a leading Westchester county telecommunication company and how we proudly serve our home communities. Stay safe from the entire team and we can get through this if we work together! 1-888-426-8647

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