How to adapt to video conferencing & remote working post-Covid

Having experienced a society-altering pandemic, it’s no surprise that the way that we work may well have changed forever for billions of people across the globe. Now that the pandemic seems to be easing, it’s important to consider how the workforce will continue – will the adaptations for working from home persist, will employers insist that people return to the office, or will many adopt a hybrid approach?

It’s becoming increasingly clear that implementing high-quality audio-visual installations and reliable communication systems is critical for any modern business to succeed (and maintain employee satisfaction). Now that people understand that video conferencing and remote working are both viable, and often preferable, we expect to see real change, especially over the next few months/years.

WHY DO EMPLOYEES WANT TO WORK FROM HOME?

Depending on who you ask, you might get wildly different answers! Working from home isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure, but for many people it’s been a huge relief not having to commute every day, or having to spend time in an office. Generally, employees report:

  • Enjoying a better work/life balance
  • Saving money on commuting/childcare/food costs
  • Freedom to choose where they live, they aren’t bound to a radius around work
  • A general increase in productivity while at home, if set up correctly
  • Improved comfort due to the personalised office space

While this sounds great, employees need infrastructure in place in order to successfully work from home, that’s why it’s important to establish your people with the right equipment, allowing them to comfortably work from home or from the office, depending on what the business requires.

HOW TO CREATE A HYBRID BETWEEN WORKING FROM HOME AND OFFICE WORK

The answer, then, perhaps lies in a hybrid model, where employees work from home when appropriate, but find their way into the office when they want/need to. In order to create a functional hybrid model, you’ll need the infrastructure in place to facilitate easy collaboration, convenient video calling and an efficient workflow.

Custom video conferencing rooms

Throughout the pandemic, video conferencing became the lifeline of everyone working from home. It provided the crucial human interaction that many of us craved, and kept friends and families connected in a time where they couldn’t see one another face-to-face. 

There’s no reason for video conferencing to go away. It’s cost-effective and convenient, providing an easy way to connect with people who aren’t geographically close. In order to upgrade their video conferencing, many businesses are opting to kit out virtual conference rooms, complete with projectors, cameras, microphones and much more. 

In addition to this, good connectivity is paramount (we’ve all been on a call with poor internet – not fun), which means that proper data cabling is essential to ensure your connection is both stable and fast. 

Providing the correct equipment

It’s worth remembering that every call is a two-way street. If your employees are working from home and don’t have the required resources to join conference calls, then the whole plan quickly falls apart. 

You’ll need to provide a device that’s good for video calling, usually a laptop. Many businesses still rely on 10-year-old equipment that can’t keep up. Update your laptops and you’ll see myriad benefits (more efficient working, higher quality calls, etc.) as employees no longer have to deal with slower load speeds and cumbersome interfaces.

Bringing it all together

Honesty and transparency go a long way to making the hybrid model work. Share calendars and get things planned in good time; be flexible with your team and fit calls in when you can. It’s important for employees to understand just how valuable it is for them to be in the office on occasion. Simple off-topic talks, impromptu lunch breaks and walks around the block work wonders for both morale and employee bonds, so striking the balance is the key.

QUALITY AUDIO-VISUAL INSTALLATIONS FOR VIDEO CONFERENCING WITH WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS

At Whitestar Solutions, we have a proven track record implementing mission critical remote working and video conferencing solutions. Businesses and organisations across the UK rely on our expertise to ensure that they’re ready for the new way in which employees expect to work. Proper installation and maintenance of your VoIP systems has become pivotal throughout the pandemic and beyond, with remote working looking like it’s here to stay.

If you’ve got any questions, or want to know more about how we can help your business to facilitate high-quality video conferencing, get in touch with our specialists today. We’re on hand to talk through your unique situation and find a solution that suits your people.


Wi-Fi Coverage

When Coverage Isn’t Everything: Ditching Your Outdated Wi-Fi Designs

When Coverage Isn’t Everything: Ditching Your Outdated Wi-Fi Designs WHY IS MY INTERNET SLOW WHEN I HAVE A FAST CONNECTION? When you experience a juddering connection with lagging Zoom meetings and a painfully slow connection, the first thing you look at is the Wi-Fi icon in the corner of the screen. However, if you want to improve your business network connectivity, there is more to look at than your signal. And if the little Wi-Fi icon is displaying four or five bars of green, you may wonder what next step to take. It may be time to update your Wi-Fi system. The traditional coverage approach of investigating Wi-Fi signal issues may be appropriate in the home, but in a modern workplace with more than fifty employees, each of who may be connected with two or three devices, signal strength is of much less importance. The local network is being asked to cope with far much more usage than when it was first set up. It’s time to look at the latest business connectivity services. HOW TO IMPROVE WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY WITH WI-FI REPEATERS There are several things you can do to boost connectivity. With a Wi-Fi repeater, for example, you can recover the Wi-Fi signal from your router and broadcast it in a poorly covered area of your workplace. Apart from the power supply, there is no need for any additional cables as Wi-Fi repeaters work by finding the signal from the router and simply repeating it by themselves. Some repeaters have a wireless signal amplifier function to enhance your speed and achieve a few hundred metres of Wi-Fi coverage. It can be tricky to find the best position for a repeater. It must be at a distance away from the router to significantly boost the range of Wi-Fi, without being too distant to receive enough speed. WiFi repeaters are also fitted with functions to safeguard your connection and enable the transference of personal files without worrying about them falling into the wrong hands. Some repeaters use Wi-Fi Mesh technology, which optimises the capabilities of the router and enables the same network name throughout the building. Contact Whitestar Solutions for more advice about whether repeaters could be the best solution for you. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR EXISTING POWER OUTLETS If the breadth of your walls or hallways does not permit the Wi-Fi signal to be broadcast from one room to another within your office, there is another solution in the form of CPL and CPL-Wi-Fi kits. These enable you to extend your network and receive an Internet connection via Wi-Fi from any wall socket in your electrical installation. This solution only works on a single electrical circuit. REPLACING THE ROUTER If you are wondering how to improve wireless connectivity, upgrading the router is a straightforward solution. Depending on the age or generation of your router, the Wi-Fi protocol may be more or less effective. If your elderly Wi-Fi router, for example, is configured for connectivity at 300 or 400 Mbit / s, a fibre subscription with speeds of 1 Gbit / s will offer any advantage. The fibres in the box are too insignificant to be able to take advantage of the Internet speeds offered by the provider. Today, the number of connected devices has vastly grown encompassing computers, consoles, tablets and smartphones, and other Wi-Fi connected devices. Investing in a powerful Wi-Fi router is essential to avoid annoying drops in connectivity. Here at Whitestar Solutions, we offer high-quality solutions to ensure a better connection for your business. When you choose Whitestar Solutions for your wireless network, you do not need to worry about this issue, we will consider everything in order to ensure you are presented with a high-quality outcome. We provide a wide range of wireless networking solutions which start with a thorough and realistic survey of your workplace to provide you with a solid foundation on which to develop your Wi-Fi solution. This survey takes place so that our team of experts can compile a reliable, cost-effective, and secure solution to meet your requirements. The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care To rewire or not to rewire is the big question when it comes to an older – or what we refer to as ‘legacy’ – building. The short-but-inconclusive answer is: it depends. When wiring a new building – be it school block, hospital ward or office block – the process is relatively straightforward. You need to build to regulations, with cables which are up to the job and don’t pose a fire hazard. As per our blog post on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), every power, data and telecommunication cable that is intended to be permanently installed in a construction works now must display a CE-marked label and have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) drawn up and made available. SHOULD YOU REWIRE YOUR LEGACY BUILDING? Legacy buildings aren’t subject to the CPR in the same way that new buildings are. If the cabling in the building isn’t posing any health and safety risk – and isn’t hampering operations in any way – it doesn’t have to be ripped out and rewired with CE-marked cabling. But that isn’t to say you shouldn’t do a complete rewire anyway. As we said, it depends. So, what does it depend on? If your building has undergone any recent damage, or there are lights and sockets that have ceased to function as normal, then these are signs that the building needs to be rewired. Damage to the casing of wires can be a serious hazard. So, if you find any exposed wires then the best thing to do is get in touch with a contractor who can assess the full extent of the issue and advise on the next steps. WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?   If you’re not sure when the last rewiring of the building took place, or
london-business-school-campus

London Business School

Whitestar keeps students, staff and visitors safe at London Business School with comprehensive electrical testing, maintenance and certification.
Baskerville House

Baskerville House

Baskerville House In Birmingham - Wired IT Data Networks, Wi-Fi, Telephony, Printing Devices, Digital Signage, and Audio Visual installations.
connectivity enhance business

How Connectivity Can Enhance Your Business

How Connectivity Can Enhance Your Business Here at Whitestar Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing clients with the latest connectivity solutions that modern technology has to offer. From integrated data cabling systems through to high-tech CCTV systems, our solutions can all work together to enhance your business in a multitude of ways. How can connectivity enhance your business? Take a look below to see just some of the ways that these modern solutions can benefit your business. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY We understand the pressures that businesses face these days and the need for smooth, fast and reliable connections. Whether it’s fast and reliable internet connections which won’t let the team down, or a clear phone connection which sounds professional and doesn’t disturb important calls with incessant crackling and bad connections – in the modern business environment, having great connectivity is everything. Through the use of features such as modern fibre-optic technology, businesses can hugely increase their productivity. This is in part due to the increased speed that fibre-optic connectivity offers, with options available that range from 5 Mbps through to 100 Gbps. With such flexibility and so many options available, there really is a solution for everybody, which will mean employees can get on with the task at hand without worrying about slow internet connections inhibiting productivity. HIGHER SECURITY Whilst connectivity can help to enhance the work produced in your business, it also features many other benefits including increased security on your premises. At Whitestar Solutions, we are proud to provide a range of modern CCTV systems which feature all of the latest technology. These bespoke systems are tailored to suit the needs of each individual premises, designed to deter criminals and keep your business safe. Whether you are looking for fixed cameras or a fully integrated, remote-controlled system, there are a variety of options available which will enable you to maximise your security. With groundbreaking features such as cloud-based storage and remote viewing, this use of modern connectivity can enable you to maximise your security. RELIABILITY Modern fibre internet connectivity has proven to be much more reliable than traditional copper connections, partially due to the fact that fibre is much stronger than copper. Another benefit is that, unlike copper, fibre-optic internet connections are not susceptible to challenging weather conditions, which could cause devastating downtime. With more businesses relying heavily on connectivity, any kind of downtime can be costly and so a reliable internet connection is absolutely crucial. Whether you are working remotely and need to connect seamlessly with your team, require access to cloud-based software to share and collaborate on client documents, or are in need of a fast internet connection to process data – reliability really is vital. Not only does fibre-optic connectivity offer you reliability, but working with a reputable connectivity company can help you to ensure that you only have the most suitable data cabling and connectivity systems put into place. Here at Whitestar, all of our products are built to last, offering you reliable systems throughout your premises which will withstand the test of time. LESS INTERFERENCE We have already noted that increased connectivity can enhance productivity and speed within your business, but we haven’t looked at the financial implications that connectivity, or a lack of it, can have on your business. In business, it’s often said that ‘time is money’ and this is, unfortunately, true. In the same way that increasing your speed and productivity can boost your business, offering you a more efficient way of working, it can also allow you to make more money. The more productive a business is, the more work that can be done in a day. On the other hand, unreliable internet connectivity, interrupted phone calls and other connectivity problems can cause you to experience downtime. Stop-start connectivity can not only slow down the physical process, but also interrupt the ‘flow’ and leave employees feeling exasperated. All of these things lead to work being done more slowly, can often be the cause of mistakes, and ultimately ends in a loss of earnings. Every minute lost due to unreliable connectivity is money not earned and, over a period of time, this can add up to a significant figure. SAVE MONEY Keen to learn more about how increased connectivity can help to boost your business? Get in touch with a member of our team today to discuss which of our solutions might help your business. IMPROVED VIDEO QUALITY Traditional copper cable connections are often sensitive to any electromagnetic interference, which explains those bygone days of experiencing internet issues due to local interference, more often than not being the use of heavy machinery. Construction work goes on all around us and we need internet connections which can withstand this interruption. Thankfully, fibre optic internet signals do not suffer in the same way, offering you seamless connectivity with very little interference. HOW CAN WHITESTAR HELP? Many of us are now embracing the ‘work from home’ life, but even beyond that, businesses rely more and more on video conferencing tools to communicate throughout the working day. Whether it’s a client meeting, internal training, marketing or sales; video meetings are becoming the new normal. Low quality, broken video which lags and is frequently interrupted will not provide the professional appearance you desire. Having a reliable, high-quality internet connection is essential. With fibre-optic technology, you will be best placed to communicate with others across the world. The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care To rewire or not to rewire is the big question when it comes to an older – or what we refer to as ‘legacy’ – building. The short-but-inconclusive answer is: it depends. When wiring a new building – be it school block, hospital ward or office block – the process is relatively straightforward. You need to build to regulations, with cables which are up to the job and don’t pose a fire
Vehicle charging point

Is It Worth Investing In Electrical Vehicle Charging Point Installation Services For Your Business?

Is It Worth Investing In Electrical Vehicle Charging Point Installation Services For Your Business? EV or hybrid vehicles are regarded by many as the future of motoring. An increasing number of people are choosing to buy new electric cars – over two million electric vehicles are now being driven around the world – and approximately 14,000 charging stations are in the UK alone. Clearly, it is not a fleeting trend and business’s that want to adapt to this and stay one step ahead of their competitors should be considering the installation of EV charging point stations on their premises. ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND BUSINESSES ARE THE FUTURE Awareness of the devastating environmental impact of diesel and petrol vehicles has finally hit the mainstream. Electric vehicles are the future and for savvy companies, the benefits of adopting the facilities of the new technology are plain. MAKING YOUR BUSINESS MORE ATTRACTIVE TO CONSUMERS As well as reflecting your company’s core values as an environmentally friendly business, the improved service offering of EV charging stations will appeal to your consumer. As the electric vehicle industry continues to burgeon, the impetus to provide your customers with added services so that they are more likely to choose you over your competitor is vital in these times. Offering EV charging solutions increases customers “dwell time” and subsequent spending, simultaneously meeting their demands of EV drivers arriving at their destinations. If your business is the type of company that stands to benefit from an increase in footfall, investing in electrical charging point stations is worth it to upgrade amenities and future-proof your premises. MAKING YOUR BUSINESS MORE ATTRACTIVE TO EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS Attracting and keeping the right employees is also vital for your business. Employers must start to think seriously about supporting those that are choosing EV. Your staff will enjoy instant peace of mind as they will no longer have to worry about finding the nearest charging station or the worst-case scenario of their car running out of power in the middle of a journey. EASE OF MANAGEMENT As the business owner, you will have full control over who can access your electrical vehicle charging points. Moreover, with the latest technology, such as Dynamic Load Balancing and installation by experienced professionals at Whitestar, you need not worry about grid overload, as available electricity is evenly and automatically distributed to all the charge points that are connected. Our advanced load management system enables the safe charging of multiple charging units, without adversely affecting the inbound power capacity. WHY CHOOSE US? It’s clear that integrating electrical charging points for cars into your business premises can provide a range of benefits. However, it is vital to enlist expert electrical contractors to implement the charging points too. If you are looking for quality electric charging point installation services for your business, look no further. Whitestar Solutions will be with you every step of the way; from initial advice to installation and aftercare. Our technicians are all highly experienced electrical engineers and groundworkers, so you can be sure that the workplace EV car charger will be installed appropriately. We have the knowledge and expertise to implement these systems into your business without disruption and with your individual requirements in mind. We can provide bespoke solutions to ensure that our services cater to your needs. Use our services and look forward to paving the way to a low-carbon future. If you would like more information, get in touch here. The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care To rewire or not to rewire is the big question when it comes to an older – or what we refer to as ‘legacy’ – building. The short-but-inconclusive answer is: it depends. When wiring a new building – be it school block, hospital ward or office block – the process is relatively straightforward. You need to build to regulations, with cables which are up to the job and don’t pose a fire hazard. As per our blog post on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), every power, data and telecommunication cable that is intended to be permanently installed in a construction works now must display a CE-marked label and have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) drawn up and made available. SHOULD YOU REWIRE YOUR LEGACY BUILDING? Legacy buildings aren’t subject to the CPR in the same way that new buildings are. If the cabling in the building isn’t posing any health and safety risk – and isn’t hampering operations in any way – it doesn’t have to be ripped out and rewired with CE-marked cabling. But that isn’t to say you shouldn’t do a complete rewire anyway. As we said, it depends. So, what does it depend on? If your building has undergone any recent damage, or there are lights and sockets that have ceased to function as normal, then these are signs that the building needs to be rewired. Damage to the casing of wires can be a serious hazard. So, if you find any exposed wires then the best thing to do is get in touch with a contractor who can assess the full extent of the issue and advise on the next steps. WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?   If you’re not sure when the last rewiring of the building took place, or the electrics are showing signs of damage, then it could be time for a complete rewiring. From a health and safety point of view, it’s your safest bet. But it’s not your only option. After all, a complete rewire doesn’t tend to come cheaply. Whitestar Solutions can carry out electrical testing and inspection which will reveal the condition of the electrics throughout the building. Deficiencies found during the inspection and testing might then be remedied such that the installation may continue to be used in safety. We offer a complete range of electrical testing and inspection services for commercial and industrial premises. We
customer service data

Why customer service is key in today’s day and age

Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Any business worth its sale knows the importance of providing a quality customer experience. And the best way to achieve that? Providing great customer service. Actually, not just great customer service. Exceptional customer service. Happy customers mean loyal customers. The better their experience working with a company, the more likely they are to come back. Anything less than amazing customer service and businesses risk losing customers forever. MAKING THE BEST IMPRESSION It’s more than just meeting the needs and expectations of customers – businesses need to exceed them. First impressions matter. But so too do second, third, fourth and fifth impressions. In fact, every customer service interaction is key to future success (and sales). The stats prove it: according to research, 96% of consumers say that customer service is an important factor when choosing a brand. And as for those all-important sales: even just a 5% rise in customer retention can boost company revenue by 25% to 95%. Arguably, customer service matters even more in difficult times. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, businesses able to give customers the care they deserved also offered them much-needed stability, convenience and value. GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE, GREAT CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS Of course, knowing that customer service is important is the easy part. Start implementing it into your business and you’ve got your work cut out. At Whitestar, we go out of our way to ensure that we offer exceptional customer service to all our customers. We aim to exceed customer expectations and do that in a number of ways… Dedicated team of contractors Firstly, we approach people as people, not just another job. When it comes to assigning teams, we match them to a particular client. That means however many jobs you need completed over a period of time, you’ll be dealing with the same people from Whitestar. No stream of contractors coming through your doors. Just one team of experts with an in-depth knowledge of the site they are working on – and more importantly an understanding of you, the people they are working with. From a purely practical point of view, this allows our teams of contractors to get on with the job faster and more efficiently, because there’s no need for briefings or client details for each job. While from a customer service point of view, this helps build trust and reliability between us and our clients. No subcontracting We know the score. As soon as you hear the word ‘contractor’, you automatically start wondering whether that also means subcontractors. At Whitestar, we can say: absolutely not. We never subcontract any jobs. It’s just not how we roll. Your team of Whitestar contractors are just that – Whitestar employees who are committed to delivering comprehensive, top quality solutions. Being a subcontractor-free zone makes life simpler. We understand what you need and you know the work is going to be tailored to your business and easily scalable for future business growth. Our customer service promise At Whitestar, we pride ourselves on our work ethic, track record and quality of service. Our six core values – respect, honesty, commitment, teamwork, empathy and integrity – help us deliver the level of customer service you expect from an infrastructure service provider. We value each and every business we work with. From simple cabling projects to complete building refits, we always work to the highest industry standards and take a customer-centric approach to each job. Our focus is on solving problems, not creating new ones. We work hard to understand the challenges you face, and create bespoke solutions to help you overcome them. That’s our promise to you. WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS: YOUR STRATEGIC PARTNER At Whitestar, our customer service is focused on building strong relationships with our customers and crafting tailored solutions and experiences. We never under-estimate the power of positive impressions, and are confident we can give you the level of service you and your business deserve. Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you Our core values and promises are what makes us stand out from the crowd. Read on to find out how Whitestar can help your business grow. How to make your infrastructure project a success Ensuring that your infrastructure is reliable and secure is essential to your business’ productivity. Read more to see how Whitestar can help. Cabling for Smart Buildings Cabling for Smart Buildings Modern buildings must adapt and change to the ever-increasing amounts of device usage and occupancy. Designing new structures, or modifying existing ones, requires careful planning to allow the building to expand seamlessly as more devices are added, or more people are employed. Since every building is only as strong as its foundations, designing and installing proper cabling infrastructure creates the ideal foundation for your building to grow while still keeping up with new technologies and challenges. WHAT MAKES YOUR BUILDING SMART? Smart building solutions help make life better for employees, so they can focus on their work and not mundane tasks that could be automated. If your building is set up correctly, powerful interactions can occur throughout the network. Imagine a building that works around your personal schedule, from turning on lights for you as you enter a room, to adjusting heating settings to accommodate your tastes. It realises when you are on the move to another location and can alert others that may need to be aware of your movements. Think of a smart building as your own PA, that also happens to communicate with everyone else’s PA constantly. Safety protocols such as checking the health of fire extinguishers can be done in real-time by your smart building, alerting you when they require maintenance. Automating manual tasks like this can greatly increase the productivity of staff, saving large amounts of time while reducing energy costs. THE BEST SOLUTION FOR YOUR BUSINESS There is no one-fits-all solution to making your building smart, but planning ahead is key since there is no point in being smart today if this does not continue