The weather has hit businesses hard at a time when many were already under pressure financially and time-wise. However, the modern internet-based world is actually well placed to enable you to get on with your work, whatever the weather and wherever you are based, and it needn’t be expensive either. If you have been affected by you or your staff not being able to make meetings, or reach the office, you may want to have a look at the following:

Virtual Meetings

DimDim: Offers an instant meeting with no need for software downloads. A web-browser and internet connection is all you need to host or attend a web meeting via the DimDim system that is free to use for a basic meeting with up to 10 attendees. You can share desktops and documents and even record the whole event to, so perfect for those weekly up-date meetings.

FlowDock: Flowdock if your business relies heavily on office banter and ideas being bounced off each other, then FlowDock offers a good alternative when physical proximity is not possible. THere is real-time group chat, a chance to upload files, images, code, presentations etc, and a Twitter type sort so you can also monitor when you are being mentioned and keep you updated with the conversation even when you are not there. With a full history saved forever all easily searchable, it can also prove a useful archive tool for all those ideas that sometimes get forgotten. There’s a simple 30 day contract period and with your first 30 days a free trial you can monitor how helpful it can be for your business.

Remote Access

Box.net: Designed to enable you to share, manage and access all your business content online, box.net enables you to access all of your digital content online via a file and folder system. You can also set up widgets and webpages to make essential files more accessible,. A Personal account with 5GB of web storage (25MB individual file limit) is free and with Business users you get much more space and limits, with greater features all for just US$15 per user per month, after an initial 14 day free trial.

LogMeIn: LogMeIn is a remote access and desktop control piece of software you may have seen used by IT support or similar. It is perfect for SMEs and offers you a chance to access your computer (files and applications) remotely via a secure system. There is even a companion product to enable you to login from your smartphone. Again there is a free trial available and the annual subscription per computer for the latest version offers good value for the flexibility of working it can offer.

Communication

Skype: A way of keeping costs down for those stranded at home but who do have a working internet connection. Calls from one Skype user to another are free and the instant messaging tool is also a useful quick communication tool too. Skype for business also offers a number of features, from managing accounts and calling credit to screen-sharing capabilities.

PowWowNow: Priding themselves on the fact that they offer free telephone conferencing, it is true there are no bills, no booking and no contracts but callers using PowWowNow do get charged at a National rate when they call in. The basic service offers up to 50 callers to share the call which is probably more than enough to keep your business running in the cold snap. The enhanced service enables calls to be recorded if you need to keep track on what was said?