The pandemic isn’t stopping First Class Technologies help its customers get ready for when the world returns to normal.

In what should usually have been half term, we’ve been busy working at a Cannock high school, getting things ready for when the students can safely return.

First Class Technologies received a call from the headteacher last week, asking for advice about upgrading the school’s current systems.

The team was able to quickly survey the situation, recommend the most suitable solution, confirm investment costs and book the job in.

This project involved expanding the school’s structured cable plant, to make sure every classroom had enough Wi-Fi coverage to enable pupils to use electronic devices throughout the whole school.

Whilst on-site, our IT engineers also replaced 32 old access points with 90 new, state-of-the-art Ubiquiti UniFi Wireless Access Points. The new UniFi Nano HD technology APs utilise 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology to communicate with numerous clients at the same time.

The improvements made will help increase multi-user throughput to ensure the whole system operates more efficiently, giving an improved experience for teachers and pupils.

Now is an ideal time for educational establishments and businesses to upgrade and add new technology, whilst premises aren’t fully occupied.

If your school, campus or business needs to refresh its wireless solutions, or upgrade any existing technology, First Class Technologies would love to help.


As we begin to consider how to move forward, returning to the office doesn’t necessarily mean you will be abandoning all of your work-from-home set-ups.

In fact, your workforce will likely consist of remote workers for some time to come. Workstations in the office, however, may have been sitting idle while everyone worked remotely and you will need to give some thought to ensuring your employees have what they need to do their jobs effectively.

Evaluate any new technology deployed during the crisis

The tools your employees used to work remotely may or may not be required when you return to the office. Create a list, including any new devices, and decide if they stay or go. Evaluate how the new tech was implemented, determine what worked and what fell short, and if you still need all of the licences your purchased. Examples include new Office 365 licences, Zoom, new laptops, etc.

Evaluate any service providers you use to run your business

Identify any vendor that was not able to achieve their SLAs and determine the cause. Pay particularly close attention to those critical vendors and how they performed during the crisis.

Does everything still work?

Take the appropriate precautions. Is everything still in good working order? What about computers and networks? Have things been switched off for a long time? Do they need to be restarted by a professional?

Run an audit on any workstations in the office

An audit will help you determine if the workstations are properly patched with the latest Operating System and other critical updates.

Conduct a gap analysis

Document the technology gaps that were exposed during the crisis and create a plan on how to address them.

Catalogue items that were removed from the office

Protect your business and intellectual property by ensuring any devices, technology, files, folders, contracts, customer lists and documents, etc are properly returned to the office. This list may include electronic files left on the employee’s personal workstation or device.

Document a list of those employees who used their personal computers to work from home

Develop an appropriate action plan to ensure the ongoing use of personal computers or devices complies with your company’s security standards. Consider requiring your employees to change the passwords on any personal devices.

For any employee who will continue to work from home, audit the tech they will be using

Determine if the tech is appropriate, secure, and sufficient to enable optimal productivity.

Schedule a review of your Disaster Recovery and/or Business Continuity plan

What can be improved upon? What worked well? Were you able to easily transform from the office to work from home? How was your business impacted during this crisis? Update your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan accordingly?

Schedule regular Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity testing

This should be a routine part of your business but, given this recent crisis, regular Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity testing will be even more crucial moving forward. Don’t be caught unprepared.

Try new ways of operating

If it turns out, for example, most of your people work well from home, perhaps you can restructure your business to lower your overhead costs? Remember, it’s possible we may see a second spike in Covid-19 cases and businesses that have adapted to life under lockdown are more likely to ride out future distancing rules.


Teams is more than just a video chat offering, it comes with a built-in communications app to facilitate working together with other people on files and documents.

It features VoIP, text and video chat as well as integration with Microsoft Office and SharePoint that anyone can use, although it is beneficial to people already using Office 365.

Teams will eventually become the built-in workplace communications app for Windows and Office, replacing Skype for Business.

If you’re using Teams to keep in touch with colleagues and clients, we thought you’d find this list of hotkeys useful, for when using Teams on Windows desktop.

• Go to compose box: C
• Expand compose box: Ctrl+Shift+X
• Send: Ctrl+Enter
• Attach file: Ctrl+O
• Start new line: Shift+Enter
• Reply to thread: R
• Mark as important: Ctrl+Shift+I

Meetings and Calls
• Accept video call: Ctrl+Shift+A
• Accept audio call: Ctrl+Shift+S
• Decline call: Ctrl+Shift+D
• Start audio call: Ctrl+Shift+C
• Start video call: Ctrl+Shift+U
• Toggle mute: Ctrl+Shift+M
• Toggle video: Ctrl+Shift+O
• Toggle fullscreen: Ctrl+Shift+F
• Go to sharing toolbar: Ctrl+Shift+Space

• Open Activity: Ctrl+1
• Open Chat: Ctrl+2
• Open Teams: Ctrl+3
• Open Calendar: Ctrl+4
• Open Calls: Ctrl+5
• Open Files: Ctrl+6
• Go to previous list item: Left Alt+Down Arrow key
• Move selected team up: Ctrl+Shift+Up Arrow key
• Move selected team down: Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow key
• Go to previous section: Ctrl+Shift+F6
• Go to next section: Ctrl+F6

• Show keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+Full Stop (.)
• Go to Search: Ctrl+E
• Show commands: Ctrl+Slash (/)
• Goto: Ctrl+G
• Start a new chat: Ctrl+N
• Open Settings: Ctrl+Comma (,)
• Open Help: F1
• Close: Esc
• Zoom in: Ctrl+Equals (=)
• Zoom out: Ctrl+Minus (-)
• Invoke Cortana: Left+Alt+C


As video meetings increase in popularity, we’ve put together a brief guide to some of the hotkeys for Zoom on Windows which we hope you’ll find useful.

• Switch Zoom windows: F6
• Go to meeting controls: Ctrl+Alt+Shift
• Go to previous video stream in Gallery: Page Up
• Go to next video stream in Gallery: Page Down
• Go to Invite menu: Alt+I
• Go to next tab (right): Ctrl+Tab
• Go to previous tab (left): Ctrl+Shift+Tab
• Go to previous chat: Ctrl+Up
• Go to next chat: Ctrl+Down
• Jump to chat: Ctrl+T
• Close current chat: Ctrl+W

• Toggle full screen On/Off: Alt+F
• Toggle “Always Show Meeting Control Toolbar” On/Off: Alt
• Toggle In-Meeting chat panel: Alt+H
• Toggle Participants panel: Alt+U
• Switch to Active Speaker view: Alt+F1
• Switch to Gallery video view: Alt+F2
• Close front window: Alt+F4

• Toggle video On/Off: Alt+V
• Toggle audio On/Off: Alt+A
• Toggle audio On/Off for all except host: Alt+M
• Toggle Screen Share On/Off: Alt+Shift+S (only works when the meeting control toolbar is onscreen).
• Stop current Screen Share and launch a new one: Alt+S (only works when the meeting control toolbar is onscreen).
• Pause/Resume Screen Share: Alt+T (only works when the meeting control toolbar is onscreen).
• Switch camera: Alt+N
• Toggle floating meeting controls: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H
• Raise/Lower hand: Alt+Y
• Start remote control: Alt+Shift+R
• Stop remote control: Alt+Shift+G

• Start/Stop local recording: Alt+R
• Start/Stop cloud recording: Alt+C
• Pause/Resume recording: Alt+P
• Take a screenshot: Alt+Shift+T
• Search: Ctrl+F