By Michael Grant Founder and Managing Director of UCi2i
Remote working has always been a sticky subject among businesses as there are always questions raised over whether it can have a detrimental effect on colleague communication. Common themes often relate to feeling isolated, self-discipline, managing to separate your work life from family life and losing that collaborative office culture.
By Tony Williams, Director of IT, Europe & Africa at Plantronics.
A recent study found that UK commuters spend up to three days a year stuck in gridlock, with Britain coming in as the fifth worst country in the world for traffic jams. Not only is this immensely frustrating for those stuck in their cars, it’s also a huge waste of time and money for businesses.
By Ralf Ebbinghaus is CEO at unified communications specialist, www.swyx.com
It wasn’t so long ago that the phrase, ’I’ll be working from home today’ would have been met with cynical smiles and knowing winks from everyone in the office, especially during a crucial stage of a test match. Yet despite the recent well-publicised u-turn by Yahoo on insisting staff work statically in the office, remote working continues to have a growing impact and popularity amongst SMES in the UK. Recent ONS (Office of Statistics) figures show that well over 12% of UK workers now operate remotely from their designated offices.
By Phil Jones, UK Country head, Brother UK
How about asking them not to come in to the office on a Friday? What about offering flexible working hours?
It may seem counter intuitive to ask employees to spend fewer hours in the office; however a flexible working culture can actually increase productivity as well as reduce costs.
Business is increasingly taking place wherever and whenever, and so the norm of 9-5 office hours is fast becoming an outdated concept. The global mobile workforce, which is set to hit 1.3bn in 2015,* is growing rapidly as both employees and employers recognise the benefits. Continue reading
By Andrew Millard, senior director EMEA marketing, Citrix
According to analyst IDC, by 2015 more than one third of the world’s workforce will be mobile and working away from the office to some degree. In the UK in particular, the pressures for this are coming from a number of directions, both internally from staff and externally from customers, competitors and regulators.
Yet old habits die hard. As research studies continue to show, one of the most consistent barriers to change in adopting more flexible working practices centres on age-old management concerns around the inability to manage remote employees as effectively as when they are in the same location.
Put simply, can employers be confident that productivity will not suffer when staff are working from home and out of sight of their line manager? Or will there be a loss of focus as workers are side-tracked by domestic distractions? Continue reading
By Dean Guida, President and Chief Executive Officer, Infragistics
Remote working is an increasingly familiar part of business life. Companies are naturally keen to promote a more flexible, mobile way of working, but it’s not always obvious how companies can continue to share information, brainstorm new ideas, or update entire teams when there is no opportunity to ‘catch up over a coffee’ or a regular team meeting to attend.
Businesses that want to create a collaborative culture whilst supporting a mobile strategy obviously need to ensure that their employees have access to up-to-date information about, for example, customer enquiries or changes to product pricing. However the real benefit of collaboration lies in encouraging employees to discuss difficult projects, to provide feedback about training programmes and to seek advice from senior managers about problem customers whilst, for example, they are out of the office and using their smart phone or tablet. Continue reading
By Ray McGroarty, Global Director for Enterprise UC Solutions at Polycom
In times when attracting and retaining the right talent is crucial to any business, flexible working is an attractive benefit. A quarter of UK office workers want to change their working hours to better fit around their lifestyle, to better align with their partners and children and to avoid commuting. Yet only 40% of companies have a flexible working policy in place for staff. Continue reading
By Felicity Wohltman, VP of Solutions at Mindjet
Remote working is not a new phenomenon; it has been possible for many years using laptops, mobile devices, Skype and Google docs and more recently, tablet devices. Whilst these solutions allow teams and individuals to communicate and share information in real-time, they do not provide a solution for meaningful, work focused collaboration. Businesses are realising that in order to develop, it’s now necessary for teams to collaborate and capture information more effectively. Continue reading
By Trevor Townsend, Product Development Director, ADP
As the year draws to a close, it’s worth reflecting on one of the stand-out issues for businesses in 2012: the move towards an increasingly flexible workforce. Such is the level of interest, that flexible working has even crept into mainstream political debate, and looks set to be one of the key issues for businesses and their HR Directors in 2013 and beyond. Continue reading
Nearly a third of UK employees (32 percent) are prepared to work during
their Christmas break according to a survey conducted by DocuSign, the
global leader in electronic signatures. The survey of 1,000 UK workers also
revealed that tech savvy 25 – 39 year olds are the most likely to log-on to
their work devices during the holiday season with 36 percent preparing to
work during time off in December.
Tom Gonser, DocuSign founder and chief strategy officer, said; “We are
increasingly working away from the office and the advancement in business
technology is driving this trend. It is now easier than ever for a business
to continue operating with the majority of employees working remotely. An
increasing number of tools are available to help staff work away from the
office and this means that office closure does not necessarily equate to
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The survey also revealed that 39 percent of employees in Greater Londoner
and the West Midlands are more inclined to work during Christmas time off,
the highest regional percentage in the UK. Whilst 30 percent of Brits will
have no additional time off during December, over 44 percent will have at
least three additional days away from the office.
Tom Gonser concluded, “While we all would like to take some time off work
and be with loved ones this holiday season, it appears that more and more
of us are prepared to work during the festive season. It is therefore up to
business leaders to ensure that their employees are equipped with the tools
and technologies that enable them to complete tasks remotely such as
complete contracts, access business documents and conduct business