New technology and processes aid flexible working
If you spend several hours a day sat in rush hour traffic, or waiting for a train knowing there is no chance of a seat, you may fully appreciate a different approach.
There are many reasons why we may want to change our working pattern and break away from the need to be in the office in order to do our job. Until relatively recently, working from anywhere other than your main office simply wasn’t viable. There were limited means of accessing the files you were working on, your ability to work on team projects was hampered and you couldn’t receive customer calls.
Cloud technology has helped to transform how and where we work. With access from anywhere that has internet connection, it is now straight forward to securely store documents, share information, collectively work on a single project, receive phone calls to your work number and take part in video conferencing.
Cloud technology hasn’t just made it easier to work from anywhere; it also makes it easier for managers to monitor individual or group progress. They can see how everyone is contributing, listen in on phone conversations, and deliver video training or meetings. It allows business leaders to effectively project manage, even if every employee was based in a different country in the world.
VOIP Phone Service
VOIP phone systems are a cloud based telecommunication service, which make it possible for office staff to have the same capacity to work, no matter where they are based. VOIP phone services include video conferencing, call recording, call forwarding to mobile numbers and the ability to listen to calls whilst they are in progress. From constantly upgrading the technology for secure protection, to dealing with queries, a VOIP phone service is fully supported.
Many businesses shy away from a VOIP phone service, as they fear that such advanced features must come with a substantial charge, yet it is a cost effective means of telecommunication. The monthly bill is based on the number of users and calling time and data shows you who is calling and when, making it easy to spot irregularities in use. With cloud technology, it is also easy to scale the VOIP phone service up or down as the business evolves.
Flexible working might involve working extra hours during the week in order to leave early one afternoon or to accrue an additional day of leave. It can involve working from a different branch or a customer’s office. It might be working from a home office on certain days or agreeing a different working pattern to what’s in your contract.
All employers are now required to give reasonable consideration to any requests for flexible working. In a recent Lancaster University Work Foundation report, the findings from a survey of over 500 medium to large organisations suggested that, by 2020 flexible working will be embraced by around 70% of employees. These employees will still be on hand to respond to customers, complete tasks and contribute to the company’s success, they just might not be sat next to you whilst they are doing it.
Benefits of Flexible Working
Time is saved when employees aren’t wasting time sat in traffic jams, or having to return to the office following every event or meeting. Flexible working schemes have shown to improve productivity, increase employee well-being, help to attract a skilled workforce and led to higher levels of staff retention.
If the employer is open to allowing the employee to fulfil other commitments or free up time for enjoyable pursuits, they are happier and in turn want to do their best when they are in work, in order to repay the favour. This leads to a more positive and loyal workforce.
It may not be possible for every member of your team to work remotely, but cloud technology can make it possible for your company to reap the rewards of a more flexible approach.