Enabling staff to work remotely and under their own steam has untold benefits, but are they all good for business?
According to BT research, remote workers are actually more productive than their office-bound counterparts. They save time on commuting, have fewer interruptions and often work longer (if different, hours). Remote working also reduces spontaneous absenteeism.
Equipped for the job
80% of UK’s workforce are information workers and require little more than a telephone and network connection, which means they can work almost anywhere, anytime.
For any business, the most important thing to enable remote working is having the right network infrastructure in place. Reliable, fast and secure transfer of data is essential within a normal office environment. Take it outside to multiple unmonitored locations and it becomes vital.
Cisco have been developing collaboration technology to embrace the growing demand for remote working, providing a range of solutions for every situation. Once deemed as only a concern for larger organisations, we believe it is now an issue that could affect companies of all kinds and sizes.
London 2012 will fuel demand for remote working
There’s no doubt that this summer’s Games will increase pressure on businesses to allow staff to work remotely for at least some of the time. With up to an estimated extra 800,000* people travelling per day, commuters are going to face inevitable congestion, delays and hassle.
Businesses can expect an increase in absenteeism, early holiday requests and demand for days off from both those who want to watch certain events and those who simply want to minimise the travel pain.
To compound the problem, those staff that do come into the office throughout the Games will be expecting to at least watch some of it online. This extra demand for live streaming will have a major impact on network capacity and could slow or even crash systems.
Ensuring they have a robust network infrastructure in place will give companies the flexibility to manage their staff effectively and maintain or even increase productivity.
The main problem is going to lie in how bosses manage the expectations of staff. With everyone wanting extra time off, how do you decide who to say yes to and who to deny?
Playing the Games
To help businesses prepare for the deluge of demands they are going to face, Cisco have created ‘101 reasons not to go to work’ is a fun game that lets you decide who has a good enough reason to take the day off and who doesn’t. Also you can you upload your own reasons, with a chance to win London 2012 tickets for you and your team (which should be a good enough reason for anyone to take the day off) [Ts&Cs apply].