The misery of seemingly endless strikes disrupting Southern Rail’s services and adding to traffic problems on the region’s roads is prompting more companies to use remote working solutions.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that between January and October last year 269,000 days were lost to industrial action in the UK – 100,000 more than in 2015. Much of this was due to disruption of public transport.
While the big increase in strike days may be a temporary blip compared to the past 30 years when strike action remained relatively low, it comes at a time when the opportunity for companies to adopt mobile and remote working solutions has never been easier.
Gary Jowett from Computer & Network Consultants in Brighton says: “Confidence is growing rapidly in remote working solutions. Now it’s possible to access most of the applications and data you would normally use in the office from your home or hotel. So strike days or bad weather need never disrupt your working day.”
Many people are finding that working remotely boosts their productivity. It can also benefit their own health and well-being as the stress from commuting diminishes.
As major public sector organisations in the UK are now ready and willing to adopt cloud-based services such as Microsoft Azure there’s more incentive for smaller businesses to do the same because it will help them win lucrative public sector contracts.
However, if going into the cloud seems too much of a leap into the unknown, then taking a hybrid approach may be the best answer for some organisations. Microsoft Azure and other similar cloud-based services enable users to mix the cloud with on-site solutions.
Get an independent perspective
It’s a good idea to speak to an external IT consultant first just to check what’s available and to get a proper assessment of all your IT requirements. You’re likely to need scalable remote working solutions which can be easily extended as your business grows. And you will also need robust security solutions and a well-thought-out security policy that defines the information employees have access to when working remotely. For example, which employees should have access to confidential company data while working from home?
“Frequent rail strikes have helped encourage more companies to embrace remote working sooner than they may otherwise have done,” says Gary. “As there are many tools to choose from, it’s always best to get an independent perspective on what’s right for your business before taking the plunge. There’s little doubt remote working will continue to grow, so getting it right from the outset is key to the future success of your organisation.”