Demand for flexible working has become commonplace among Scottish businesses. It is a welcome bonus in our busy lives as it allows us to give time to our families when they need us most.
But in order for companies to facilitate fluid working conditions for employees, a tight and robust IT system is required. This means the benefits of remote working can be felt across the whole company regardless of the geographical location.
It is often noticed when something goes wrong, but in today’s international marketplace, customers demand access to a 24/7 responsive service. Sophisticated systems are needed to support secure home working and to create business agility.
Remote working is changing internal cultures but there are occasions where only face-to-face conversations will do.
Firms are also displaying an increased degree of transparency regarding their finances, especially where reductions in overheads and travel costs can be made.
BT has felt the benefits of flexible working. It has estimated that mobile working saves the business £35 million a year in accommodation and recruitment costs. As a result, absenteeism decreased.
Business leaders who are not providing their employees with the option of remote working may feel security is an issue. There are measures that can be applied to ease these understandable data anxieties. But there is a simple solution. Installing remote data back-up, managed firewall systems and server monitoring ensures that company information is kept safe.
A managed service like this ensures that company policy and procedures meet the tightest of regulatory standards. Back-up from a helpdesk provides users with the comfort that support is at hand.
We must realise that remote working possesses huge worth to our businesses. It provides the workforce with a level of trust and this is repaid by their loyalty to the company. Scotland’s business leaders need to realise that IT infrastructures act as a facilitator to remote working and that is hugely beneficial to the workforce. When they are engaged, employees are always our greatest asset.
• Peter Birkett is chief executive officer of IT specialist adept4