Can your staff really work from home?

With the next tube strike just days away, what options do your staff have if they live on the tube network?

Are they able to effectively work from home or will your business suffer because of the strikes?

Many bosses prefer to have their staff in the office, even with today’s technology meaning it really isn’t necessary.

Is it a trust issue, in that they don’t believe they’re working unless they can see them? In the past “working from home” was a euphemism for taking the day off, but that is no longer the case.

Is it a team issue, in that they believe the team works better when they can bounce ideas off each other and feel the buzz in the room? This can be great when there is a positive vibe in the room, but what will that vibe really be like once everyone has struggled into work on packed buses and overcrowded trains?

A home-working solution based around trust will deliver real benefits, particularly on the days the RMT decide to upset everyone in London again. Think about it:

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  • Connecting mobiles to your office phone solution so outbound calls look like they are coming from the office, and inbound calls get answered by the right person
  • Staff probably starting work early because they don’t have to travel in
  • Everyone happy because they can drink their own coffee, instead of the dreadful stuff in the vending machine!
  • Data access is no longer a problem. For bigger businesses, staff simply connect to the office server network via Citrix or similar technologies. For smaller companies, Dropbox makes data sharing very easy
  • Video-conferencing means staff can have virtual meetings whenever they want to. They may even be able to peek into each other’s homes via the link!
  • On a more serious note, staff can have the client and sales meetings they need to, without having to deal with the tube network when they’re on strike.

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With the strikes in February costing London’s small businesses over £600 million, perhaps it’s time to make sure your business isn’t impacted too much.

If you’re worried about the impact future tube, bus and train strikes will have on your business, get in touch and we can talk about your needs and the solution options available to you.

What will be the impact of the EU roaming vote?

callow topThe media is full of comments around the EU’s vote to banish roaming charges.  Add that to the recent European Commission survey that says more than 1 in 4 people switch off their mobile phones when travelling in Europe and outside of their home country and it is safe to say that roaming is a key story at this time.

At the moment I don’t know how many of those polled were business users (I’m sure I could find out but not sure its really worth the bother!!) but lets use the figures contained within the survey to assess the impact.

1 in 10 reduce their use of email

I get a lot of email. There is a real danger that limiting your use of email to when you can get a wifi signal (otherwise known as back in your hotel or at lunch in a coffee shop) could mean losing out on business.

30% don’t make phone calls

Whilst I am sure that this won’t be the case for most business users (after all the user isn’t paying the bill – that’s the responsibility of the IT Director or the FD), worrying about the cost of these calls may mean some business users, particularly those within small businesses, may hesitate in making calls and this could lead to the same result: a loss of business.

Of course there is the option of waiting for wifi and using Skype?

Who’s going to pay?

The loss of roaming revenues will make a big hole in the piggy banks of the mobile operators; they will want to make that up somewhere; the question is where?

In my opinion it will occur in the following ways:

  1. the cost of roaming outside the EU will increase dramatically
  2. the investment in infrastructure will slow down
  3. the cost of your contract will go up

They are not going to walk away from £26bn.

What are your thoughts on where they will make up this money?