As flexible working becomes commonplace, the benefits of this new working environment are being enjoyed by employees and employers alike.
Yet the introduction of flexible working has created some uncertainties, and many organisations are hesitating over the decision to implement it as a result. These uncertainties stem from three major fears:
- Teamwork will suffer because of reduced communications.
- Productivity will decline due to unsupervised working.
- The home/work boundary will become blurred.
There is mounting evidence to suggest that these fears are unfounded for most businesses – 83 per cent of employees claim that flexible working has – in fact – increased personal productivity, for example. However, without properly considering the full implications of a flexible working environment, it is certain that business operations will suffer.
To mitigate any chance of a negative outcome, it's a good move to make sure that the right digital solutions are in place.
Enable clear interactions with seamless communications
The value of smooth and consistent communications becomes all too apparent when a colleague, dialling in from the Himalayas, is required to make a key contribution to your discussion.
Ensuring that employees are provided with a unified communications platform when working remotely enables seamless interactions with all colleagues and stakeholders. This facilitates improved dialogue and closer team work, across businesses and time zones, both in and outside of the office. Workers are able to confidently collaborate in real-time, regardless of location, and businesses then benefit from speedier project development schedules.
One Net Enterprise is a communications service that enables teams to collaborate and work more effectively through a multi-channel platform, all within a single cloud-based system. Together with cross-compatible video conferencing tool, Meet Anywhere, this solution is able to strengthen business relationships by making it possible to share content and ideas with ease.
Maintain productivity with fully mobile device support
Mobile devices are essential at all levels of any business, particularly as employees are now spending increasingly less time anchored to their desks. But with flexible working comes a more geographically dispersed workforce, making the already difficult task of managing a fleet of mobile devices far more complex.
Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is a service that absorbs all of the administrative tasks when it comes to mobile device management. DLM delivers fully configured devices – already customised with the required accessories and applications, and up-to-date security software – to all end-users within an organisation, regardless of location.
Providing an easy and efficient process for device repair and replacement, DLM ensures that remote working is not an issue when problems occur, allowing productivity levels to be maintained. And with additional helpdesk and post-delivery management services, DLM continues to safeguard devices from security risks and unnecessary downtime throughout their lifecycle.
Instil workforce confidence with secure access
Although IT security fears may not be a primary concern for employers looking to activate flexible working, encouraging a wide variety of devices to remotely connect to a cloud-based system can lead to network vulnerabilities.
Handling sensitive information and data is common in the roles of many employees, and it is therefore valuable to have confidence in a secure network. Yet with the threats posed by the constantly shifting and evolving cyber-attack landscape, simple firewall and anti-virus solutions are no longer enough.
Secure Network Gateway (SNG) is a next generation cyber security solution that enables secure remote user access to the business network. Supporting multiple devices, SNG provides round-the-clock protection against network intrusions, and ensures that valuable data remains safe, giving staff the confidence to work productively within a secure virtual environment. And through a single, cloud-based platform, SNG is scalable to the unique bandwidth needs of the organisation, and addresses the complexity of dealing with multiple internet service providers across locations.
Future-proofing your business
A flexible working environment is ultimately the future for all businesses.
With over 100,000 employees based throughout 26 countries, Vodafone’s own flexible working initiative was a serious undertaking. Yet with a commitment to guaranteeing that all users were empowered to work on their own terms – on a global basis – Vodafone deployed its own digital workplace technologies to create a working environment that successfully enabled the freedom of working from anywhere.
With the correct application of the right technology, all organisations can activate a wide variety of benefits from flexible working, both for themselves and their employees. Now regarded by the talent of tomorrow as the only way to work, flexible working is an investment that is future-proofing businesses.