29 Jul 2011
Last week, Computer Weekly reported the results of a survey by Virgin Media, which found that more than two thirds of employees (in a survey of 1,000 workers) would like to access the software they use in the office through a web browser whilst working from remote locations.
There has been a growing demand for remote working for some time now, and with growing awareness of cloud technologies to facilitate mobile working, it’s no surprise that employees are starting to demand more flexibility.
In periods of bad weather, such as the heavy snowfall that has swept the country for the last two winters, remote working solutions allow businesses to carry on regardless – with employees able to access work documents, networks and applications from their internet devices, from any location.
The same survey showed that office workers are confident their businesses can meet their expectations, with 78% believing that in 10 years they will be able to access all their applications over the web. Of course, empowering workers in this way may be a step too far for some organisations, with some being slow on the uptake of cloud technologies. But the reality is that if workers are not given these choices in the future, they could turn to a company that does offer these benefits.
After all, employees are consumers of technology in both their work and personal lives. The huge explosion in popularity of tablets, driven largely by Apple’s iPad, means that many employees are switching to these types of devices for work use – even if the company does not supply them.
Is this not more dangerous then? Because if companies are not seen to be leading the way in championing these modern ways of working, will workers not try to adopt them anyway? And if that does happen, the employer potentially opens themselves up to security breaches by not supporting the devices or this way of working in the first place.
Research firm Gartner estimates that by 2016, all of the Global 2000 companies will be using public cloud services. Cloud is not coming, it’s here. And it’s a case of when, not if, companies choose to get onboard, and how they embrace new technologies that could make all the difference in today’s competitive environment.
What are your thoughts on technology as an enabler for flexible working?