HOW TECHNOLOGY IS ENABLING FLEXIBLE WORKING03.07.2017
Many organisations understand that to attract the best, most diverse talent it’s important to encourage flexibility in the workplace, this can include working from home or less structured working hours. From cloud sharing platforms such as Trello to better mobile connectivity, developments in technology has enabled these opportunities to become a reality.
With many companies embracing flexible working, are traditional 9-5.30 office hours slowly fading?
Previously organisations haven’t offered remote working due to large workloads and difficulties sharing projects outside the office. Cloud Technology has enabled documents to be shared instantly, with platforms like Slack and Trello allowing remote collaboration/communication between teams. These are both free apps which enable more than one user to update projects and work on documents simultaneously. Cloud based sharing platforms mean teams don’t need to be in the same office to work on a project.
Developments in 4G (and advances in 5G) has increased connectivity for businesses and employees throughout the UK. According to Wired, “mobile data use has rocketed over the past five years – increasing 74 per cent alone in 2015.” This shows employees are accessing emails remotely rather than connecting to office wifi. Better connectivity gives employees the opportunity to work whilst commuting to the office or when travelling to meetings, rather than having to do additional hours. This helps maximise efficiency in and out of the office leading to an improved work life balance.
Improved communication platforms such as video conferencing and instant messaging have also assisted organisations wanting to introduce remote working. Previously when working remotely employees were only contactable via email. However, new platforms mean when working from home employees can still be connected to the office. Platforms including video conferencing have also improved communication between regional and global offices, reducing travel time and expense.
Whilst 9-5.30 working hours may continue to be the norm for many industries due to stakeholder demands. Technology has and will continue to dramatically help flexible working, in particular remote working. The demand for flexible working is set to increase and companies should embrace new innovations or risk missing out on the best, most diverse talent.