With commuters at Waterloo station facing up to 4 weeks of travel chaos due to engineering works, now is the time for businesses to follow the innovative few and invest in flexible working alternatives, to ensure their workforce does not have to rely on trains to get work done. Earlier this year rail fares increased at an average of 2.3% across the country, a flexible workforce is not just a happy one, but a wealthier one too.
In the past, businesses have worried that flexible working could lead to disengaged employees and reduced productivity. Thanks to modern technology however, working remotely is now just as effective as working in the office. With, smartphones, integrated applications and cloud-based document storing, employees working remotely are at no disadvantage. Live video communication also has the power to bring face to face communication and collaboration between colleagues, customers and prospects so that employees can continue to build strong relationships regardless of whether they’re in the office, at a coffee shop, or at home.
With recent research having shown that 86% of employers experience demand for flexible working, there is a clear appetite amongst the workforce to work remotely. As the business world globalises, and demand for seamless collaboration grows, the technology businesses choose to implement will also shift. The need for tools like video meeting technology that remove geographical boundaries will be crucial to flexible staffers.
With the events at Waterloo causing havoc for day to day commuters, one misconception about remote work is that it hinders collaboration. In my experience, the inverse is more likely: offices hinder independent work. Thanks to great advances in technology, live video is now just the same as meeting face-to-face, when combined with cloud-based document sharing tools, there really isn’t any difference to working within an office.”
Note from the Editor:
Following the news of a derailment at Waterloo, adding more woes to commuters and workers reliant on the London terminus, after publication of this blog, James Campanini provided some further comment:
“If employees were given the opportunity to work from home just one day a week, based on existing rail fares, commuters travelling within zones 1-9 could save up to £646 per year*. That’s a significant sum and puts this week’s rail fare hike into perspective. When you add the benefits of a better work-life balance commuters would realise and less time stuck on overcrowded and unreliable trains as a result, a flexible alternative to the standard 9-5 every day is surely a no brainer.”
“Some businesses have previously worried that flexible working could lead to a disengaged workforce and result in reduced productivity. But there’s no reason why working remotely can’t be just as effective as working in the office thanks to better technology.
“With delays and cancellations becoming an everyday occurrence, and the cost of travel increasing each year at an alarming rate, it’s time for businesses to step in, support their workers and provide them with a better work-life balance.”
Guest Blog by James Campanini, GM International, BlueJeans
Image Source: The Sun
*Based on the below calculation
1-9 = Daily fare: £17.20 > WFH: 4 day week £275.20 // Monthly Fare: £329.10 (Saving: £53.90)