Flexible working: the competitive difference
Flexible working is an increasingly relevant topic across all organisations. Employees have the statutory right to request a flexible working pattern. Many firms are discovering that offering flexibility in working hours and location doesn’t just keep employees happy and meet statutory requirements, but also opens up new opportunities to improve customer service. In this blog, we discuss the benefits to your firm and the way that cloud technology enables your colleagues to access the systems they need to, securely, from any location.
Individual requests for flexible working, or a flexible working offering to all employees, can open up new opportunities for a firm when considered in line with customer service objectives. For example, a request for staggered hours could enable longer opening hours and guaranteed lunchtime cover. Home working reduces overheads and often increases productivity as there is no time wasted on the daily commute and often less distraction during the working day. There are a number of different forms that flexible working can take, and considered carefully they could help resolve some of the customer service and efficiency issues practices are currently facing.
The introduction of flexible working is also becoming a key tool for firms looking to attract and retain talent. A firm looking to grow may offer flexibility to a talented recruit who lives too far away to commute on a daily basis. Offering flexibility will widen the pool of available talent helping you to grow your business and ultimately improve your reputation and profitability. Offering flexibility also aids the retention of employees in line with life changes.
Many firms are starting to use hot-desking, supported with homeworking, to free up space so that the firm can grow without the urgent need to move premises. This can be especially useful for firms that have seasonal trends in workforce numbers. Many firms talk about the productivity boost and cost savings that this method of working can bring.
How can my firm support flexible working?
To make flexible working happen, reliable and secure IT systems are essential. As employees may request to work from home or other locations, it is essential that they can access the practice’s core systems securely and seamlessly from outside the office. By transferring to cloud computing and providing staff with a laptop, tablet or mobile device, employees can safely and securely access and update files in real time from any location.
Converge TS offer hosted services which enable staff to access virtual desktops that look and act like a traditional PC, but have all the software and data securely located in our state of the art data centres. Accessing applications and files in this way not only improves productivity, but ensures that your business systems and client data are being accessed in a compliant and secure manner.
Anytime, anywhere access from any device, allows your firm to offer clients on-site services and consultancy, and the potential to extend service hours to meet client demand; such as handling enquiries in the evenings. You can also optimise fee earner time by enabling people to work effectively from any location, between client meetings and when travelling, taking back the downtime from their day.
It’s predicted that by 2019, 80% of firms will have moved to the cloud. Currently just 10% of firms are operating from it – but those who are, already reap the rewards.
Author: Nigel Wright, Managing Director, Converge TS
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