One of the greatest changes in the way we work over the past ten years has been the migration to working from home. Office space costs, unreliable transport systems and the near-universal availability of broadband internet access has made working from home not just viable but a key part of the working environment. Previously, with traditional office networks and phone systems, working from home either entailed copying files to your laptop and taking them home or logging in to a terminal server which was housed, expensively, in the head office. It also often meant making and answering calls to your mobile phone. In short, working from home was seen as a bit of a luxury and, more often than not, an excuse to get not a lot done, due to “struggling with the equipment”.
No longer. Cloud Computing is revolutionising how we view and use IT. By moving to Cloud Desktops, for example, your staff can log on to their desktop from anywhere, including from home, and get the same experience as if they were working in the office. They can even make use of Cloud VoIP and log in to their phone extension from home (or elsewhere), and become part of the office network with all the abilities to transfer calls, take part in conference calls and pick up voicemails. What’s more, by logging on to their phone extension, staff no longer have to claim back call charges through expenses – any calls placed through the office phone system get charged to the office, no matter where they were made from.
Working from home gives staff the flexibility to work where they want, when they want and how they want. It is perfect for part time workers or mothers who need to work around the school run. It also helps to improve staff morale and ensures staff can achieve a good work-life balance. It may also be a legal requirement, as the law requires all employers to 'consider seriously' requests to work flexibly from employees with a child aged 16 or under, a child with disabilities under 18 and employees looking after an adult dependant.
Whatever the driving force behind a decision to provide flexible working, Cloud Computing can make a difficult decision very easy to implement technically.