Operation Stepchange Will Show Businesses How Remote Working Is Done

Operation Stepchange is intended to show businesses ‘how it’s done’ when it comes to preparing for the Olympics.

The Government’s remote working trial run acknowledges the need to plan ahead and make sure that the supporting systems are in place in order to avoid major workforce disruption during this national event.  The simple truth is – nothing can be gained from waiting for the ‘horse to bolt’.

More than just connecting to Wi-Fi

The disruption that the Olympic Games will cause to London’s transport infrastructure, and consequently to its businesses and organisations, should not be underestimated. It is extremely likely that there will be a dramatic increase in the number of absentees and late-comers and the effect this will have on workforce productivity alone will be exceptionally damaging to businesses.

A government official has recently been quoted as saying that working from home ‘is not exactly rocket science’. It’s a little short sighted to assume that all there is to it is connecting your work laptop to home Wi-Fi as most organisations will still need to maintain a basic level of operational efficiency like holding meetings and accessing files securely during this time.

Effective communication and business continuity is a basic priority for the majority of organisations. It’s well-known that a break down here can lead to a host of problems like reputational damage and financial loss. Trivialising the necessity of an efficient remote working solution is a brave gamble.

Not ‘rocket science’

A workforce that’s supported by remote working solutions can carry on ‘business-as-usual’ and they will be far more productive than one that’s stuck elbow-to-elbow on a delayed train.  And once a remote working solution is in place, should unforeseen circumstances arise, an organisation can call on those resources immediately knowing that they work in practice. But a few key things must be done now to make sure that a remote working strategy is up and running in time for the Olympics.

The technologies which are essential for the workforce to do their jobs remotely must be quickly identified so that a best practice solution can be implemented. Collaboration software will enable the workforce to attend online meetings through video conferencing, participate in training sessions remotely and access the corporate network from any location securely. It is also possible to provide support, management and solve technical problems remotely.

Taking simple steps now ensures that productivity is maintained and valuable time isn’t wasted in a crisis by implementing rushed strategies at the last minute.  Working from home may not be rocket science but the difference in capability between a barely connected workforce and one which is supported by collaborative technology is vast.

Andrew Millard is the senior director of marketing EMEA at Citrix Online Services Division

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