Mobile working set to boom during Olympics

Mobile working set to boom during Olympics

With the London 2012 Olympics just around the corner a host of businesses of all sizes are beginning to put together action plans in order to reduce the amount of disruption to their organisations.

Despite reassurances that transport in London will continue to run relatively smoothly, it is generally accepted that getting to and from work and getting around the capital will be much more difficult than usual.

This has led to a number of businesses extending their flexible working practices to more employees than ever before.
The trend was highlighted in a recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) study, which indicated that more than half of employers are making changes to their working practices during the Olympics.

Almost three in ten employers say they will try and accommodate requests from employees to work from home, 17 per cent are planning to extend flexible working opportunities, while 13 per cent will actively encourage staff to work from home.

Rebecca Clake, research adviser at CIPD, said: "There are a range of options available to employers to enable them to balance the requirements of the business with the interests and needs of employees.

"Options such as flexi-time and home working can enable employees in parts of the country likely to face travel disruption as a result of the Olympics to spend their time working rather than stuck in traffic jams or adding to the pressure likely to be faced by our public transport system."

Allowing employees to work from home using their own devices is one way to cut down on the disruption that will be caused by commuter chaos and staff staying off work to watch particular events.

According to Chris Papa, managing director of communications specialist and cloud company Qubic, firms that fail to allow workers to connect to the corporate network via their own personal devices are simply "archaic".

"Our working patterns and environments are changing and as a result, we need access to tools that will enable us to cater for that. Accessing networks via a remote cloud system really showcases the capabilities that cloud computing provides," he said.

While working from home and using personal devices is important, it can also create a host of issues for businesses that allow the trend to take place in their organisation.

Security is of course paramount when it comes to sensitive information accessed via personal devices outside of the workplace and mobile device management is an important tool to help reduce the risk of data losses or security breaches.

"BYOD will be as successful as the security that underpins it. The risks should be assessed and devices monitored. This way, employees can be productive without putting their companies in unnecessary danger," Mr Papa added.

Another way that disruption can be avoided during the Games is for businesses to consider the benefits of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services. This will allow a business to continue running uninterrupted from various different locations without the customer and clients knowing that employees are not in a traditional office environment.

Earlier this month the government announced plans to allow civil servants to work from home during the Olympics from July 21st to September 9th.