Business as usual for London firms, despite Olympics
Lessons to be learned for others with Paralympics just 6 days away
“At a time when the UK economy is struggling to shake off the recession, the Olympics could have been disastrous for businesses in the capital,” said Shamus Kelly, managing director of Portal. “However, companies have heeded LOCOG’s advice and provided ways for employees to work remotely which has meant there has been very little impact on most businesses.”
The key reason businesses were able to cope with the strains placed on the capital was planning. 60 per cent of firms revealed they had spent time planning, with nearly a quarter (22.4%) spending more than six months putting in place the plans needed to ensure it was ‘business as usual’.
For 62 per cent of firms, those plans involved upgrading technology to allow people to work while 41 per cent invested in new technology allowing people to access email, video conferencing and critical business systems such as finance and HR software.
Despite the positive picture overall, a significant minority (30 per cent) failed to plan at all and of those, over a third experienced a significant fall in productivity. With the Paralympics just 6 days away, firms need to ensure they have plans in place to cope.
One of the most effective ways to cope with major events such as the Paralympics is for people to work away from their central London offices, avoiding long delays on public transport and the road network. Here are Portal’s seven tips for successful remote working:
1. Instant messaging – encourage employees to use instant messaging services rather than relying on email. It’s faster and often more convenient and places less strain on company servers;
2. Software – it’s worth considering using collaboration tools or enterprise portals for sharing documents. It saves time and bandwidth sending around files on email;
3. Collaboration tools – internal blogs and social media tools can be used to keep team members working apart from each other updated;
4. Communication – do let your customers and suppliers know how to contact staff while they’re working remotely. It’ll save a lot of time and hassle for everyone;
5. Support – remote working isn’t always easy so do have people available to provide support to those having difficulty with their technology;
6. Security – make sure that your security is up-to-scratch. With people potentially using their personal PCs to access the network, it’s possible all sorts of viruses could find their way into your servers; and
7. Telecom infrastructure – ensure you have sufficient bandwidth to allow people to access the network remotely.
“Technology is critical to enabling staff to work remotely,” said Kelly. “It doesn’t require a huge investment and following a few simple rules will not only help people to work productively, it’ll keep you data safe and sound too.”
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