Here at Fluidata we pride ourselves on connectivity that is resilient and one which allows businesses to stay online. Whilst many business managers across the country are adopting this ‘fail safe’ attitude when it comes to their choice of connectivity, the same cannot be said in other areas of business continuity. The impact of St Jude’s storm on Monday 28th October brought this subject into sharp focus; with millions of commuters delayed into work or unable to travel all together.
It is still too early to predict the amount of working hours lost last week, but this isn't the first time businesses in the UK have been disrupted by adverse weather. A survey carried out by the Charted Management Institute found that between 2008 and 2013 54% of organisations experienced some disruption at the hands of extreme weather; higher than any other potential business threat. The same report found that ‘reduced revenue’ and ‘loss of new business opportunities’ were the two main results of this disruption.
Managers in organisations affected by snow earlier this year reported an average financial cost to their business of as much as £52,770. When you consider how often travel is affected by snow and other weather conditions you can begin to see how much of a cost it can be to a business. With this in mind, there couldn't be a more relevant time for businesses to begin considering the various teleworking tools on the market.
Below we've listed, in no particular order, the top five teleworking tools all businesses should be using:
Secure, quality internet –I know, it’s a bit predictable, and it’s hardly a fancy new tool but needless to say nothing else will function effectively without it. Many service providers can now also offer packages which provide secure VPN access or even MPLS into home and mobile locations in a cost effective manner. Considerations like using a consumer product should be considered, especially when everyone gets disrupted by snow, for example, which means performance drops as everyone tries to log on.
Virtualisation -Virtualised servers and PCs with hosted applications used across the organisation means the user experience is maintained whether they are working from home or in the office.
Virtual Meeting Spaces –Tools such as WebEx allow for individuals or groups to share their desktop, presentations and files in an interactive manner.
Video Conferencing –The closest thing to replicating a real life meeting with colleagues or clients. Cheaper tools such as Skype or FaceTime can be used but a more integrated video/VoIP solution might be better.
A number that follows you– It might be a VoIP solution or purely mobile but seamless transition from office to home ensures users can maintain contact with minimal fuss. The business can also keep a handle on costs.