Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ready, steady, stop!

Online backup ticklistThis summer, the world is descending on the UK as athletes and spectators come to enjoy the greatest show on Earth.  But, with additional feet on the street, rubber on the roads and strains on the trains, we’re being warned that travel disruption is inevitable.

Many businesses have had plans in place for months to make sure that, if their employees can’t make it into work, their work can make it to them. However, if you don’t have a plan yet, it’s not too late to make sure that travel disruption doesn’t disrupt your business.  Here are our top tips to make sure your business keeps moving, even if your staff can’t.

1)   Be flexible – do your employees need to be in the office nine-to-five or can they work around the busy travel times?  If they’re in an assembly line or manning a till, obviously, they need to work set shifts but many office workers are able to fulfill responsibilities at any time.

2)   Trust your workers – Mozy research shows that workers put in much more work out of hours and out of sight than bosses realise

3)   Get Mobile – give employees the mobile apps and tools that will allow them to work wherever they are so that additional commuting time isn’t wasted

4)   Enable home working – only 15% of employees are able to access all of their work applications from anywhere. Embracing cloud file access and other online services make trips to the office unnecessary

5)   Virtualise your meetings – video conferencing and virtual meeting places are ubiquitous today and much cheaper and better than they were in the past

6)   Get free stuff – from file access, to mobile apps to collaboration tools, you can get a lot of the stuff you need to mobilise your workforce for free. But, if you’re relying on this technology to keep business alive, don’t scrimp, a small subscription cost will often get you premium services and support, which cn be invaluable.

7)   Have a backup plan – if you can foresee disruption ahead, have a Plan B to fall back on

8)   Keep control – make sure that you have a centralised plan for what tools you’re going to use and what information you’re going to make available.  Everyone needs to be using compatible solutions and you need to ensure that you’re not creating holes in your security

9)   Set clear rules – staff need to know what’s acceptable and what’s not.   For example, how many days of home working are allowed?  Everyone needs to be clear from the start to avoid confusion.

10)  Be prepared – It’s all very well giving people tools to access their files from the cloud but you need to make sure that the files they might need have been uploaded first.  Choose a service that will do this automatically and make sure you do this in advance.

There’s so much to look forward to this summer so get ahead with mobile working plans so that you can enjoy it without the worries of how it could impact your business.  We think that you’ll find new ways of working that you’ll want to continue even when the transport network is back to normal.

Desk Dating

File access enables remote working

Would you feel comfortable online dating from your desk?  What about flicking through the pages of a holiday brochure?

It turns out more of us are happy taking a bit of ‘me time’ in the daytime than you might think with 90 per cent of us saying that we let personal tasks creep onto our workday to-do lists according to new Mozy research.

So, are we all brazenly headed for the dole queue?  Perhaps not as employers also appear to accept that this is fine.

The world hasn’t gone crazy, it’s woken up to the notion that for businesses to get the best results, they need their workforce to be flexible about the hours that they put in and, therefore, need to offer flexible working themselves.

With the introduction of cloud services and mobile apps that allow users to access files anywhere, workers are no longer tied to the office to complete tasks and are spreading their work across an average of about 12 hours each day, giving both employees and employers more flexibility.

In return, employers no longer see breaks in the working schedule as avoiding work, but rather deferring work to make the best use of your time and ensure that you’re free to complete other work tasks later in the evening.

Here’s our list of the top personal tasks that workers feel justified doing during the day.

  1. Leaving early for the doctor or dentist
  2. Personal phone calls
  3. Regular tea/coffee/water-cooler breaks
  4. Chatting with colleagues
  5. Sending a few personal emails
  6. Taking a long lunch
  7. Online banking
  8. Leaving work early for a child’s performance at school
  9. Paying a few bills
  10. Listening to music
  11. Having breakfast
  12. Reading newspapers/magazines
  13. Using social media
  14. Calling customer complaints
  15. Researching things you want to buy online
  16. Brushing teeth
  17. Researching holidays
  18. Online shopping
  19. Food shopping online
  20. Showering after cycling/running/gym
  21. Looking up recipes
  22. Playing the lottery
  23. Reading online gossip
  24. Writing personal blogs
  25. Interviewing for new jobs
  26. Starting a business/side jobs
  27. Organising music playlists
  28. Watching sports
  29. Video conferencing
  30. Online dating

What are you happy doing at your desk?  Why not let us know in the comments section?