The recent snow and cold weather has further highlighted the benefits of both cloud computing and flexible working practices.
Recent news reports have claimed that the adverse weather conditions could cost the UK economy up to £6 billion in lost income. Managing director of IT recruitment agency, CV Screen, Matthew Iveson, commented: “It is clear that so many businesses have been caught out by the cold snap and increased pressure will be put on IT departments to be better prepared for bad weather.”
“Every IT department should have a contingency in place. Those businesses who have embraced cloud computing and have a policy in place for flexible working are the ones who have been able to minimise disruption,” Iveson continued. “The technology allows users to use applications and access their personal files from any computer, anywhere in the world.”
Iveson added: “It is vital that staff are fully trained on the use of remote working technologies, so that in the event that they are not able to get into the office, they are able to continue working as normal from home. The policies and procedures of home working also need to be clearly documented so that staff know exactly what is expected of them.”
He suggested that in addition to flexible working, employers should also understand the importance of recruiting locally based staff. Employees who live within a reasonable commute of their workplace are more likely to be able to get to work in adverse weather than those that live further afield. Staff that are local are also more likely to be willing to work longer hours and remain loyal employees, thus reducing staff turnover and increasing productivity.
“With the bad weather set to continue, there will be many IT directors who will be under pressure to fully investigate cloud computing as an alternative to office based working. Employers are eager to reduce the impact of the weather chaos and more are moving away from fixed IT systems to Cloud Computing as amongst other things a safeguard against any unforeseen circumstances,” concluded Iveson.