How to Avoid the Winter Travel Chaos

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Brace yourself, winter travel chaos is coming.

The Met Office has predicted colder and wetter weather than usual in December and January. With this warning comes the very real risk of employees failing to show up for work due to weather and transport woes, which will cause major disruption to businesses across the UK.

However, there is a solution to this problem: remote working.

The benefits of remote working

It might not be a silver bullet, but enabling employees to work remotely presents a huge number of benefits, both for staff and for the business as a whole.

First and foremost, remote working resolves the issue of employees not being able to make it to the office because of travel chaos. Whether it’s icy roads, delays to public transport, or an insufferable hangover after the work Christmas party, there’s a number of reasons why the festive season is particularly bad for absenteeism – but when an employee can work from anywhere, this needn’t be a problem.

Remote working can also boost productivity. If staff can carry out their tasks from home, on the train, at a client’s site or in a café, it stands to reason that employee productivity and efficiency will increase.

It can also aid staff retention. Many workers want the option of working from home so they can have a better work-life balance; providing this option will make it easier to attract new talent to your business while also keeping hold of the staff you’ve got.

Other benefits of remote working include a reduction in office costs and it can also bring an end to employees creating unsafe, ad hoc remote working solutions.

How to roll it out like a pro

So there’s the concise business case for remote working, but how do you execute it effectively?

If you’re going to benefit from remote working, you’re going to need the right technologies and processes in place. Here’s our step-by-step guide for how to roll out remote working like a pro:

  • Start with a small-scale trial: get your tech team to trial remote working so they can iron out any initial kinks and familiarise themselves with the technology. Then get senior staff to begin working from home – this will help get buy-in from the top.
  • Deploy a VPN: once the basics are in place, you should deploy a VPN to bolster security. Get employees to use a remote desktop tool so they can access their applications without the business needing to buy new licences or manage extra devices.
  • Add extra tools: to get staff to work productively, you will need to roll out other technologies such as instant messaging for easier communication and ‘presence information’, so everyone can see who is and isn’t online. If you don’t have it already, you should also add telephony solutions such as VoIP so employees at home can still make calls to clients from their work number. Further down the line you can add supplementary tools like videoconferencing, screen sharing and online project management software.
  • Get everyone up to speed: with the technological side of things taken care of, you will need to roll the trial out to more and more employees. You will also need to update HR paperwork to reflect the new remote working practices and provide training sessions on how to use the new tools.

Find out more

Remote working is not just for Christmas, but with travel chaos threatening business disruption over the coming months, now’s the perfect time to embrace the concept.

And while this blog will provide a useful place for you to kickstart your remote working strategy, there’s a lot more to learn if you want to roll the system out effectively.

So let us point you towards hSo’s free guide to remote working. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want any advice or guidance on the subject.

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