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Today’s post is by Andrew Millard, Marketing Director EMEA, Citrix Online.
 
 

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Is ‘workshifting’ just the latest in a line of empty corporate buzzwords with a short shelf life?’  Or does it indicate a real change in the way businesses work?  For me, this is one example of corporate-speak that has legs, as it reflects the growing pressures on employers to put in place more flexible working practices for their staff. 
 
There are a number of compelling drivers here.  On the one hand, we’ve seen problems emerge as a result of unexpected business interruptions: after all, who could have predicted the dramatic appearance of the volcanic ash cloud moving haphazardly across Europe, adding to the travel problems caused by the similarly drawn-out uncertainty caused by the dispute at British Airways.   
 
And then there’s the regulator.  New measures designed to cut our corporate carbon footprint or to improve the work/life balance for staff are forcing employers to look for ways to enable staff to work from home or other remote locations.  Trouble is, companies will only do the bare minimum, unless they can make sure that productivity rates won’t be knocked for six.
 
The good news is that technology can help here.  As ‘cloud’ based solutions become established as a credible means of IT delivery, this has turned the world upside down, especially for smaller businesses.  (Ironic that one cloud is solving a problem caused by another…)   The door is now open for any business to access sophisticated IT solutions. 
 
By using a remote third-party server, at a stroke this takes away the high upfront infrastructure investment or ongoing maintenance costs which previously ruled them out of court except for big businesses with big budgets.  Now, in terms of IT support at least, everyone can compete on an even playing field.
 
Workshifting provides a perfect example.  Even the smallest business can now make full use of simple-to-use Software-as-a-Service-based collaboration tools, so staff stay fully operational, whenever they are away from the office.  They can securely access their PCs remotely and conduct online meetings in a way which replicates almost every aspect of face-to-face contact.  This ‘work anywhere and with anyone’ approach means it’s business as usual – whatever the reason for working remotely.
      
And the benefits don’t stop there.  We’re told that work-related pressures are costing the UK economy – which means individual businesses – a massive £26bn every year.  Collaboration means that employers can now relieve causes of work overload known to be a major contributor to stress and lost work-days.  The result?  The employee wins and the employer wins – perfect.
What do you think?
Photo Credit: mollybob
  • http://TheAnywhereOffice.com/ Phil Montero

    I agree Andrew – the ability for solo-professionals, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to take advantage of affordable subscription software services allows them to have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere without needing a big IT staff or budget.

    These services are scalable so they can grow as your business does. With the tools available today there is no reason to be unproductive outside the office. Your office can be wherever you want or need it to be!

  • http://citrixblogger.org Jeff Muir

    Demand for these services have been around since the web first began. It is not until recently that there has been a strong traction between between the problem, the solution, and the customer. Sometimes it is more about opening up to new possibilities than the actual items of technology. It is difficult to change old patterns but eventually the majority of the population catches up. In this case, the small to medium businesses see real value in paying for services that would be too costly to do themselves. Even big players find joy in the simplicity of letting someone else do it better.