• Why 2019 will be the year of the great office escape

        • Thanks to developments in technology, the workplace, and the expectations surrounding it, have changed over the last few years resulting in more and more workplaces embracing a mobile working policy. According to a report issued this year, 70 per cent of professionals work remotely at least one day a week, while 53 per cent work remotely for at least half of the week. Here, Jamie Coombs, Group Professional Services Manager, Altodigital explains why2019 could be the year that mobile working shakes up the workforce.

          Seamless communication

          Mobile phones and laptops have made it possible to work from almost any location for several years, however, in the coming year, this is going to be taken further. Where once traditional office environments relied heavily on landlines and desk phones, there is now an increasing trend of using softphones to make calls via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). For the mobile workforce, this means being able to use a laptop or PC to make and receive calls, removing the need to always have a mobile phone or landline to hand.

          An additional point worth noting is that with BT’s shutdown of the ISDN telephone network in the UK looming in the distance, moving to softphones at this point makes good business sense. Not only will businesses be staying one step ahead of this change, but it will also allow them to deliver more flexibility to their employees. It also allows them to get rid of desk phones altogether if they wished, cutting costs from both the phones themselves and bills. 

          Increased productivity

          While VoIP isn’t a new concept, it is now allowing users to do more and more with it, thanks to its ability to be integrated with other office systems, such as Sage and Office 365 applications. With the number of apps & systems available to be integrated with VoIP only set to expand. 

          Productivity and motivation are aspects of mobile working that business owners tend to worry about. However, technology is making mobile working more productive than ever. After all, thanks to VoIP and other apps, organisations with employees spread out across a wide radius are able to come together as frequently as needed without any travel requirements. Particularly for businesses with a number of sales people, travelling to the office or meetings can take up a large part of an employee’s day. VoIP makes virtual meetings a reality, allowing greater flexibility and resulting in time and cost savings as individuals aren’t required to travel. At a time when space is a premium, the move to a more mobile workforce in the coming year will result in significant cost savings for businesses by cutting down on office space and making hot desking an option for those working in the office.

          While there are certainly roles that can’t be carried out remotely, Jamie predicts that 2019 will see more and more businesses making mobile working an option for their employees. Thanks to advances in technology there are very few differences between a role being carried out in an office, in an individual’s home or in a coffee shop, for instance. The worries of managers that their employees will be unable to carry out their roles as productively at home have been replaced by a realisation of the benefits remote working offers their business and employees. In 2019, by arming employees with the correct tools, organisations will reap the rewards of an agile workforce and experience the time and cost savings that come from having a more mobile workforce.

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