Net benefits of home working

Published: 29 Aug 2014

Offering staff the opportunity to work from home can be highly beneficial to a business and boost staff morale.

The number of people working from home  has soared in the past 10 years, with recent research carried out by the Office of National Statistics showing that there were 4.2million employees working remotely from January-March 2014 – the highest rate since comparable records began in 1998.

Of these home workers, around 1.5million worked within their home or its grounds. The high increase in remote working is being reinforced by faster broadband speeds and better IT infrastructure, enabling business people to access information wherever they are, when they need it, over the internet.

However, not every business is lucky enough to have access to super-fast fibre-optic broadband, especially in remote  areas where even standard Internet can be an issue. Award-winning Aberdeen-based Indigo Technologies said that it is important for businesses to introduce systems to allow workers to log on at home.

The IT specialist, which delivers solutions to a range of small organisations as well as global oil and gas companies, can supply state-of-the art satellite broadband, which allows businesses to enjoy high internet speeds, even if they are miles from the nearest telephone exchange.

The technology works by mounting a small antenna on the roof of a property to receive internet signals from a satellite, cutting out the dreaded peak-time speed dip caused by an overloaded exchange.

Indigo director Sean Thomson said: “Communication remains pivotal in running and developing a successful business. The rise of mobile technology means the idea of working from a single place is a thing of the past as anywhere with wi-fi can become your office, so long as the connection has sufficient speed to handle the tasks you are doing. However with some companies requiring staff to log into remote servers before beginning their tasks, a fast internet speed can be required.

“In many rural areas, and even in some parts of cities, wireless signal or broadband speed can be poor meaning that creative solutions have to be found to allow businesses to function as normal – that is where satellite broadband can come into play.”

Mr Thompson also said that there are a number of IT options available to businesses who want to take away the stress of running their systems in-house.

  • Invest to save: Making an investment in IT infrastructure early on can save you money in the long run. Extra repairs and upgrades over a period of time can hurt a business financially so employing a specialist from the outset can save a lot of stress.
     
  • Find the right fit for you: Satellite broadband may not suit everyone, but there are many other options available. Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) or leased lines can provide fast speeds using standard copper or fibre broadband lines. Ethernet in the first mile (EFM), a technology which uses copper, is also a cost-effective way to boost your business connectivity.
     
  • Work in the Cloud: Using a Cloud server reduces the physical space needed for running IT systems by taking the server out of your office and into ours. It is secure, fully monitored and can easily be upgraded without investment in equipment on your side. Cloud-based solutions mean customer reports, files or accounts can all be picked up from home – or anywhere in the world.

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