10/07/2014

By Joseph Blass, CEO, WorkPlaceLive

Today (10th July), the UK faces the largest one-day strike over pay by public sector workers since 2010. Up to a million local government workers, civil servants, teachers, passport staff, health workers and firefighters plan to strike.

Many schools in England and Wales face disruption or closure as the National Union of Teachers plan to join the strike action. Transport may also be affected as the RMT; Unite and TSSA unions have also called for strike action. With up to 300,000 teachers planning to strike, many working parents might be unable to find childcare and not make it into work and many others affected by transport disruptions could find it difficult to travel into office.

Once again, UK businesses are likely to bear the brunt of this action with the potential loss to productivity and their business. Surely, this event is a timely reminder for companies to think seriously about putting in place plans and technology that enable staff to work remotely?

Businesses that run their IT through the cloud, using services such as hosted desktops, are less affected by such events as their employees can access their entire office suite including business applications and databases, as well as emails and files from anywhere with only a 3G wireless internet connection and work normally.

There is always something that requires employees to work from home. This week it is the general strike, but a few weeks ago it was the underground strike. In the winter it might be bad weather, and in the summer parents left at home when their child care arrangements go wrong. A hosted desktop service through the cloud is an easy way for businesses to start offering flexible working and realise other benefits too including significant IT and energy savings, enhanced security and improved IT performance.

Employees will be able to work productivity from any location so if there are strikes, weather issues or any other unforeseen events that make travelling into the office difficult – it doesn’t affect them - it can always be business as usual.