By James Campanini, EMEA VP, Blue Jeans

Flexible working is the future of business. Employees demand it, technology is now available to support it and the Government has backed legislation to make it a compulsory offering.

As travel costs continue to increase and more business is conducted not only around the country, but across the world, the need for more flexible working solutions is only going to increase in popularity.

In fact, research now suggests that some of the UK’s biggest employers are now encouraging remote working and employees to step away from their desks.

In order for remote working to be as effective as possible, and encourage efficiency among staff, businesses need to plan carefully and ensure the necessary protocols are in place.

These are:

Technology is of the utmost importance for today’s work force – particularly as millennials enter with new demands. There are countless apps and software available that can be used to make working from anywhere easy for file sharing and communicating. Cloud based video conferencing is increasing in popularity as it provides a clear and effective form of communication for businesses especially when working in different offices or countries.

The roll out of 4G has meant that working from mobile devices is now more efficient and convenient. However, as bring your own device (BYOD) policies have been rolled out across businesses, security has become of higher concern. Businesses need to equip their employees with the latest security to fight viruses and possible data theft across both desktop and mobile device platforms. As many employees logon to unknown, unsecure Wi-Fi spots when not in the office, additional controls are required to protect sensitive data and devices.

Employers need to ensure employees are working to their full potential whilst not in the office. Some businesses have introduced core hours for better collaboration. There are many things to consider when offering a flexible working policy, but the implementation has been proven to be conducive to a happier – and more productive – workforce as employees experience more trust and freedom in their working day.

Technology, policy and security all need to be considered and researched before offering flexible working options for employees. Businesses should be looking into flexible working and the benefits it can have on their workforces and how these will help drive greater results and employee productivity.