The face of UK business has changed rapidly over the last five years, and many SME employees are taking advantage of the new technology available to work from home. Leading international mobile communications companies, such as Vodafone, are making this possible with flexible Cloud technology. A recent survey undertaken as a joint venture by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and BT Business has revealed just how widespread this growth is.
The survey polled more than 300 high-ranking decision-makers from small to medium-sized businesses. The results showed that 91 per cent of firms in Britain have at least one employee working from home, and 19 per cent of companies claimed that they had over 50 per cent of their employees working remotely, away from the office. There is a link between this and the use of cloud services.
Internet connectivity was extremely high on the list of core elements necessary to make flexible working possible, and the technology that is thought to make the biggest difference over the last year is the smartphone. Adam Marshall, who is the executive director of BCC policy and external affairs, said: “It is vital to ensure that UK businesses have access to world-class digital infrastructure if they are to maintain their competitiveness in a global marketplace.
“Cloud and mobile technologies are becoming increasingly important as firms expand into new markets and explore new ways of working – especially overseas. It is encouraging to see that so many British firms are adapting their working practices to take advantage of these developments.”
Statistics gathered by the BCC show that in the first quarter of 2014, 4.2 million staff across the UK were working from home. This figure equates to an astonishing 13.9 per cent of the workforce and is still growing.