The below insight has been written by Mark Scott, CEO at Cantium Business Solutions:
It’s been a very disruptive week when we’ve seen many significant events around the globe cancelled for a good reason. Football, Six Nations Rugby, International Athletics meetings, and today, the Geneva Motor Show are among the casualties. Arguably, these are ‘non-essential events’, but the cost of cancellation will run to hundreds of millions of pounds for the organisers, participants, exhibitors and attendees.
More damaging is the impact on the global markets; almost all of the financial markets are reporting falls. And this morning, Bank of England governor Mark Carney issued a warning that the UK should brace for an economic downgrade as a result of the coronavirus.
The restriction of movement has caused much of this disruption and economic damage; understandably, government authorities need to do everything possible to restrict the spread of the virus, but this comes at a very high financial cost.
So, are we too reliant of travel? Organisations appear to suffer when people can’t get to their place of work. We’ve witnessed it after heavy snowfalls and more recently, during the storms. And it’s not just weather that affects our ability to get to work; in Kent, we’ve already witnessed the effects of the ferry strike when the motorways became lorry parks.
The reality is, we don’t need to suffer the impact and disruption brought about by abnormal events. The technology exists to enable remote working; but, many organisations continue to become temporarily paralysed every time we experience adverse conditions. This doesn’t happen because they don’t have the technology; indeed, most of them do have the capability to enable remote working, but they don’t have the culture to allow it to happen.
At Cantium, we embrace remote working; yes, we have the technology, but, it’s more than that, it is built into our ‘DNA’, from the IT right through to the HR, the processes are in place to maximise the working week by empowering people to work efficiently.
This morning, I had meetings in London, so the most efficient thing for me to do was to work from my parents kitchen table. I was able to answer emails and calls and to log into files and data that I needed. All done seamlessly in a manner that enabled me to maximise my time.
Interestingly, my sister had done the very same thing, so we managed an impromptu family get together around the kitchen table and completed probably more tasks than either of us would have managed in our respective offices.
I believe it is way past the time that UK businesses accept that remote working is the future; without doubt, Cantium’s workforce is much less susceptible to disruptive events than many of the companies and organisations around us.
I’d be happy to discuss our approach and the culture we’ve developed with anyone looking to embrace this new approach to efficient and effective working.