Engaging with the Homeworking Culture

It appears that the ability to work from home is something that is a growing trend.  The more astute businesses out there realise the value that can be added in giving anyone, whose role allows it, the flexibility to occasionally work at home.  The benefits that can be gained in staff wellbeing, morale and therefore productivity are immense, but the perk of home working does need to be tempered with an understanding that it is just that, a perk. Self discipline is needed to ensure that work is completed.

Crushing pressures of everyday life in the frantic recession fraught world that we live in have created a population of stressed to the eyeballs workers.  The very mobile world that we live in means that an individual is restricted to just the four walls of their home. There are so many environments that are equipped for the use of Wi-Fi even without having your own roaming facilities in place.  Coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, and museums all cater for their customers needing to remain on-line and able to communicate with the big wide world!  Imagine the wellbeing created when an employee can work from their favourite coffee shop or even indeed work from the park on a warm summer’s day!   Fresh surroundings can break routine and stimulate new ideas.

If home working is to become a regular occurrence and built into the working month then it is wise for a more structured approach to be taken, with space for work, ideally a dedicated room.  With the establishment of a home office environment it is easier to have the discipline needed by the employee as well as those they live with.  Staying in touch with the office is easy peasy with those in the communication industry recognising the need to build a home working option into the systems that they sell.  The Aastra 400 is a great example of how technology is providing the means for any employee to not only gain mobility but also the capability of being completely in the loop even when working from home.

A recent TeamViewer poll of 1000 UK office workers found that over 78% would like to have the benefit of more flexible working arrangements to boost their job satisfaction in the absence of any pay increases.

Any business looking to improve employee engagement needs to take a serious look at the benefits of home working and the viability of making it a part of company culture. Can any business affort to dismiss the merits of offering home working as an option?

The Pro’s of homeworking to the individual are that they will enjoy less commuting, with possible cost savings and a better work life balance.  Happy days.  There are only a couple of downsides that I can foresee:

  • No after work drinks with your colleagues, a huge downside for some, but in life there is a trade off with most things!
  • Self discipline: ensuring the job is still done and appropriate dress is still worn if there is ever a need for video conferencing!

Video conferencing could prove problematic if home working becomes too relaxed!

Let me know your perfect office space…..where would you choose to work if you could just once in a while make that choice?

Health and Safety: How Messy is your Floor Box?

What would prompt any business to decide that a health check or even a simple desk tidy is a good idea?

Just a quick glance around your office may identify tangled wires and cables.  Are your floor boxes looking more like rubbish bins?

With a recent spate of enquires leading us to complete a number of under desk cable management projects for new clients we have been amazed at the contents of the average floor box.  The obvious fire hazards alone have made us shake our heads in amazement, aside from the damage caused to plugs, jacks and cables by stray objects.

But what are the wider implications of neglecting your workstations?  What are the health and safety issues that prompt ACCL to be called in to resolve such issues?

We have identified some areas of concern from the projects that we have recently been involved in but is there any other legislation under health and safety that could be posing potential problems?

Aastra 400 Clever Communication for the Smart SME.

Even though it appears that we might be emerging from depths of this double dip recession increasing cost efficiency will clearly remain an important target for most businesses. Cost cutting and low budgets will continue to be the status quo in order to ensure a complete recovery!  Expenses are frequently reduced or even completely frozen, there are however many solutions out there that still enable any business to communicate effectively across a number of locations.

With the demise of the Aastra Intelligate systems there are a number of small or medium businesses who will be looking for an alternative system that needs to be an affordable solution.  The Aastra 400 system does just that, providing them with full functionality worthy of the 21st century business whilst also giving them future proof development opportunities.  The new Aastra 400 system provides a range of hardware that will be able to provide the appropriate solutions for the differing needs of varying office environments.

Active Communications Co Ltd are delighted to have recently become an accredited partner, allowing them to pass on valuable discounts to their customers when they make the choice to move to the Aastra 400 system.

After seeing what the Aastra 400 has to offer I would recommend that any SME does a double take at all the available functions as there are plenty on offer that will not only make a very slick team effort but also save many a company time and money in respect of quick communication particularly with multi-sited businesses.  Some of the apsects that appeal to me are:

  • You can now not only have conferencing facilities but also the opportunity to collectively work on a single document even though the people involved are at different locations.
  • The ability to move from mobile handsets to desktop and vice-versa without the recipient of the call having any awareness.
  • Intelligent networking means that up to 40 locations can be integrated so that it is seen as a single system, even collegues overseas can be treated as in-house employees!
  • Home office facility gives the benefit of favourable flexibility and provision of care for the home/work lifebalance.

A great system with plenty to offer the SME of today, knocking spots off the now defunct Intelligate system of yesterday!  To quote Aastra “you don’t have to adapt to the telephones as the telephones will adapt to you!”