Tom Sime, CEO of digital transformation specialist Exchange Communications, is urging businesses to make the most of their connectivity and enabled networks as it becomes clear that working from home will be our new reality for some time. 

The business leader, whose firm operates across more than 100 countries, is pressing the importance of utilising the technology available to us to prevent huge further losses to the economy and long-term damage.   

With Britons given renewed advice to continue working from home where possible, Tom has given his thoughts on how businesses can help protect their workforce whilst keeping business going.

“While the return of tighter restrictions is causing widespread concern, it is worth noting that, from a technology perspective, we are more prepared than we might think to accommodate the ongoing business challenges they present. 

“In fact, from a technology and connectivity perspective, we might just be in the strongest situation we’ve ever been in to emerge from the impact of the virus. 

“We have already coped with months of working from home as the default setting, and now that it seems this will be our new reality for some time, a makeshift approach to this is no longer acceptable for businesses. They must now put in place simple, very accessible measures to enable them to operate at a normal capacity, ensuring home working is seamless for employees and clients.

“Before the pandemic we were already living in a society where working from home was commonplace, with an estimated four million of us taking advantage of the flexibility it offers, even before the virus struck. That’s 14% of the population. By comparison, in a tech savvy nation like Japan the number is more like 4%, which shows that we were in fact ahead of the game when it comes to remote working.

“So the systems and technology were often already in place to minimise the effects of any shutdowns in the workplace and have been for some time. Preparations were made, even if we weren’t aware we were making them. However working from home is no longer a nice perk for employees – it’s essential. So now is the time to use these technologies to their full potential.

“As a business, we have been flooded by enquiries from companies seeking to use their existing systems to allow employees to work remotely, ensuring continuity and safety of the team. This is an incredibly prudent move – working with their telecom provider to maximise the technology they have in order to ensure that it’s business as usual, which can be make or break for SMEs.

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