Four Tips from PC World to Keep Employees Productive During the Summer of Sport
New legislation introduced by the UK Government now entitles employees across the country to request the right to flexible working hours.
As mobile technology like tablets and smartphones have become more advanced and WiFi and 4G internet access are more widespread, employers now need to be ready for an explosion in mobile and flexible working, particularly given the current summer of sport.
The World Cup was sensational, Wimbledon was a rollercoaster and the Commonwealth Games are just getting going.
Even if they’re out catching the sport, employers still want staff to be completely connected with the office. Here are our top tips for coping with this summer’s explosion in mobile working:
1. Invest in lightweight technology so employees aren’t bogged down
A huge range of laptops, tablets and smartphones are now available that can easily enable employees to work flexibly and connect with the office while they’re out watching sport.
Ultra-mobility laptops, such as the Chromebook, with 11.6 to 13.3 inches screens, are bigger than a netbook and have a large enough screen to comfortably view detailed documents.
While tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab are even more convenient as they are small, lightweight and give instant access to internet and email with wireless and mobile internet capabilities.
2. Use the right apps to keep productivity high
There are a wide range of apps available that can make working out of the office during the summer of sport as painless as possible, and they don’t have to break the bank.
LogMeIn is a free app which enables employees to access their computer remotely via a mobile device, while travel organiser Tripit provides employees with access to their full travel itineraries and travel plans from wherever they are.
3. Make the world your conference room by enabling employees to join meetings on the move
Voice over IP (VoIP) technology enables employees to make phone calls over the internet andit is much cheaper than traditional fixed lines. It provides a flexible easy-to-use telephone system which allows individuals to receive all phone calls on one specific number. This means employees can choose whether their desk, home or mobile phone rings depending on their location at the time.
Skype is a free VoIP system where audio and video calls can be conducted over the internet at low or no cost. Google Hangouts is another effective system for hosting virtual meetings, including powerful tools such as screen sharing which enables employees to share the screen view with others on the call.
4. Keep mission critical files safe by installing effective security
Many employers have been hesitant to let employees work remotely as they’ve traditionally felt that company data is less secure than it would be in the office. However, there are simple steps to follow that can vastly increase data security.
First, files must be backed up, and passwords must be set on all computers and documents. Second, cloud-based storage can prove an extremely wise investment that can save mobile workers a lot of time and stress while increasing security. The cloud securely stores everything a business would normally keep on a company server, online in a central location.
Documents and files can be accessed from anywhere including the office, at home or in the local café. KNOWHOW cloud storage is a cheap and flexible way of working and storing documents in one place.
Alan Ritchie is Managing Director at PC World Business
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”