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The recent news that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has decreed that some 20 million people now have the right to ask to work flexibly, is likely to prove to be a significant boost for cloud-delivered services.
It could, indeed, mark the start of a dramatic change that has for some time been predicted in work patterns. This is where a reducing number of people have `jobs’ in the traditional sense of having an employer and a regular place of work.
Instead, an increasing number of people will be self-employed, selling their skills, knowledge and experience to a number of different businesses. And many of those individuals will not even be required to make a physical appearance at a place of work. As more tasks become digitised, so the tasks involved in generating, managing, manipulating and analysing those digits will be delivered, processed and stored in the cloud.
Much of the required technology to achieve this is already available and in use, so the biggest stumbling block now is likely to be the cultural taboos that many established business managers have towards the notion of paying staff to `stay at home’ rather than be seen at a place of work.
Yet many new start ups, especially in the world of apps development, are completely cloud-connected virtual businesses with no physical location and no full time employees. As more of these start to find success, so the understanding will spread that cloud-connected home and freelance working can be beneficial.
“Technology and culture were previously like a ball and chain to UK employees: the distinguished worker was in the office,” said Steven Harrison, lead technologist at Exponential-e. “This change in flexible working rights for workers is lifting that cultural taboo, whilst technology capabilities are spreading like wild fire across the UK.
“The capability to work virtually via cloud based servers, applications and desktops, along with the ease-of-use of unified communications technologies allows us to speak, text and video chat from a variety of devices. There is simply no longer a need for workers to be tied to a desk.
“Flexible working means Brits can finally come together where and when it makes the most sense to collaborate and co-work, without being anchored to an office or location.”