Shetland council ‘should increase remote working opportunities’

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An outgoing councillor has spoken about the need to implement more flexible working practices.

Remote working is becoming more acceptable to private sector organisations because it allows employees to save money on commuting and cuts office maintenance costs for businesses.

But for the public sector, there remains some prejudices and resilience towards the concept of working outside of the office, according to North Isles councillor Laura Baisley.

The Shetland News reported that the outgoing member said it will require "supreme will of political power" for Shetland Islands Council to disperse more local authority jobs to rural areas.

However, the council’s own guidelines state that as part of its corporate plan, it is committed to moving some of its activity away from Lerwick to ensure "rural communities remain and/or become places where people can live and work with good career prospects".

"The council is therefore committed to encouraging employees to consider working from home or a remote location on a voluntary basis. It will also consider advertising vacant posts with the option of some remote working, where there is a clear benefit and no detriment to the service or individual. These guidelines have been developed to ensure that remote working is appropriately planned and managed."

Meanwhile, in the run up to the Olympic Games this summer, business owners will want to implement secure online document storage procedures to ensure that workers who decide not to commute to the office for the duration of the spectacle can still access important documents and networks.

The organisers of the Games have advised employers to allow staff to work from home during the event, as this will reduce pressure on the Tube, overground and road networks.

However, with this sudden demand on firms’ IT systems, there is an increased risk that systems will falter or crash, meaning companies need to come up with contingency plans and put disaster recovery processes in place.
 

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