LBC Week Four: Flexible and Remote Working
On this week’s O2 Business Show we explored flexible working and remote working. Working on the move is now part of our daily routine; sending emails and expecting speedy responses. For smaller businesses and freelancers with less resource working remotely is budget friendly, with lots of exciting spaces across the country facilitating this. Read our interview with Phil Dodson, who set up a dynamic space for people to work on the move.
On the show this week, we were joined by Shadow Business Secretary; Chuka Umunna MP. He discussed the importance of small businesses to the UK economy, noting that often small businesses are driving the most innovative ideas that give the UK a competitive edge in the international business market.
Umunna also spoke about the continuing significance of the high street to the British economy, emphasising high streets need to rethink their methods in attracting customers to spend time and money with them. On the 6th December this year, the Shadow Business Secretary will also be supporting the annual Small Business Saturday celebrations to encourage the public to buy from small businesses.
We also were joined by Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB at O2 Business. Some people have reservations about the complexity of working remotely, however it is actually easy and simple to set yourself up to work on the move. Paul said that the three main things required for flexible working were:
Connectivity – Having a good connection
Devices – The rise of tablets and phablets makes it far less cumbersome to carry around a big laptop and work on
As always, our O2 Guru was also on hand to recommend tools to help you work on the move:
Slack: A brilliant platform for team communication. It’s free to use, enables users to share documents and keeps information in a central location so it’s always available wherever you go. The app is also easily integrated with other programmes you might already be using, such as Mail Chimp ( see full list here).
Awayfind: Flexible,’ always on’ working doesn’t need to drive you up the wall. Awayfind is a great app, used by the likes of Apple and Barclays, to help you prioritise messages in your inbox. Sending you notifications when high priority messages come through via SMS, phone calls or the app to ensure you’re always on top of your workload
Camscanner: Manage your documents intelligently with this app across all your devices. The app essentially turns your phone or device into a document scanner. You can also store, share, annotate and manage documents for different purposes. For example, you could take a picture of an important document, annotate it and then collaborate remotely with you team to continue working on it.
These days your ability to work flexibly on the move is as good as the device that you use. Our Guru recommended these devices to help you work at your best on the go:
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The Note 4 is an exciting device with a high resolution screen, a 16 megapixel camera and a battery that can be supercharged up to 50% in half an hour, so you will always have the power to keep working. Perhaps the most exciting feature about the device is the ‘stylus’ pen, which functions like a mouse, but also allows you to make notes and annotations directly on your screen.
iPad Air 2
This device is 40% more powerful than its predecessor and 32 grams lighter, so it’s ideal to take with you on the go.
Speed and efficiency are number one priorities, especially with flexible working when you often have the nightmare of slow Wi-Fi connections, a laptop switching between applications and programmes running at a snail’s pace. The standout feature of the iPad Air 2 is its speed and storage. You can use multiple programmes at the same time, all working smoothly and efficiently, thanks to its super powered A8X processer. The iPad Air 2 is ideal if you need to work with strong graphics, images, videos or audio as part of your work.
You can enter our weekly competition here. This week you have the chance to win a tech package worth £1000. This amazing prize includes a 16GB Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Logitech wireless tablet keyboard, external battery, Pay As You Go O2 mobile Wi-Fi dongle and some cash to top it up with.
If you missed this week’s O2 Business Show, you can listen again to our podcasts here. Be sure to tune in next Thursday at 9pm when we will be looking at working in the cloud.
Touted often as the future of how we will work and store information, cloud technology offers entrepreneur endless opportunities. We’ll look at businesses who have harnessed its power and the benefits of using this technology. If you have any questions or advice be sure to call in or tweet using the hashtag #O2BusinessLBC.