New rules reinforce requirements for business connectivity

Employers now see the importance of embracing remote working as a strategic imperative

A new survey has revealed most people consider flexible working as a bigger factor than job security.
While many workforces have returned to the office following Covid, significant numbers of employees have remained working from home – and new legislation could see that number rising further

For some, of course, it was always normal. For many, though, it would prove to be the essence of what would become known as the ‘new normal’.

It was around this time four years ago, soon after the outbreak of Covid-19, that businesses across Northern Ireland and much further afield had to start becoming equipped to deal with all, or most, of their staff working from home.

Many employers in sectors that were almost entirely office-based before the global pandemic struck had to find a way of ensuring their staff could work remotely in an effective and productive manner.

While a lot of workforces have returned to the office, significant numbers of employees have remained working from home – and legislation introduced in the UK this month could see that number rising further.

Having received Royal Assent last summer, the Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 came into force on April 6. The new regulations mean employees can apply for flexible working from their first day in a job, rather than having to wait 26 weeks as was previously the case.

Further to this, staff are no longer required to set out what effect their proposed flexibility would have on the business, nor suggest how effects could be dealt with.

With employment law being a devolved matter in Northern Ireland (an issue we will not get into for now) it may take some time before these regulations apply in this region. However, their introduction in the UK serves as a reminder to employers of the importance of embracing remote working as a strategic imperative.

And, further, a reminder of just how crucial it is for organisations of all sizes to ensure they have robust connectivity solutions in place that are tailored to the evolving needs of their business.

The prominence of telecoms firms in the business community has been even further enhanced by the wide-ranging – and often new – demands that companies increasingly must meet in order to make sure that staff working remotely are content while being able to deliver the output required.

That connectivity infrastructure is very much at the heart of the remote working revolution, providing companies with high-speed, reliable, full-fibre broadband that facilitates seamless communication and collaboration among remote teams, empowering employees to work efficiently from any location.

David Armstrong
David Armstrong

Unified communications platforms enable real-time communication and collaboration amongst staff, while cloud-based services provide remote employees with secure access to business-critical applications and information, facilitating seamless workflow continuity.

Of course, the tailored nature of the support telecoms firms deliver for businesses is important. Companies will have specific needs that must take into account factors such as industry regulations, data security requirements and budget constraints.

That new normal that everyone was talking about four years ago has significantly changed the landscape when it comes to how and where people do their jobs. Through effective connectivity, businesses can embrace a future where remote working is commonplace, and ensure it further enhances productivity.

  • David Armstrong is chief executive at b4b Group