To support businesses in Wales, Superfast Business Wales have created a digital toolkit designed to help businesses improve efficiency, streamline operations, boost security, and often reduce costs.
Listing over 100 cloud-based solutions, the Digital Toolkit for Business will help you find software and services you can rely on. All products listed are presented for information and research only, and any recommendations are not designed to be comprehensive or act as a specific endorsement from Superfast Business Wales.
In the next part of this series, we look at hybrid working
For some businesses, hybrid working means implementing a new business model that enables employees to work from home part-time, coming into the office only a few times a month, while for others it means continuing with remote working into the foreseeable future.
Organisations need to adapt to the inevitable workplace changes and embracing the best applications, tools, and technology that allow managers develop and manage a hybrid workforce is critical. There are a variety of cloud-based solutions available to businesses to help embrace this cultural shift.
The concept has proven incredibly popular, with nine out of ten people in Wales saying they want the ability to work at least one day a week from home.
A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Management (CMI) revealed that more than 80% of UK firms have now adopted hybrid working. In addition, a study by Microsoft and YouGov found that 51% of UK employees would consider quitting if the option of remote working was axed.
The report also found that companies without a hybrid working scheme struggled to retain new talent and suffered from negative impacts on productivity and staff wellbeing.
Hybrid working, it appears, is here to stay.
The Welsh government cites a number of hybrid working benefits for employees, businesses, and the environment. For example, a reduction in commuting not only means less time and money spent travelling, but results in fewer cars on the road, with less air and noise pollution, and more room for walkers and cyclists. During the pandemic, workers in Wales were saving an average of 73 minutes a day, which they split between work and leisure time. Over the course of a year, the additional 33 minutes spent working meant that businesses would gain the equivalent of almost an entire month’s worth of work.
A move to hybrid working also means more opportunities in out-of-town communities, as well as economic and social benefits for the high street. In September 2020, the Welsh government stated that it would like some 30% of Welsh workers to be working at or near their home.
It has since been offering advice to businesses on how to move to hybrid working, and is collaborating with communities to set up coworking hubs. The first pilot schemes are already up and running in Rhyl and Haverfordwest, with many more to come.
A national remote working strategy is also being developed, which sets out the government’s ongoing aims and goals. As a consequence, Superfast Business Wales (SFBW) provides a ‘Working Smarter’ course aimed at anyone who works remotely or as part of a hybrid scheme.
This covers a range of topics, from the right tools for getting your business running online to hybrid working models and collaboration to protection from cyber-crime. The course is free to attend and lasts two hours.