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Today’s teachers’ strike and public sector walk-out just highlights the unacceptable, growing societal pressure on those parents that work full-time.

Currently, the UK has the highest cost of childcare in the world. This fact, coupled with the current and threat of future strikes, adds to the financial burden piling up on both workers and businesses.

Companies must begin to be forward thinking. By offering home-working as an alternative response to these emergency events, they can become more agile. Businesses can provide employees with the tools they need to juggle the pressures of maintaining a healthy work/life balance, as well as be as productive at home as they are in the office.

Unfortunately for staff working in contact centre and helpdesk roles, home-working is not always an easy option. Traditionally, the technology used to support these roles is physically in the office, requiring them to work onsite.

Staff working in management roles fit more appropriately to home working – but ironically these are the people who can usually afford the costs of additional child care.

It doesn’t have to be like that anymore. The availability of business applications which are delivered over the web and the normal telephone network now mean that workers in these roles can be set free from the on-site technology trap.

With cloud technology it’s easy to transform a living room into a temporary office ensuring business as usual for companies and their employees.

Acting complacent about this problem is not only socially irresponsible it is a financial problem as well. Cost difficulties arise on both sides of this issue. Companies are out of pocket with workers out of the office and parents are facing the prospect of not getting paid for work, having to pay for child care or losing a day’s holiday. The truly disappointing side of the matter is how easily it can be combated by integrating home-working into a business, so that future events such as this needn’t be such a big issue.

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About Jonathan Gale

Jonathan is the Chief Executive Officer at NewVoiceMedia. He has previously held senior roles at Mimecast, MessageLabs and BT. In his blog Jonathan will give his own perspective on the use of cloud-based technology for businesses and call centres. Outside of work Jonathan is an accomplished triathlete and competes in the MSA National Historic Rally Championship.

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