Hot! What is Workshifting?

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Workshifting is a term that is being used to describe the practice of supporting distributed & remote working, as the workshifting1business world makes ever increasing moves in this direction. With the fast moving IT world at our disposal, our day to day business activities can, essentially be carried out anywhere. All we need is connectivity, combined with the tools we need to get the job done!

Allowing staff to work remotely offers huge benefits to organizations, both large and small, not least in terms of expensive IT equipment, corporate software licences and skilled support resources.  In addition, allowing this type of flexible approach to working means employees see improvements in their work life balance, which makes for greater motivation overall.

So what’s the difference between workshifting and, essentially, working from home (or, indeed, some other remote location)? Well, workshifting is a complete strategy that ensures employees have the technologies and resources to hand to allow them to work as if they were present in their fully-functioning and fully IT-enabled office. 

For workshifting to offer a feasible long-term solution for an organisation, it must ensure that staff have access to all the teamlab1files, documents, applications, etc, that they would within the office.  They need to be able to contact, converse and collaborate with their teams and colleagues, again, as they would if they were all based in the same location.  Of course, all this must be set within appropriate security constraints to keep information safe, too.

Many applications have been offering online business functionality and collaboration for some time, now, and this is a market that is growing. For example, TeamLab Office aims to give its users an all-in-one cloud-based office solution  that is paid for through a subscription, so is paid for on-demand.  Other applications focus more on project management whilst still offering central access to information and real-time collaborations, such as, Central Desktop and 5pm.

Taking this a step further, the IT heavyweight Citrix, one of the leading providers of mobile solutions offers its workshifting solution  offering the creation of virtual desktops and apps, allowing online collaboration,  along with file sharing that is secure, amongst other things.  The aim here is to increase productivity, help reduce unnecessary costs and make sure there is business continuity.

For more information on the business and project management applications referred to here, please see:

 

 

Author

Jan Birley

Jan holds a PhD in computing and started out in software development and IT training. She built a strong career as a project and program manager focusing on IT in the Health Service sector. Jan specializes in taking greenfield and immature services/departments to effective business-as-usual operation and is currently responsible for the delivery of clinical assessment forms into a high profile clinical system. Jan has authored 100′s of articles on project-management related topics.

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