Research from the British Chambers of Commerce and BT Business has revealed that 60% of UK SMEs already use cloud-based applications.
The survey of around 400 IT decision makers in UK businesses, with up to 250 staff, found the cloud was critical to flexible working.
Of the businesses interviewed, 86% said they have staff working from home regularly. It found that 47% have staff working away from the office at least once a week and 28% have someone working remotely every day.
A total of 43% said cloud-based applications were critical to effective flexible working and 52% said access to company data was essential.
Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said cloud-based files and applications make effective flexible working possible. “Businesses are working in new and different ways, but easy access to information and communication tools are absolutely essential. Everything suggests that businesses dependence on the cloud is growing, and will continue to increase in future," he said.
More on flexible working
Organisations in various sectors are using flexible working to cut costs and improve productivity. Fife Council implemented a mobile flexible working programme that allows employees to use mobile devices to simplify business processes.
Scotland’s third largest council is on course to save £20m by fundamentally changing how people work in the council.
Business leaders understand the benefits of flexible working and as cloud applications mature more will enable flexible working.
A year ago, research conducted by YouGovon behalf of Vodafoneshowed 22% of workplaces did not have any flexible working policy, despite 63% concurring that the standard nine-to-five working day was unnecessary and 62% believing flexible working led to more positive employees.