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18 months ago we took to the streets of London in a mobile office cubicle to promote the idea of working on the go. Some passersby were bemused but others jumped aboard. In the same way, we’ve seen growing numbers of businesses and people – more than 1 million, at last count – add their support to Anywhere Working and begin to embrace flexible working.
It’s been fantastic to see attitudes change as flexible working has gained widespread acceptance. But flexible working is only the start. There’s a much bigger conversation to be had about the future of work itself – and we can’t wait to get involved. This is why over coming weeks we will be joining the Business Reimagined community. We’ll still champion working from anywhere, but we’ll be framing this as part of a wider debate.
The Anywhere Working website, Facebook and Twitter accounts will remain live as we transition over but we’ll be encouraging followers to join us at Business Reimagined and @MSFTBusinessUK. We look forward to seeing you!
Phil Jones is managing director of Brother UK, the technology and communications company that supports agile, collaborative working.
Who can we seek inspiration from when it comes to agile working? It seems to me that big businesses are looking to start-ups.
According to our research, a fifth (22%) of start-ups in the past three years had no permanent office, but based themselves in coffee shops to keep overheads low. We dubbed this trend ‘Cappuccino Commerce’. Visit your local coffee shop and you’re bound to find at least one person busy on a laptop or tablet, having a meeting over coffee, or making a business call on their mobile.
However, temporary office spaces are increasingly used by businesses of all sizes, not just growing start-ups. Research of corporate IT buyers conducted in January 2013 showed that 29% of corporate businesses planned to open temporary office facilities for short, fixed or project-specific periods of time.
This flexible approach to working is a symptom of our ‘always on’ culture: essentially we do business wherever we choose to lay our device. The challenge larger businesses face is rolling out the technology to support this agile ethos to all employees, while fitting into existing IT structures.
IT teams are now tasked with integrating portable technology with existing office equipment, as employees need a genuine ‘portable office’ so they can produce and share work as they would in the office.
Kickstart month is nearly at an end, but what a month it has been! The highlight so far has to be our trip to Manchester for our mid-month #AWKickstart event at Tech Hub Manchester and Manchester Digital BBQ in the evening.
If you weren’t able to make it, you can catch all the action from the day on our live blog here. We heard from 4 fantastic speakers on the day, plus an introduction from Microsoft’s Mike Palmer giving an overview of Anywhere Working and what we’re all about – if you’d like to know more about us, or explore new ways of working, head over here.
Curious to see what we got up to and hear snippets and insights from our speakers and attendees? Check out our highlights video below!
If you want to get in touch with any of the speakers from the day, find them on Twitter:
- Mike Palmer, Enterprise Marketing Manager at Microsoft UK — @mikepa
- Phil Jones, MD of Brother UK — @PhilJones40
- Sharon Dale, Productivity Ninja at Think Productive — @pixlz
- Helen Ramsden, Head of Travel Choices at Transport for Greater Manchester — @OfficialTfGM
- Anna Fletcher, Employment Lawyer at Wragge&Co — @wraggeandco
For more information on modern working practices or to learn when the Anywhere Working team is coming to a town near you – sign up here.
During the month of July, we’ve been hard at work helping you to kickstart your flexible working ventures with our themed #AWkickstart month.
We’ve chatted to a range of people from freelancers to working parents to students and desk worshippers. By now, you should be well equipped and well on your way to kickstarting flexible working in your work, whatever that might be. Not quite there? Let us know.
Half way through the month, we visited TechHub Manchester to meet the flexible working community living and working in Manchester and to help those wanting to kickstart a new way of working – check out the live blog here.
Doug is a huge advocate of Manchester’s emerging technology start-up scene and has aspirations of Manchester one day becoming a top 5 European start-up hub. With rafts of experience, not only with TechHub but a range of tech community events (outlined below), Doug will be ready and waiting to answer all of your flexible working, co-working, technology and start-up questions; from setting up your own flexible working space, to overcoming the challenges associated with taking an idea from inception, kickstarting and launching your business.