Remote working transforms life at Trust
Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Housing
Tony Wylie and Irene McNally using an Ipad
Bring your own devices and remote technology is transforming the working lives of staff at a Runcorn based housing trust.
Seamless working through the gradual merging of Sunray, Citrix, Appsense, Air Watch and First Touch technologies, combined with a greater use of devices such as tablets is putting North West based Halton Housing Trust at the forefront of the remote working.
Technical specialist at the Trust, Lee Reevell said: “I’m not aware of any other organisations of our size that use so many technologies together to enable remote and flexible working. I’m particularly proud of our Sunray system which allows staff to work at any desk using a smart card reader attached to the base of our phone system. The cards also open all our doors and act as a phone log on so the systems are essential to our business.”
The Trust first started using Sunray technology, which cost £26,000, three years ago. Slowly other systems have been combined, giving greater freedom to staff. In a recent survey 82% now spend less time commuting to work, reducing time spent stuck in traffic and 96% now work more productively since remote working was introduced three years ago. Office and transport costs have also been reduced thanks to the use of hot-desking.
Out of 280 staff, 75 now also have Citrix enabled tablets meaning that they can work anywhere at any time. Sue Baxendale, director of human resources and operational development, said: “Remote and flexible working has made us more productive, reduced our staff sickness levels and given staff more control of their work life balance. I thoroughly recommend that other businesses embrace this new way of working.”
Future ideas for remote working include tailoring tablets to staff needs. Lee said: “Staff ranging from operatives out on the road to welfare benefits advisors and higher management may soon have tailored tablets. This will help them carry out their diverse roles even more effectively. The future of remote working at the Trust is endless and exciting.”