Olympics Sparks “Evolutionary Step” Away From The Office

A steep increase in adoption of cloud-based services indicates a rise in remote working since the Olympics arrived in London.

My company, for instance, has experienced a 37% increase in requests for its remote software service since the Olympics – an unseasonal trend I believe has been sparked by an increased enthusiasm for mobile working brought about by the event.

The sudden, unexplained peak in uptake reflects an unseasonal change in demand. During the Olympics, over half of UK workers stated they would be working from home. The change in habit following the Olympics signals a shift in attitude. Of those stating they would work from home during the Olympics, 56% stated they would do so in their underwear.

The Olympics saw the biggest ever adoption of flexible working in London, and the spike in subscriptions for my company’s software indicates it could have inspired a long-term shift in the way SMEs work.

During the Olympics, I predicted that many SME owners and freelancers would take the opportunity to work from the comfort of their own home rather than venture into the city, but post-Games the interest hasn’t dropped – in fact it’s still on the rise.

I can only go by my own company’s statistics of course, but I’m pretty confident many other cloud-based software providers will be able to cite similar examples.

This type of behaviour is particularly exciting when it comes to looking at SME management in the UK, as it paves the way for a more advanced attitude and way of working – the Olympics could have inadvertently kick started an evolutionary step in the way we work that has been bubbling under the surface for two or three years.

It’s not so long ago that you could make calls from home and that was it.

Now anybody can hold a video conference, share and amend documents or even manage accounting and submit VAT returns from wherever they are. We’ve talked for a long time about the consequences of this, and I believe it won’t be long before we see changes across the entire business community.

Duane Jackson is Founder & CEO, KashFlow Software. Duane has developed his career in IT over a number of years and in many areas including application development, server management and network security. Beginning his career as an IT contractor, Duane worked for organisations such as the CBI, the BBC, Proctor & Gamble, Eidos and Reuters.