Niamh-OConnor- Client-Services-Manager-Singlepoint

Niamh O’Connor, our Client Service Manager, spoke to Alex Meehan from The Sunday Business Post about mobile and flexible working. Read the transcript of this interview below.

The days of ‘working from home’ being a euphemism for taking the day off are long gone, and mobile working is increasingly the norm for many Irish companies.

Is there a business person in Ireland who doesn’t own a mobile phone? If so, it’s probably a matter of lifestyle choice, as being contactable on the go is now a given for most people. Technology has evolved in recent times to the point that there are few office functions that can’t be just as easily done remotely. Most offices run on email or instant messaging, meetings can be done using video conferencing or on the phone and most administrative work is automated or at least facilitated online. The need for staff to be in the same place at the same time is much diminished.

Singlepoint reports that it has seen a big increase in clients looking for flexible and scalable resourcing models based on mobile teams, and it too points to a property related cause. “Lack of office space is a really big issue for some companies. They have delivery schedules and need a certain number of people to deliver, but may not have the desk space available for everyone to sit in the office at the same time,” said Niamh O’Connor, client services manager for Singlepoint. “So facilitating mobile working isn’t so much a lifestyle choice as it is a choice forced by logistical and cost issues. Office space in Dublin doesn’t come cheap and companies want to be in the city centre where it’s even harder to get Something has to give.”

This is a particular issue for companies competing for staff in the Dublin area. While a city centre location is desirable, it’s logistically cheaper and easier to locate people outside the city and close to the M50 belt. The problem is that staff may not want to engage in a long commute and if they’re tech staff who can easily move jobs, that’s an issue. “If you’re on the M50 belt, trying to get from one side of the city to the other can be a nightmare. Staff often just won’t do that commute. So we have often found ourselves working with companies that have a city centre location office, but are at capacity with current staff numbers and still need to take on additional team members to meet their commitments,” she said.

“They’re reaching out to the likes of us who have available resources to develop whatever projects they need without needing to go in and sit on site with the client every day.” According to O’Connor, trust and security are roadblocks for some companies looking at mobile working. Some employers just can’t get past the issue of ‘if they can’t see an employee working, are they actually working?’.

“There is a change happening in a lot of organisations in how people work and most organisations have accepted that. In a lot of the multinationals we deal with for example, their teams aren’t all based in Dublin – they have hubs across the EU, the US and Asia and it’s normal for team members to be in different countries working via video conferencing, collaboration tools and instant messaging,” said O’Connor.

“The bigger you get and the larger your grow, the more you outsource. That’s a generally accepted fact. By doing that you become quicker and more reactive to the market. Facilitating staff working remotely is just an extension of that.”

If you would like to speak with Niamh or one of her team, please contact +353 (0) 1 562 0027 or info@singlepoint.ie

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