MacGregor has a slight advantage over most entrepreneurs at times like these. His London-based firm, Connect, gives advice and outsourced IT services to SME firms, so he’s in the sweet spot for sorting remote working for his employees. "All of our systems are web-based," he reveals. "If we wanted to send every single member of staff home, we could. They can all log on and use the work server from anywhere." MacGregor has been running a flexible firm for some time. Contrary to popular opinion, the system is completely glitch-free: "We have a number of staff that aren’t based in this country," he says. "But if you ask our customers, I guarantee they would have no idea that is the case." Connect was founded in 1993 and currently turns over £5m through contracts with 400 odd clients. During his tenure at the firm, MacGregor has seen the working habits of UK businesses change significantly. "These days, only one in ten fixes requires a site visit," he says. "So much is now accessible remotely." Since the recession hit, the trend for outsourcing IT has seen a real boom. "One of our clients used to have a full-time office in the centre of town," says MacGregor. "It was a fully-functioning office with a server and PCs and meeting rooms. They recently decided to give up that office completely. Now, we host a server for them and everything is based online. And they are not alone." Of course, when a tube strike hits London and large proportion of your staff experience delays – or, find themselves unable to come into the office – having remote systems in place could be your saving grace. And it won’t break the bank either: "For a small company with around 20 employees, it can cost as little as £50 a month to cache 30 days worth of email and files to access speedily and remotely when staff are stuck at home," says MacGregor. Related articles One in three would choose flexible working options ahead of a pay rise "My business couldn’t have existed ten years ago" Ten tips to keep your business going in a pandemic Picture source
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