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Microsoft in Government

Building a mobile workforce for cost savings

21 February 2012 | Michele Bedford Thistle, Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

So far, our Saving Governments Money blog series has looked at cloud computing, IP-based phone systems, and energy consumption as strategies  that can help governments save money and boost productivity. Today, I’d like to highlight how a mobile workforce can generate huge cost savings for your organization by boosting employee productivity and cutting down on costs associated with physical office space.

Today’s world is mobile, and government employees are no longer tied down to their desks. They take calls from the car, join virtual meetings from home and work from hotel rooms when traveling. To adapt to this changing environment, many public sector organizations are using collaboration tools that let their employees work from any location, any time. In addition to enabling employee productivity away from the office, governments are realizing significant cost savings with this strategy by reducing the need for dedicated office resources, which cuts down on the costs of rent, utilities, on-premise communications equipment and more.

Take West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service as an example. The organization, which serves 2 million people across northern England, is made up of 48 separate fire stations and is responsible for protecting citizens across an 800-square-mile region. Acting on its vision that “work is an activity, not a location,” the fire brigade implemented a unified communications project to improve employee collaboration and  support the needs of its remote employees working in the field. The project, which you can read about here, has enabled West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service to dramatically reduce costs associated with phone and travel, while at the same time making employees more productive and connected. Workers spread across many different locations can now easily communicate and share information in real time, and can avoid the costly expense of business travel when conducting organizational meetings.

What’s certain is that mobility is not a short-term trend, but rather a sustained, long-term movement. Governments across the world are moving in this direction to not only lower costs, but to embrace the changing way that people work. In fact, just recently Australian Senator Stephen Conroy announced plans to expand the nation’s broadband services to government employees at home and on the road. Through this program, the Australian government hopes to double its telework rate by 2020.  This news from Australia is among many budding mobility initiatives taking place in countries across the globe.

Mobile work is one of many ways that your organization can save money. If you’d like to learn more, check out our dedicated website on cutting costs and boosting efficiency in government. We’ll continue exploring other themes on the site, so be sure to visit this blog again soon for the latest updates and ideas.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

Michele Bedford Thistle
Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Microsoft on Government Blog posts

About the Author

Michele Bedford Thistle | Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Michele is focused on sharing stories from government customers creating real impact for citizens, employees, economies, and students. She joined the worldwide team from Microsoft Canada, where she was also marketing lead for several technology start-ups.