‘For small businesses adapting to remote working, connectivity is vital’

21 Mar 2019

Treasa Doran, Vodafone. Image: Connor McKenna/Silicon Republic

Treasa Doran from Vodafone Business tells us all about her experience with remote working, the challenges and benefits of enabling a smart and flexible workplace, and how small businesses can jump on this trend.

Treasa Doran keeps tabs on key trends in the digital transformation of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to make sure that Vodafone has the products and services that clients will need to keep up with them. These days, one of those key trends is flexible and remote working, or “smart working” as Doran calls it.

“Small businesses are dealing with digital transformation in a variety of different ways. Some companies that are new have been digital from the very beginning and for other companies they need to move from more traditional ways of working and adopt these new kind of skills into their business,” she said.

Future Human

Doran, who is head of commercial management for Vodafone Business, spoke to Siliconrepublic.com ahead of the Vodafone Smart Roadshow. This is a series of breakfast workshops around the country, visiting Cork today (21 March) and next heading to Limerick on 3 April.

Running in conjunction with the Small Firms Association (SFA), these workshops are an opportunity for SMEs to discuss smart working, digital transformation, attracting talent and more with their peers.

Flexible working is a key trend for SMEs

“One of these key trends that we’ve identified around digital skills is flexible working,” said Doran. “In research that we recently conducted, we found there’s a huge appetite amongst employees to want to have flexible working arrangements. So companies need to adopt technology that will allow their employees to take advantage of this trend and to actually work remotely.”

However, while remote working is increasingly in demand, employers remain wary.

“As part of our research that we did last year there was a number of key challenges that arose with regards to smart working. These were mainly in the areas of culture, trust and basically just a fear of the unknown,” Doran explained.

“However, the benefits of smart working far outweigh this and actually a lot of the tools that are needed for smart working are already in the hands of many of the employees within the business.”

Doran speaks from experience in remote working. She’s been working for Vodafone for 13 years and says she has been part of a smart working culture from the beginning. “For me, smart working is being able to work from anywhere at any time. For small businesses that want to adopt a smart working culture into their business, it’s important that they recognise that technology is going to be a key enabler for them and, actually, connectivity is the vital component.”

Travelling around the country, Vodafone Business Workshops give businesses with questions about remote working the chance to network with like-minded companies and to hear more about Vodafone’s research into this trend. Doran promised plenty of “food for thought” for companies thinking about embarking on a smart working roll-out, with key speakers from Vodafone, the SFA and Abodoo.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic