by, Alan Charnley, managing director, Xerox U.K. and Ireland

With only a few weeks to go, organisations across the UK are making last minute preparations for the Olympics. For those based in London, allowing employees to work from home will be important to help ease the predicted traffic congestion.

Luckily for them, mobile technology has transformed the way in which we work, allowing us to connect to the workplace at all times. Did you know that by next year 1.2 billion people (or 35 per cent of the workforce) are expected to work away from their office? And it could even save money: a recent report from the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum estimates that the growing number of employees in the public sector working “flexi-time” or from home could save the Treasury an incredible £15 billion a year!

However let’s not forget our printing needs. The public sector of course needs to ensure that employees can print from mobile devices at anytime from anyplace without needing to install print drivers. Also, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is on the increase.  BYOD is where mobile workers use their personal smartphones and tablets for work – meaning IT departments now need to give mobile workers access to applications “on-the-go.”

There are many benefits to mobile print: it makes life easier for workers on the go and enables staff to print documents at any building in the area. For example it can also extend a council’s control of print costs, allowing it to save money by increasing the visibility and management of remote workers’ print spend. Xerox is currently working with many local councils running pilot mobile print solutions. Initial results show big savings. Newport City Council (NCC) recently cut its print-related costs by more than 25 per cent, resulting in nearly a £90,000 saving, thanks to Xerox.

In the future I reckon we’ll see the working environment become even more portable. Mobile public sector workers will just carry a smartphone when they leave the office – as they will be able to print anytime, anyplace, anywhere.