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How can new technologies benefit contractors?

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Thursday 4th Jun, 2015

It seems that pretty much every day, there is some form of new gizmo or gadget released onto the market, but which new technologies can provide the greatest benefits to the UK's contractor workforce?

Technology boosting flexible working

According to a new report from workplace provider Regus, 85 per cent of UK workers have used at least one piece of technology in the past month designed to help them work flexibly, highlighting the importance of digital innovation in making ways of working such as contracting and freelancing possible.

The survey of over 4,000 business leaders also discovered that VoIP technologies were increasingly being embraced by workers without a central office base, while only 15 per cent of respondents said they hadn't used an instant messaging tool to communicate with colleagues in the past month, indicating the growing popularity of new forms of collaboration.

This wider range of communication options was found to be having a significant boost on flexible working styles, providing limited company contractors and freelancers with a variety of ways to keep in touch with the clients placing them on a short-term basis.

Chief executive officer of Regus Richard Morris explained that an increasing number of businesses are providing their workers with the opportunity to work remotely "at least occasionally".

"Online tools are helping to overcome some of the hurdles traditionally associated with working from outside of the office, such as feeling out of touch with colleagues, or being unable to access documents. Technology is bridging the gap."

He added that as such tools develop, even more businesses are likely to recognise the benefits of allowing flexible working.

"This approach has many advantages, such as cutting costs for the business and reducing lengthy commutes ... and consequently boosting productivity," Mr Morris concluded.

The cloud

Regus also discovered that 81 per cent of remote workers regularly used cloud technology to enable them to access documents and files wherever they are based.

The nature of contracting means that individuals who work in this way are required to regularly move between different locations, which can result in paperwork easily being misplaced.

However, by using a cloud platform that can be accessed from any computer or smart mobile device, contractors can improve how they manage their workload and other paperwork, helping them to stay on top of everything.

Using smart devices on the go

In the past, travelling around a lot between clients may have presented certain challenges for contractors, but nowadays, smartphones, tablets and compact laptops allow workers to easily keep up to date with emails, updating documents and filling out paperwork at any time of day and from any location.

Not only does taking advantage of such technologies provide significant benefits to contractors, but it can also have a positive effect on the environment, as storing documents and communicating with other parties online allows for a paperless approach to business, subsequently reducing waste.

The PayStream app

At PayStream, our mobile app can be extremely beneficial for limited company contractors who want to be able to manage their company finances on the go.

For umbrella contractors, it provides the opportunity for them to keep track of their earnings, expenses and invoices.

The app enables users to claim expenses remotely and is completely free for our My PSC and My Max customers, and can be used with any iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device.

To find out more about the PayStream app, visit our website to scan the relevant QR code, or you can search for it on Google Play, the App Store or BlackBerry World.

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