Working from Home – How can Parliament do this?

by | Mar 4, 2020 | Working From Home

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With news of the Corona Virus spreading, it’s no surprise that most businesses and organisations are looking for ways to allow uninterrupted work while suffering a decrease in productivity due to illness. It was revealed that up to a fifth of all UK works could be off sick at the same time, according to the government’s action plan. For many businesses, this could take a massive hit to productivity, and in some cases even cause production or services to stop entirely.

There are many ways to combat this, something I covered in a series of videos late last year. You can watch a short one of them here:


As you can see, remote working is definitely the way forward. If the worst case scenario happens, having access to shared files, software, and machines is vital to provide support for your business. Examples of this can range from Microsoft’s ventures into cloud-based software such as Word and Excel. Shared access to files through systems like Dropbox or Google Drive, and for those businesses with a strong infrastructure, personal servers.

This also allows changes in your worker’s lifestyle, such as having children. It allows for risky travel scenarios such as bad weather, or in this case, illness. As long as the work is actually done, there’s no reason worry about what hours – or where – your staff are working.

Simple measures such as setting up a reliable Skype connection are the easiest way forward, however I suspect a more unique implementation would be needed in the case of the government.

MP for Glasgow North West Carol Monaghan brought up this very valid point in today’s PMQs. You can watch the clip of her discussing this here:


We’re all becoming increasingly concerned with the COVID-19, the corona virus, but every week, 650 of us come here from every part of the UK spend several days meeting in close proximity and meeting people from all over the world. We then return to our constituencies, potentially becoming the very vectors that we’re trying to shut down. Parliament must stay open. What plans does the prime minister have to utilize systems such as conference calls and electronic voting to ensure that we do not become part of the problem?

As Carol Monaghan suggests, there is a dire need for remote working. She offers ideas of conference calls and electronic voting. Prime Minister Boris Johnson replied with the following:

She’s raised a very important point, and the chief medical officer and the chief scientific adviser together with the health secretary will be saying a little bit more in the next couple of days about what we’re going to do to delay the advance of the Corona Virus, in parliament and in other large gatherings. We’re still at the containment phase, she will understand the distinction the government is making. Where we come to the delay phase, she will be hearing a lot more detail about what we propose to do with large gatherings and places such as parliament. 


While it’s understandable that there are different phases and concerns, preparing and enabling an infrastructure is not something that happens overnight. A proper plan and time to implement this workflow is a must, especially for something as large scale as parliament. I can only hope that the government has already been working on plans to enable this to happen. If not, the results will likely be a more rapid transfer of the Corona Virus, and a lack of efficiency in the future for the UK government.


If your business does not have infrastructure set up to allow you to work from home, please get in touch with me:

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