So, BA’s laughable (as long as you weren’t caught up in it) IT meltdown over the last bank holiday weekend wasn’t the fault of technology after all, but of basic human error. As if that’s an excuse. Human error is inevitable. Until robots take over our jobs, businesses should expect mistakes and create procedures to minimise their likelihood and impact. If BA’s right and what happened in its datacentre wasn’t an IT failure, it must mean that its system of checks and controls failed, which in some ways is even more troubling.
As human beings, it is not just our actions that are fallible; our bodies are less than reliable too. Businesses need to plan for this as well. In the past, this might have involved purely retrospective action, such as the recruitment of temps or the provision of equipment that would allow the absentee to work from their home/sick bed. Increasingly, businesses are taking pre-emptive action through employee wellness programmes. On page 32, Nikki Roy, director of Body Mechanics Remedial, explains why this makes sound business sense, and on page 36 Tayla Ansell describes how the use of a retro-fi sit-stand workstation has sorted out her aches and pains.
Technology has a big role to play in the creation of a more employee-friendly environment. In this issue’s Offie Design feature on page 38 we describe how Telia is using FlowScape’s indoor positioning and mapping technology to enable its employees to make the most of the diverse working environments it has created in its new HQ. Features like Colleague Finder, which locates colleagues and shows whether they are free to talk, can also alleviate some of the inconveniences of hot desking (see page 7). On page 28, we look at chat-enabled collaboration solutions that perform much the same function for today’s more mobile workforce.
On the subject of mobility, don’t forget to enter our competition for a 3M privacy screen for your iPhone (see page 11). With one year until GDPR regulations come into force, a privacy screen could be seen as a wise precaution to minimise the risk data breaches through the careless use of smartphones by employees in public places.
James Goulding, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org