"The results have been quite amazing," said James Clifford, senior network specialist at Rotherham Brought Together (RBT) a joint venture between British Telecom and Rotherham Borough Council. "By March we expect to have a minimum of 300 staff using the system and then more from there."
The council use metal authentication cards that produce passcodes, so that access to council systems can be made from a virtual private network (VPN). The cards, produced by Cryptocard, are linked to an active directory that authenticates the user.
The system has been implemented as part of a nationwide work/life balance drive, which aims to allow staff in public bodies to work from home.
Given a brief to produce a secure system that improves mobility Rotherham Council looked at a number of options, but preferred the option that gave most flexibility.
"Once the system had been initialised we then run it. We customise the tokens ourselves which gives us more control over what we're doing," Clifford said.
Councils across Britain are adopting mobile working schemes to fulfil the work/life balance directive. Cambridge County Council recently implemented their own VPN system and had a similar increase in productivity.
"It's the first time we've ever brought in something new and no-one has moaned about it," said Craig Hyde implementation analyst at Cambridge County Council.