A recent research project into workplace productivity by SCC found that providing mobile technology options is now essential for all organisations to thrive – to attract new workers, give the current workforce the flexibility they need and keep them happy.
Mobility has been one of the key themes within IT over the last decade. And it will come as no surprise to anyone who works in the sector that a recent SCC survey into workplace productivity concluded that providing mobility is now essential for any digital-enabled organisation to thrive.
In the survey of 550 individuals across all industries, 80 percent agreed that more employees within their organisation are now working remotely on a regular basis (compared with two years ago); and 74 percent said that at least a third of staff work away from the office at least once a week.
As noted, there is no surprise here. It has become easier to work while on the move or at home. We have much better, lighter and more powerful notebook PCs and 2-in-1 tablet devices now. Battery life has improved dramatically. The proliferation of WiFi in public spaces and the simplicity of using a smartphone for data access has made it easier to work on trains, in cafes and other offices. Faster and more affordable broadband has made it easier to work at home too.
Both employees and employers have grown more familiar and comfortable about remote working – and while it might not suit every organisation, every role and every employee all of the time, many people now expect to have the flexibility to work at home or away from the office at least once a week.
Indeed, we’d suggest it is becoming essential now for any organisations that wants to make sure it has the right teams in place to allow regular remote working. Increasingly, people want to take advantage of the flexibility that modern technology delivers to choose not only how much time they spend in the office, but where they choose to live.
Mobile technology seems to have made redundant the old macro-economic rules about mobility of labour i.e. that workforces had to be able to re-locate to places where work was available.
Many people will now choose where they want to live, regardless of the location of their employer. They also want to work more flexibly so that they can spend less time commuting and attain a better work-life balance. For many people now – especially the emerging Millennial and Generation Z workers – these are primary considerations.
In our survey, 73 percent of respondents agreed that it is increasingly difficult for them to recruit experienced staff who live close to their offices or main place of work. As such, trying to enforce people to work in the office or central location most of the time could mean that an organisation can’t always recruit the right individual for a particular role.
However, with modern mobile technologies and collaboration solutions, there is no need to recruit only from your immediate hinterland. Most of the time, individuals and teams can work together just as effectively, whether they are sitting in the same office or located remotely from each other.
Of course, there will never be a way to entirely replace face-to-face interaction and dialogue – that has never been seriously suggested by anyone. But there is certainly no need for everyone to be made to work in the same place at the same time now. Most employees want and expect to be able to work remotely at least some of the time – and the best way to get the best out of them, and ensure you have the right people in place, is to give them the flexibility that modern mobile technology provides.
At SCC we have over 45 years’ experience in Making IT Work as a business enabler.
We have helped numerous organisations similar to yours adapt to the ever changing workplace by designing, implementing and managing innovative technology solutions that address productivity needs and providing the flexibility employees need to work effectively anywhere and at any time.
Our consultative approach helps to identify what your core challenges are and allows us to build workplace solutions that address these needs.