The workplace is constantly evolving and so too are the workers. A staggering 81% of 16-24 year-olds think traditional 9-5 office life is no longer relevant in the 21st century. This statistic comes from a survey of over 1,000 UK office workers undertaken by TeamViewer for a new report about the future of of the workplace. With such a high number of the younger generation feeling this way, businesses and employers need to cater to the evolution of work life.
Technology is a defining factor in maintaining the well-being of office workers. New technologies enable businesses to more easily support flexible or remote working. However, 44% of UK office workers at companies with over 500 employees, said that their company’s IT department doesn’t encourage remote working and makes it hard for them to even try.
We’re reaching a point where the barriers to more flexible working are reducing year by year as technological advances create opportunities for the work force to become happier, healthier and ultimately more productive. Employers need to be catering to their worker’s health and wellbeing rather than questioning whether flexible and remote workers can be ‘trusted’.
The rigid mindset of many businesses on this issue can be seen in the fact that many workers simply don’t have access to the technology they need to be effective away from the office. The top devices that workers are requesting from their work place are tablets and smart phones as these gadgets allow for the most flexibility when working away from the office, but our survey revealed that only 39% of employees are able to use their own devices in the workplace, with one in three (34%) not having the option at all.
It’s not just a question of devices either. Workers highlighted a range of problems they face when attempting to work effectively remotely. These issues included limited access company systems, outdated or ineffective video and telephone conferencing software, having colleague collaboration restricted, not being able to share documents and not being able to get the IT support they need. All these problems have simple workarounds with the collaboration and remote access technology we have today, but despite the increased demands and expectations of employees a significant proportion of businesses are still not giving their staff the support they need to effectively work remotely and flexibly.
With the right collaboration technology in place, employees can stay connected to their clients and colleagues no matter what their location, increasing communication and supporting business decisions and growth. Indeed, our research found that 83.5% of workers agree that they don’t need to be in the office every day to be productive. The right tools, used in the right way, make collaboration easier, and so it is a great time to embrace technology that can deliver a wiser work place for everyone.