If you’ve been following workplace trends over the past five years, one significant change is impossible to miss: work is an activity that we do, not a place where we go. Gone are the days when the vast majority of employees made the daily commute to a corporate office, sharing a communal space with colleagues on a regular basis.
To be successful in this new, virtual environment, employees need access to business data and applications, advanced communications tools, collaboration spaces, and their colleagues and customers on any device and any network.
Employees today require a form of work-life integration that allows them to manage their family and personal obligations with their work duties in ways that boost their productivity, while minimizing any extra time spent in the corporate office.
Redefining the Office: Where You Need to Be to Get the Job Done
A 2015 Frost & Sullivan survey of more than 1,000 IT decision makers in the US and Europe reveals that a growing number of employees no longer work in a traditional corporate office. About 25% employees work from home most or all of the time. Others are traditional road warriors, who need to be productive from hotels, airports, and client sites. Many spend part of their time in an office and the rest of it juggling work and home life.
This trend is itself both the result of, and a contributor to, several others that are shaping the modern workplace.
The Knowledge Economy
- A larger percentage of employees are so-called knowledge workers, meaning they spend their time analyzing information and developing newer, better products and services; or they are primarily responsible for ensuring a better customer experience.
- These employees thrive in a flexible, open environment that lets them collaborate with their colleagues, partners, and customers, sharing information across geographic and organizational boundaries.
- Frost & Sullivan research shows that roughly 13% of all employees in the US and Europe are considered “mobile,” meaning they spend the majority of their time on the road.
- They must have access to the business and communications applications and services that allow them to be as productive as possible, regardless of where they are working.
- They need to be able to reach their colleagues, partners, and clients regardless of where they are, or what type of device they are using, responding in real time to urgent requests, meeting invitations, and social media updates and information.
- As more employees look for ways to stay connected to customers and partners on a global scale, they need to take calls, answer email, and participate in meetings outside of “traditional” business hours and typical business locations.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
- Although up to 75% of organizations supply at least some of their employees with smartphones and/or tablets, it’s the rare company that provides mobile devices for all its workers.
- Increasingly, employees are relying on their personal smartphones and tablets to conduct business outside of “normal” business hours, or from remote locations during the typical workday.
- Doing so helps them stay productive and in ready contact with their key colleagues and customers, but they must have the tools they need to communicate and collaborate, anytime and from anywhere, securely, and under IT’s control as needed.
Millennials… and Beyond
- The Millennial generation makes up 33% of today’s workforce and will comprise about 75% by 2025, according to Brookings Institute.
- Millennials are collaborative by nature, changing the way business gets done.
- This demographic expects to work on-the-go, with personal choice of mobile device and applications.
- Collaboration and choice of mobile is key to satisfaction and staff retention of millennials.
Cloud Unified Communication (UC) and Collaboration tools help solve today’s workplace challenges and ensure you have the tools to support today’s mobile and dispersed workforce. With features such as Instant Messaging, one-touch voice and video conferencing, desktop and application sharing, and seamless desktop and mobile integration, employees can collaborate as easily if they were in the same room. Check out O1 Phone VoiceStream’s UC and Collaboration features and equip your employees now and into the future.