Today, we have a guest post from Connie Chan. Connie is the principal of Chess Media Group, a management consulting and strategic advisory firm. Chess works with some of the world’s largest and most forward-thinking companies on future of work and collaboration initiatives. Clients include companies such as Safeway, Sodexo, Lenovo, Franklin Templeton Investments, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Sprint. Connie tweets under the handle @ConnieChan8.
It’s hard to believe that even 10 years ago we didn’t have Facebook or Twitter. Ten years before then, we didn’t have the Internet. We have come a long way in a relatively short period of time, and new technologies are now requiring changes in the way we work. Today’s workforce is more dispersed, global, mobile, flexible – you name it. We are also witnessing the rise of a new generation of workers, the Milliennials, who will soon be the largest and most connected sector of the workforce.
To better understand the scope of these changes, Chess Media Group conducted a global survey in May 2013, surveying over 600 employees who currently use social and collaboration technology. The researchers wanted to see how these tools affect an employee’s ability to work efficiently, flexibly and securely.
The survey confirmed 3 necessities for the future workplace:
- Enterprise social and collaboration tools
- Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies
- Flexible work arrangements
1. Enterprise and social collaboration tools
Businesses of all sizes are changing the way they work by adopting technology for collaboration and communication within a virtual environment. As things currently stand, general communication (76 percent), peer-to-peer interaction (69 percent) and “to ask and answer questions” (64 percent) are the primary reasons why workers use social and collaboration technologies.
2. Bring-your-own-device policies
Approximately 54 percent of organizations permit workers to bring their own devices to the workplace. Of those workers who reported that their companies do not have a BYOD policy (39 percent), the majority (52 percent) indicated that they would like to see such a policy implemented.
3. Flexible work arrangements
A large number of organizations (81 percent) offer flexible work arrangements, with 87 percent of employees taking advantage of the program. The majority of these telecommuters report higher levels of productivity (85 percent), improved work-life balance (80 percent), increased job satisfaction (77 percent), greater personal happiness (68 percent) and reduced levels of stress and burnout (59 percent) as the top 5 benefits.
So now what?
It’s clear that where, when, why and how we work is changing. Employers will need to provide the new tools and workplace policies that modern workers now expect – that is, if employers wish to attract and retain employees. There are a few simple things that organizations can do to prepare for the future workplace. To explore the recommendations in details, download the full report.