Technology enables mobility and work-shifting
Citrix survey predicts huge uptake in flexible working facilities over the next two years
Tech4Biz | 10 Apr 2012 :
The vast majority of organisations will have implemented flexible working for their workforce by 2013, enabled by desktop virtualisation and other remote access technologies. This is the major finding of a Citrix survey of senior IT decision makers globally.
The ‘Global Work-shifting Index', indicates that by the end of 2013 93% of organisations will have implemented work-shifting policies, up from 37% which currently offer work-shifting for part, or all, of their workforce.
The survey report says that "work-shifting is a type of mobile work style in which work is moved to more optimal times, locations and resources. For people, this means moving work to a place where they find inspiration and can be their most productive."
According to the survey respondents, organisations are recognising the benefits of mobile work styles and work-shifting, including improved business productivity and agility for the organisation and greater freedom, mobility and flexibility for users. The report said that organisations are implementing work-shifting policies to reduce business and IT costs, provide greater workplace flexibility for people and improve support for an increasingly remote and mobile workforce.
Desktop virtualisation is emerging as a key technology for creating a more flexible workplace with 91% of organisations planning to implement desktop virtualisation by the end of 2013, said the report. Of those implementing desktop virtualisation, 57% indicated they are implementing or will implement it to enable work-shifting.
According to those surveyed, 92% of organisations have adopted or are adopting desktop virtualisation to improve information security. Users also have access to features such as online meetings and file-sharing services, which allow teams to collaborate effectively, regardless of the location of every individual.
"Work-shifting enables organisations to be more productive and agile, and provides people with added mobility and flexibility to move work to the most convenient and productive times, locations and devices," said Mick Hollison, vice president, Integrated Marketing and Strategy, Citrix. "We've long believed that work-shifting is a key part of a solid business and IT strategy and these survey findings are an indicator that this trend is going mainstream. Organisations around the globe are moving from traditional work environments and realising real-estate, travel and labour cost savings by enabling mobile work styles."
According to IT decision makers, the benefits of work-shifting include giving people the flexibility to choose the ideal time, place and device for their work. Seventy one per cent of respondents indicated that they are using work-shifting policies to enable people to work from anywhere and 63% to enable people to work from home when required.
The infrastructure behind work-shifting can also provide people with uninterrupted access to desktops and apps during business disruptions. Ninety four per cent of senior IT decision makers agreed that the need for comprehensive business continuity is very important with 93% of those surveyed agreeing that desktop virtualisation was a very effective foundation for business continuity.
There can also be significant reductions in office space, travel and labour costs through flexible working, teleworking and alternative workplace strategies. Cost savings are among the main drivers for work-shifting with the reduction of HR-related costs at 45%, improved ability to recruit workers in lower cost regions at 39%, reduction of real estate costs at 38% and contribution to environmental sustainability at 26%.
The report also said that these facilities can be help in attracting and retaining the best people. Fifty one per cent of IT decision makers indicated that have implemented work-shifting policies to help attract and retain top talent. Nearly half of respondents also indicated that work-shifting enables organisations to tap into a broader labour pool by facilitating collaboration with and among outsourcing partners, contractors, business partners, temporary workers and consultants.