TechBeat: New world, new workstyles
17 October 2016 | 0
“Irish companies need to allay any legitimate concerns of employees who may feel their personal privacy is being infringed in an increasingly digital era,” said Hopwood. “While integrated monitoring and accessibility to company data is to be encouraged from a security and compliance perspective, the same tools shouldn’t be used to impinge on anyone’s personal privacy. We would encourage organisations to have very clear policies and guidelines in relation to digital information and to share these with all employees so that there’s complete transparency for all parties.”
The benefits of new workstyle technologies seem fairly clear Irish organisations, with increased productivity, attracting and retaining the best talent, and increased agility as the top three. However, closely following was increased business continuity.
“These results come as no surprise,” said Hopwood. “Increased productivity levels are also the number one benefit that we consistently see for companies that facilitate mobile work styles. Fast and secure access to information from any device and any location is vital for employees to be fully engaged and productive in this day and age.
“The survey also clearly reveals that there’s a strong need for Irish businesses to facilitate flexible working if they want to attract and retain the best talent. In our experience, the most successful firms promote a positive working environment which facilitates mobile workstyles and a better work/life balance.”
The drivers for adoption of these technologies were also unsurprising, with the top three comprising employee demand, the need to increase efficiency and business continuity needs, respectively. Interestingly, leadership demand was only a close fourth.
“If employees are asking for it and aren’t accommodated, they will move elsewhere,” stated Hopwood. “In such a highly competitive marketplace for talent, no organisation should be left wanting in this area.”
“Surprisingly, less than half of respondents put demand from business leaders down as one of the main drivers. Is there a growing disconnect between the needs of employees and the willingness for leaders to meet these? By embracing a culture in which the emphasis is on productivity and flexibility, as opposed to physical presence, employees will be happier, more motivated and will deliver better results.”
With the drivers clear, the barriers to adoption were equally stark, with inability or a lack of desire to change, technical issues (legacy hardware, etc.), and cultural or organisational rigidity as the top three, respectively. Budget shortages was the close fourth.
“Properly managing change is critical to the competitive strength and success of a business,” said Hopwood. “Business transformation involves not just internal change management, but also choosing partners, whether they are providing new services or technologies, that understand both the people and technological components of change. Partners need to be part of the change management team, consulting closely with the customer throughout the design and implementation of a digital transformation plan. They should be able to provide the education and training necessary for any organisational changes to be more fully embraced by users.”
While pressure grows on IT to accommodate ever more devices, more than half of respondents (54%) said that colleagues connect at least 2 devices to the organisation’s network every day. A significant 15% said that figure was 3-5 devices per worker, while a combined 8% said it was 6 or more devices per worker.