Is today’s workforce truly mobilised?
So why hasn’t flexible working taken off, if it is in such high demand and the options are there? Patrick Jocelyn, CMO at MeetingZone, argues that it is down to the culture and leadership of organisations:
"..flexible working technology like UC will only work if business leaders embrace a culture of remote working that cascades down through the entire organisation."
"It’s not enough for the IT department to introduce new tools and then leave employees to fit the pieces together. It needs to be rolled out with training and demonstrations of how UC can make people’s working lives easier and more effective.
"Far too many organisations are lagging behind due to narrow minded attitudes from the management who leave it to the technical bods to spread the word…or not."
It’s not just stodgy management culture that is slowing the flexible working revolution. Even if managers are keen to adapt, there are also obstacles, legitimate or perceived, such as security. Ojas Rege, Vice President of Strategy at MobileIron said:
"Companies want greater freedom for their employees, but not at the cost of valuable data being compromised. IT departments need to look to a security framework which protects crucial company data whilst allowing for a seamless shift into personal tasks.
"This flexible but secure working will provide businesses with peace of mind whilst encouraging employees to pursue work tasks outside of the office, without risking the integrity of their companies’ data."
It’s not clear what the catalyst for a sea change in flexible working will be, but it is clear that the demand will only increase as technology advances. Paul Fawcett, Mobility Product Manager at Azzurri Communications, describes some of the innovations to expect in the future.
"Innovation in flexible working will not stop. We are already seeing the first steps in some really exciting new uses of flexible working technology. Getting connected is going to become easier and more seamless with streamlined solutions that eliminate the need for users to find and authenticate against a network each time they want to connect.
"Beacon and proximity technology will be wider used to direct you to the closest available hotdesk, and then free it up when you have left.
"Wearable technology will also be used to track where employees are to assist with assigning location-specific tasks, and could even be used to ensure employees are having enough sleep!"