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Survey recognises need for flexibility in the workplace for businesses to thrive

News item: March 28, 2017
Working from Home

A new survey conducted with over 25,000 responses worldwide recognises that productivity and teamwork are both significantly improved when employees are able to choose where they work. 

The survey has revealed many of the main challenges and benefits that employees and employers see when it comes to adopting flexible working in the organisations culture. Whilst results varied by country (12 countries in total took part in the survey), there are a number of key trends that remained constant across the globe.

The vast majority of respondents agreed that being able to work from anywhere greatly boosted productivity, as people are able to choose where they work best. 92% of survey respondents also agreed that Video Collaboration improved their team work. The survey also revealed that 62% of the global population is now working flexibly, with digital transformation being much responsible, as it is driving businesses to look into new ways of working faster and more efficiently. Firms are looking at ways they can develop a better working culture to enable them to innovate faster and remain competitive, whilst keeping the best talent onboard.

In Europe, the survey revealed that over half of employees are working somewhat flexibly, whilst 78% have colleagues that are based remotely or in other office locations. Collaboration technology is going a long way to bringing dispersed organisations closer together, with over 90% of employees believing they now know their remote colleagues much better, thanks to technologies such as video conferencing and remote collaboration tools. 

“There is a stigma that remote workers are disconnected from the rest of the team, yet this study proves that they are more sociable and proactively reach out to develop strong relationships. The new technology tools that enable communication and collaboration are actually motivating workers to pick up the phone, seek face time and create lasting bonds. This is the upside of remote work we rarely talk about”

– Jeanne Meister, Future Workplace.

How are remote workers perceived?

Over two-thirds of millennials reported that they are nervous that being flexible and not working in the office means they aren’t perceived as hard-working as those office based colleagues. This concern is seen globally, and therefore for organisations to keep up with the digital transformation taking place, it isn’t just the tools and technologies that need to change, but there needs to be a shift in attitude too.

This can be managed by measuring performance based upon output, rather than the number of hours worked, so that individuals are reassured that their management understands that the practice of being present at the office does not always equal a good work ethic. 

CMO of Polycom, Jim Kruger commented, ““The survey results tell us that organisations need to offer video collaboration and conferencing tools to enable the human contact that people require and crave.  Organisations that are able to offer solid flexible working practices and the right collaborative tools will be the winners in recruitment and retention of the best talent.”

You can download “The Changing World of Work: A Global Survey” here from Polycom.



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