By 2020, organizations are set to reduce office space by almost one-fifth (17 percent), according to a new study by Citrix. The workplace of the future will provide just seven desks for every 10 office workers, with each person accessing the corporate IT network from an average of six different computing devices. The figure for 2020 is as few as six desks for every 10 workers in Singapore, the Netherlands, the United States and the U.K.
Almost every organization says it will redesign office space to be more appealing. “The workplace of the future will foster creativity, be inspiring and encourage collaboration by enabling people to work from wherever, whenever and on whatever device so that work becomes something people do, not a place people go,” notes the Citrix Workplace of the Future report, which polled 1,900 senior IT decision-makers across 19 countries. Other results: some 29 percent of workers no longer will work from the traditional office; instead, employees will base themselves from various semi-permanent locations, including the home (64 percent), field and project sites (60 percent), and customer or partner premises (50 percent). Workers also are expected to access corporate applications, data and services from such locations as hotels, airports, coffee shops and while in transit.
The trend toward fewer office-based employees – who use multiple computing devices to access corporate apps, data and services from a range of locations outside of the traditional office – is part of a global trend called “mobile workstyles.” Globally, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of organizations already have fully adopted mobile workstyles. By the middle of 2014, that number will grow to 83 percent.
Mobile workstyles offers a number of benefits:
>> For organizations, “workshifting” – in which people move work to more optimal times and locations – creates a more flexible, agile workplace (73 percent), lower employee-related costs (53 percent), reduced real estate costs (48 percent) and the ability to attract (47 percent) and retain (44 percent) top talent.
>> Employees benefit from workshifting with more flexibility (65 percent), increased personal productivity (62 percent), less commuting time (61 percent) and a better work/life balance (55 percent). It also helps them spend more time with customers (48 percent).
>> The majority of organizations (83 percent) will use bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives to manage the growing number of devices staffers use to access the corporate network. Employees generally will choose and purchase their own computing devices, with 76 percent of organizations reimbursing the employee in part or fully.
>> Eighty percent of organizations that already have implemented workshifting and BYOD have seen cost-related benefits as a direct result. Ninety-six percent of organizations implementing mobile workstyles will invest in redesigning the workplace to create a more inspiring, collaborative and flexible environment equipped with the latest technology.
>> Organizations expect to reduce workplace space by 7 percent within just two years, and 16 percent by 2020. Organizations that have implemented workshifting already have 15-percent fewer desks than those that haven’t implemented such a policy, helping to deliver real-estate savings.
To securely manage data across a mobile workforce that accesses corporate resources from multiple locations that uses a range of devices that operate on different platforms, organizations need to manage people, data and apps proactively through policy and technology solutions. Businesses are relying on multiple complementary technologies to manage their current and future mobile workstyle strategies. All enabling technologies are focused on the secure management of data and apps, including desktop virtualization as well as online file-sharing, meetings and collaboration services for a distributed workforce.
Sixty-five percent of organizations consider eligibility a key part of their mobile wokstyles policy. Similarly, the key drivers for an organization to provide funding for BYOD are to help ensure it retains a degree of legal and technical control over the device and the management of its data, and to take advantage of potential cost savings by shifting procurement and maintenance to employees and contractors.