Just 8% Weigh the Risks and Drawbacks More Heavily than the Benefits, Joint ASG/IDG Research Services Study Finds
According to a recent study conducted by IDG Research Services, in collaboration with ASG Technologies, nearly four out of five employees (79%) consider the term ‘Workplace of the Future’ as a cultural rethink of when and where work is conducted.
Following a total of 1,500 interviews conducted with European decision-makers and employees from a wide range of organisations for the IDG “Future workplace” study 2017, of which ASG Technologies, a mission-critical technology solutions provider for hybrid enterprises is a partner, the study looked to understand the perceptions of the transforming workplace following the rapid growth of digital resources.
Underlining the growing importance of flexible working practices to business staff, for decision-makers in companies directly dealing with this area, ‘mobility and technology’ go hand in hand when it comes to the Workplace of the Future. 57% of consulted companies in the new survey also felt these were the primary changes in creating a more ‘out of office’ working environment.
“These findings get to the heart of the factors shaping the way businesses will operate in the future,” says Charles Sansbury, CEO at ASG Technologies. “On the one hand, workers are looking for greater flexibility in terms of when and where they work. On the other, employers increasingly understand that to deliver this to their employees, they need to put the right systems, solutions and security protocols in place to break open the traditional work model and to deliver the flexible, connected workforce that their staff increasingly demand.”
Businesses are now starting to implement this vision. 36% of companies interviewed have a dedicated company-wide strategy for the implementation of new workplace and mobility concepts, while a further 27% follow the implementation of such concepts strategically department by department.
Despite all this work, employees still feel there is a long way to go, with around four out of every five feeling their current workplace is still far removed from their perception of the workplace of the future. Just 3% of employees today say their current workplace is exactly how they would imagine the workplace of the future, while 38% say it is still far from how they imagine it and an additional 41% say it is only ‘to some extent’ how they imagine it.
“Businesses feel like they are moving forward positively towards the future workplace – and that’s clearly the direction of travel. But there is still a clear gap between what they think they are delivering and the actual experience of employees on the ground,” adds Sansbury.
One significant area where there is more work to be done is including employees more closely in the process – overall, their engagement is key when it comes to any large changes within the workplace. When asked, “to what extent are their employees involved in the modernisation/transformation into the workplace of the future, just over a third, (36%) of organisations said they had surveyed their employees. Just 31% provided ongoing information, and fewer than a quarter (24%) had established workgroups.
There are also issues around the technology that is in place for employees to use. 87% of employees see room for improvement in the IT and technical equipment of their workplace. Just over one in eight respondents (13%) said they are ‘very satisfied’.
Organisations will clearly need to address such issues if they want to make a successful transition to the future workplace. For more than six out of ten employees surveyed (61%), the benefits/opportunities of the workplace of the future outweigh the negative effects, while a further 31% say that the positive and negative effects are in balance. Just 8% think the drawbacks/risks outweigh the positive effects.
“Employees understand and appreciate the benefits of the workplace of the future and are increasingly eager to start experiencing them,” says ASG CEO, Charles Sansbury. “Businesses need to take note as they continue to transition to new ways of working, ensuring they are involving their staff in the process, communicating with them, putting in place the right technology and helping to deliver the kind of collaborative, connected and flexible approach that will engage employees, drive productivity and help retain their long-term loyalty.”
To join in the workplace of the future conversation, ASG Technologies will be hosting a webinar, ‘Desire & Reality: What is needed for the workplace of the future?’, on December 13th at 11am (GMT), presented by Michael Collins, Global Practice Vice President, ASG Technologies and Manfred Bremmer, Editor of Computerwoche – responsible for the “Future workplace” study.
You can find a link to the English webinar below: