Hands up how many people only go to the Office to do all their work? I’m expecting that there are only a few hands up right now. Why? Because recent statistics show that not only is 1 out of 3 employees completely mobile but at least 4 out of 5 employees spend at least some portion of their time working outside of the office.
Also interestingly, 1 out of 2 employees say they are expected to get work done no matter where they are. Our connected world means that we are never far from our work these days. This also has a number of significant benefits for employees in the fact that they can be as effective working from home as they are working in the Office. This is becoming a very important requirement for people today and many would sacrifice conditions and pay for more flexibility.
These shifts in work practices are something a business also needs to address. Does your business have policies and guidelines around working outside the office? What about working from home? If it doesn’t it should because no longer is ‘work’ a place we go it is something we do independent of location.
Because work is also everywhere we are these days we need to ensure that we allow enough downtime to recharge and recover so we can work productively as there is little to be gained by working for extended period beyond your limits. You simply burn out and lose the ability to be effective.
Another important issue not to be overlooked is the social interaction that goes along with an Office environment. Human beings are social creatures and need interaction to function at their most productive. Working away from the Office can foster a feeling of isolation and disconnection. As such, businesses need to work hard to ensure that remote employees remain fully engaged as they would if they did work in a central Office. Tools such as Lync, Skype and Yammer allow these social interactions even outside the Office.
The rapid integration of IT into every aspect of our lives means that traditional concepts of ‘going to work’ are rapidly changing. Is your business also changing to meet these demands?