Workplace of things: Evolution of the mobile worker

Today’s business environment has truly entered a new era of mobile-led changes which have revolutionised how companies interact with their customers, how employees collaborate with one another and how businesses choose to operate 

OFFICE OF THE FUTURE

In this mobile-first world, tech-savvy employees have pioneered the ubiquitous trend of bring your own device (BYOD) which has forced chief information officers to sit up and take notice. With nearly 94 per cent of all companies offering BYOD strategies, it is predicted that 30 per cent of these will leverage personal applications, data and social connections for enterprise purposes by 2016.

Given the rise in this trend, IT managers must proactively plan to integrate flexible working into their unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) strategies. As a result, the most innovative IT business leaders are relentlessly engaged across all business functions in creating the optimal collaboration environment founded on new mobile applications, cloud-based meeting tools and more flexible working practices or what is known as the “workplace of things”.

The concept of the ‘workplace of things’ is built on the central idea that the workforce will be increasingly mobile and the work environment itself is smarter than ever

WORKPLACE OF THINGS

According to Melanie Turek, vice president, research, at Frost & Sullivan: “The concept of the ‘workplace of things’ is built on the central idea that the workforce will be increasingly mobile and the work environment itself is smarter than ever.

“Frost & Sullivan research shows that at least one third of all employees in businesses in the United States and Europe are considered ‘virtual’ employees, meaning they work from home, the road or a satellite office most or all of the time.

“Mega trends, such as urbanisation, smart cities, the growing dominance of ‘millennials’ [people born between the early-1980s and early-2000s] and increasing network convergence, demand the infusion of next-generation technologies into the unified communications and collaboration framework.”

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CHANGING WORKING HABITS

According to a recent global telework survey by PGi, which examined the working habits of 3,000 knowledge workers worldwide, more than 66 per cent of respondents positively endorsed telework as a newly adopted attitude and practice in their organisations. In this digital, mobile environment, productivity applications married to communications services deliver a complete, integrated toolset that enables better employee collaboration regardless of time or location. Ms Turek notes that “the changing work patterns of users and the increasing need for a better work-life balance are greatly influencing the progression towards an intelligent workplace”, driven by mobile technology. Thanks to new flexible working practices, employees are able to skip the long commute and still maintain the same level of productivity remotely.

The PGi Global Telework Surveyhttp://connect.pgi.com/ACQ/UK/global-telework-survey - corresponds with Ms Turek’s assertion, with survey respondents citing reduced commute time, better work-life balance and flexible hours, as the top three benefits for teleworking.

Mike O’Boyle, PGi vice president of collaboration solutions international, explains: “For business professionals today, time is one of their most valuable business assets. Virtual software-as-a-service or SaaS-based solutions look at how best to maximise this particular asset by focusing on the user and not just the technology.”

IT business leaders looking at how best to maximise time are now upgrading infrastructure to the cloud, while also unlocking mobile potential and digitising their processes. These forward- looking chief information officers are embracing next-generation technologies through working with collaboration solution providers, such as PGi and Modality Systems (a PGi company), to design and develop custom universal communication solutions.

These innovative thinkers are regarded as “digital disruptors” or “chief acceleration officers” through the increased efficiency and real business value that new integrated solutions provide for their organisations.

UNLOCKING MOBILE POTENTIAL

Another notable facet of agile-working companies is how they embrace new technologies that combine innovative collaboration solutions with wearable-device applications. In a recent Frost & Sullivan survey of 300 North American decision-makers, who were responsible for purchasing mobile software applications, 82 per cent of respondents deployed at least one mobile worker app and 49 per cent had implemented between one and ten apps.

Clearly businesses are interested in creating more connected, intelligent workers through technology that follows, learns and engages. “We know that you and your employees increasingly still need to travel and to work remotely,” says Mr O’Boyle. “That is why PGi has developed mobile productivity tools such as iMeet® Agenday™ for Enterprise that embrace this wearable mobile technology to help you to continue to do business as you travel 24/7 in any location globally.”

CREATING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT 

This prominent shift in work-based practices and the harnessing of new technologies offers huge appeal for organisations looking to advance and make improvements. In response to the changing pattern of today’s global business environment, PGi has expanded its portfolio of solutions for web, video and audio-conferencing to provide companies and their workforces with solutions that allow them to collaborate with stakeholders and each other from their preferred devices and locations. Through working closely with their customers, PGi has found that providing increased flexibility and choice are essential for innovative IT business leaders in companies which are truly recognising the impact of collaboration technology as a key driver for improved efficiency and productivity for the “workplace of things”.

ABOUT PREMIERE GLOBAL SERVICES, INC: PGi

PGi is the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services. A G-Cloud6-approved vendor for UK government departments, PGi created iMeet®, an expanding portfolio of purpose-built applications designed to meet the daily collaboration and communications needs of business professionals, with solutions for web, video and audio conferencing, smart calendar management, webcasting, project management and sales acceleration. PGi’s award-winning unified communications and collaboration solutions help nearly 50,000 businesses grow faster and operate more efficiently. To learn more, visit us at uk.pgi.com

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