There’s A New Way to Work – Get Used to It!

April 8, 2015

By: Steven Rodriguez, Chief Operating Officer

There’s a new way to work and I’m not talking about your commute to the office. Actually, when you look at work trends closely, there are several new ways to work.

The movements I’m talking about include:

Obviously, these three ways for employees to work in today’s work environment are dependent on many factors. Does your organisation allow for a flexible work environment in order to keep its best employees? If you have clients across the United States or in other parts of the world, can you meet their needs via video conferencing instead of in-person meetings? Does your IT leader accept the new principles of allowing employees to use their own devices for work purposes?

Let’s examine each new way to work a bit more closely.

Teleworking/Telecommuting

Growth rates of telecommuting in the United States have levelled off since 2005. According to Global Workplace Analytics most recent study, about 3.3 million workers telecommute at least half of their time and nearly 25 million people say they work one or more days per week from home. (This figure doesn’t include the more additional 10 million independent contractors who say they “work from home.”)

Progressive organisations have caught on to the benefits telecommuting offers. Improvements to employee job satisfaction and work life balance, a reduction in employee turnover and absences from work, an increase in employee productivity, and an increase in cost savings are all top reasons to allow for teleworking.

In one study, IBM was reported it reduced real estate costs by $50 million when the company began promoting telecommuting to employees. The company implemented a new hoteling model at its major facilities. The new shared-office environment features hotel cubes that teleworkers can reserve on those days when they need to be in the office.

Video Conferencing

Gone are the 1980s when poor quality video-conferencing was thrust on employees who then suffered through meetings. Herky-jerky video, sub-par audio, time delays, and sudden disconnects were the norm, not the exception.

Today, however, the technology allows us to videoconference from elaborate rooms using equipment that costs well into the six figures. Or we can use an off-the-shelf laptop. Either way, video conferencing enables organisations to:

  • Connect dispersed staff without incurring travel costs
  • Afford to consult with experts anywhere in the world
  • Interview job candidates with more flexibility
  • Make a presentation to a vendor or customer remotely
  • View data and presentations in an on-demand or real-time basis
  • Receive or share critical information any time, any place

Thanks to its many advantages, video conferencing now serves as an appropriate alternative to as many as 50% of necessary meetings. Imagine the savings in travel budgets alone! As your organisation grows and more employees work remotely, the ability to stay connected via videoconference becomes an obvious way to work.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

If you haven’t read about it, BYOD is an IT initiative that allows employees to use their personal mobile devices for work. In recent years the organisations are broadening the initiative to include the use of personal computers and tablets.

This trending “way to work” may not be on your radar because of the complexities of your organisation’s IT network. Perhaps you don’t want employees accessing sensitive client records and enterprise data via their personal computer.

If that’s not the case, however, you might want to consider the cost benefits of BYOD.

According to a 2013 Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group study[1], U.S. companies save as much as $3,150 per employee per year after they implement a BYOD programme. The programme must provide employees with access to the information they need to do their jobs from their personal devices.

Part of the savings come from shifting costs to employees who will each spend an average of $965 on their mobile devices as well as $734 each year on data plans. The rest comes from estimated productivity increases.

A comprehensive BYOD programme comes with other benefits as well, including:

  • Increased employee productivity
  • Increased innovation among employees using their personal devices
  • Improvements to overall employee satisfaction with their employer

Interested in determining the best way for your employees to work? Consider how Asure Software can further enhance productivity and efficiencies across your organisation. Contact us to learn more.

[1] Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group http://blogs.cisco.com/news/new-analysis-comprehensive-byod-implementation-increases-productivity-decreases-costs/