The Home Office, Starbucks and Flexible Work: It’s A Reality

Although we’re not quite to the point where hearing children crying as the background to a conference call is acceptable, it is definitely acceptable to work out of a home office, from Starbucks or anywhere else, mobile broadband and a mobile device allows.
A recent Skype press release, based on a survey reads as follows:
It used to be that the average worker would report to work and earn a salary based on performance and attendance; yet time spent at the office has become almost irrelevant as an indicator of worker’s value or their output.
The workplace today is radically shifting as remote working becomes more widely accepted and tech-savvy workers are increasingly bringing their own personal technology choices into the workplace. A new generation of communication and collaboration tools are empowering businesses of all sizes to enable a more flexible and productive workforce.
To better understand the evolution of the living workplace and how different forms of communication are being used in business, Skype commissioned a survey through Incites Research, which surveyed 1,000 technology-enabled professionals in the U.S., including 500 business end users and 500 technology decision makers across small, medium and large size businesses.

Today at the GigaOm Network: “Future of Work” conference, these survey results will be revealed by workshop moderator, Michael Wolf, VP of Research at GigaOm, and will discussed among a group of panelists from Skype and other companies.
Among the most interesting takeaways of the living workplace survey:
· Flexible and remote work environments have become commonly accepted and important for hiring and productivity, with 62 percent of reporting firms employing remote workers.
· Remote workers are spending, on average, 40 percent of their time away from their office.
· Flexible working benefits both the employer with increased collaboration and employees with a better work/life balance.
· Two-thirds (67 percent) of organizations allow their workers to bring in their own personal technology into the workplace.
· Technology-empowered workers are harnessing many different modes of communication. The two communications tools expected to have a decline in usage in the next year are e-mail and landline phones, while the communications tool that is expected to have the biggest gain in usage next year is video calling. And yet, the two most indispensible communications tools in business are e-mail and mobile phones.
While all of these finding are quite interesting, I think it boils down to this – the transformation of the workplace is being enabled by communications tools of all kinds – from mobiles, VoIP, social media, to video calling.
These technologies are truly bridging the divide between dispersed workforces in different locations, across many geographies, which ultimately empowers businesses to grow faster, scale, and save on costs. It is making a big difference in the way information is shared, ideas are communicated, and how work is getting is done, and that, in itself, can give businesses an edge in a hyper -competitive global business environment.