Mobility is Changing the Definition of Workplace Environments
Last week I was working from a hotel room, and then the airport, in Las Vegas. A week before that I was working from Seattle. Today I’m in my home office in Scottsdale. But soon I’ll be enjoying some Garrett’s Popcorn as I work from Chicago.
While I did a lot of this work on my own, I am clearly not alone.
It has become common for many knowledge workers to do their jobs while away from the home office. In fact, a 2015 Frost & Sullivan survey of more than 1,000 IT decision makers indicates that about 25 percent of employees work from home most or all of the time, while 13 percent spend most of their time on the road.
Given the now widespread availability of broadband; the fact that some airlines, and most airports, hotels and restaurants provide Wi-Fi; there are a plethora of productivity applications available on our smartphones; and UC&C solutions providers have adopted a new mobile-first stance, working remotely is becoming easier than ever.
That’s good news because it provides employees with more flexibility as to where and when they want to work. For employers, it can result in savings on office rental, power and equipment, and expand the pool of job candidates from which to select.
While the move to a more mobile and remote workforce is something new for people who’ve been in the workforce for a few decades, it seems completely natural for millennials and the generations that will follow. That would seem to set up the workplace in general, and UC&C in particular, for even more change going forward.
“If you’ve always been mobile-first, why would you bother with a desk phone at work?” asks Jon Arnold, principal of J Arnold & Associates, in his upcoming column in the July/August issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine. “When you hear these types of questions being asked by employees, you need to pay attention, because when the world is viewed through the lens of the internet generation, everything is fair game to question. With the web, the cloud, mobile broadband, etc., nothing is immune from being re-invented for the digital economy.
“This may seem like a radical end game,” he adds, “but for those who embrace it – namely millennials – this is the new order around which everything will eventually conform. As such, when the questioning starts with telephony, other things soon follow, and before long, the focus shifts from things – desk phones, PCs, mobile devices, etc. – to processes, and then to the workplace environment.”
Edited by Alicia Young