Tools enabling flexi-work and collaboration emerge as a top priority for future workspaces

|June 30, 2017 0
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at freedigitalphotos.net

NEW DELHI, INDIA: A large number of the Gen X and Millennial workforce in India are open to digital workspaces, value work-life integration (rather than work-life separation), and are embracing flexi workstyles that enable them to be mobile professionals with a personalized way of how they work and live. In fact, adoption of practices and advanced technology that enable flexi-work and collaboration have been ranked as the #1 and #2 reasons for joining and staying in an organization, reveals Microsoft’s recent Asia Workplace 2020 study.

Employees today no longer need to be working at the desks or cubicles to stay productive. An increasing access to mobile devices and cloud applications have also increased the ability of working professionals to work from anywhere.

The Microsoft New World of Work Study conducted in 2015 found that 7 in 10 mobile professionals in Asia spend at least a day in their work week working outside of the office. The current Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study found that 74% of respondents are already spending 20% or more of their time working outside of the office.

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A new way of working has emerged as more people are working across virtual teams than ever before. Only 6% of the respondents stated that they were individual contributors, while 88% worked in cross-department and/or cross-geography teams.

But that makes things more complicated than ever before as there are some inherent challenges with teamwork (see the inforgraphic below).

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Source: Microsoft

Meaningful and productive collaboration is becoming increasingly important for such scenarios, as the challenges can be easily overcome by emerging collaborative technologies and improved tools.

Among the professionals surveyed, 43% stated that using collaborative technology (i.e. messaging apps, virtual meetings, enterprise social networks, etc.) would make a positive difference in working remotely from locations outside the office, and around 30% believed that it would help provide timely resolution to internal issues and launch new initiatives. 41% felt the need for cloud-based collaboration tools to increase their productivity.

The reality, however, is that organizations are falling behind on addressing the needs of a digitally-enabled workforce and working professionals did not yet feel that their organizations are fully on board for this.

Only 55% agreed that their leadership is committed to ensure every employee is included in bridging the digital skills gap. 54% agreed that their organization has invested in culture development; 53% agreed that their organization has invested in analytics and data tools to help make informed and immediate decisions; and 56% agreed that their organization has given them tools to simplify and standardize their workflow.

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