With BYOD, your new workplace can be any place

With BYOD, your new workplace can be any place

The ground rules of working have changed. To operate effectively in today’s fast-paced global environment, organisations need to be able to get work done anywhere, anytime, by their employee to achieve the best results.

Work is not restricted within your office premise anymore; work could follow you anywhere, be it your home or a park nearby, to your son’s cricket match or customer locations.

This has created a concept of Workshifting which essentially means the business practice of moving work to the optimal place and time. Workshifting creates new possibilities for personal efficiency and business speed.

In the world ahead, the better way to work is virtual – completely un-tethered from the office, devices, networks and data centres.The premise of work shifting originates from the transformation of the traditional workplace.

Trends such as ‘Bring your own devices’ and Consumerisation of IT are leading the thrust in the adoption of this concept. The dynamics between IT departments and end users are changing in favour of users.

Employees now expect to access a range of corporate data and applications remotely from their own or company issued device without compromising security. These employees are the drivers of the new workstyle as they call for an unified computing experience across disparate devices.

A virtual workforce can include workers from any department, role or status distributed across remote and branch offices, remote locations (including mobile and teleworkers)and between enterprises, anywhere on the globe.

Corporate data security

The challenge for IT organisations is to find ways to protect corporate data and meet security obstacles while delivering desktops, applications, training, support and online collaboration tools to virtual workers—who often have high technology expectations.

At the same time, IT must provide the same or better service levels and ease of use to users with high performance expectations to ensure high virtual worker productivity while not adding complexity or cost.

According to recent Global Work shifting survey conducted by Citrix, 47 per cent of surveyed Indian organisations currently provide flexible work environments for employees and are continuing to expand this scenario.

This percentage is greater than the global average which stands at 42% in the survey. Companies are increasingly embracing this trend because it allows people who work from home or mobile employees to work anytime, anyplace, and on the device of their choice.  And IT functions of organisations are looking at powerful technologies such as desktop virtualisation to make this possible.

Maximum agility

As organisations look to maximise business agility and productivity while ensuring they can attract and retain the best possible talent, the adoption of workshifting continues to rise.

The exceptions of the PC era have become the new assumptions of the cloud era. In yesterday’s PC era, work shifters were the exception to an overwhelmingly office-centric workforce.  In today’s cloud era, they are becoming the assumption.

The best part about workshifting is that the benefits aren’t limited to the employee. In fact, they extend to the business itself in a number of ways.

•Work/life balance – A happy workforce is a more productive workforce – workshifting enables people to choose when they work based on balancing personal and professional commitments rather than nine-to-five working hours.

•Improve flexibility – Workshifting provides people the option to choose the preferred time, place and device for their work. By adapting their environment to their work style, or body clock, people can drastically improve personal productivity.

•Increased personal productivity – There is nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment. 64 percent of organizations surveyed cited increased productivity as a common goal.

•Cut down on real estate expenses- Workshifting can reduce real estate costs significantly by empowering employees to be equally productive irrespective of whether they are inside or outside the office. Additionally, it allows organisations to reduce commuting costs.

Increased competition

•Increased competition for talent -In a talent oriented industry, Workshifting helps a company create an aspirational employer brand through its work shiftingincentives, increase retention by providing flexibility to employees and expand recruitment beyond its traditional geographical constraints

•Globalisation - Many organisations especially MNCs today demand collaborative multi-geographic working teams.

Through workshifting, multinational organisations can locate workers in the regions where they do business, minimising the need for long-distance travel to meet with prospects, customers and partners. A global strategy where “work follows the clock” through offshoring can enable true 24 x 7 productivity

•Personal Mobility - With increased personal mobility, people are increasingly demanding to work in the ideal location from which to complete any given task.

This is an employee side driver that encourages organisations to enact workshifting strategies. With the associated business drivers, workshifting strategies are becoming an indispensable resource.

The role played by technology in achieving this transformation-
Technologies such as desktop virtualisation play a key role in this strategy, enabling people to connect to their desktops anytime, anywhere, on any device, as a secure, high-definition service without sacrificing IT control or security.

Online collaboration and file-sharing further erase the constraints of physical location.  In this way, the workforce becomes more agile, responsive and productive, while the business can improve attraction and retention, support business expansion, take advantage of outsourcing and ensure business continuity while realising complementary benefits such as reduced real estate, travel and labour costs.

(The author is Desktop Transformation evangelist, Citrix India.)

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