SANTA CLARA, Calif. » By 2020 organizations are set to reduce office space by almost a fifth (17 percent) according to a new study by Citrix, a leader in mobile and cloud technology. The workplace of the future will provide just seven desks for every ten office workers, with each person accessing the corporate IT network from an average of six different computing devices. The figure for 2020 is as low as six desks for every ten workers in Singapore, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK. Some of the highest desk to worker ratios in 2020 will be in Japan (8.77), South Korea (7.95) and Germany (7.90).
Almost every organization says they will redesign office space to be more appealing. The workplace of the future will foster creativity, be inspiring and encourage collaboration by enabling people to work from wherever, whenever and on whatever device so that work becomes something people do, not a place people go.
The Citrix Workplace of the Future report, which polled 1,900 senior IT decision-makers across 19 countries, shows that a third of people (29 percent) will no longer work from their traditional office. Instead employees will base themselves from various semi-permanent locations including the home (64 percent), field and project sites (60 percent), and customer or partner premises (50 percent). People are also expected to access corporate applications, data and services from locations such as hotels, airports, coffee shops and while in transit.
The trend towards fewer office-based employees – who use multiple computing devices to access corporate apps, data and services from a range of locations outside of the traditional office – is part of a global trend called mobile workstyles. Globally, a quarter (24 percent) of organizations have already fully adopted mobile workstyles. By the middle of 2014, 83 percent of organizations will have embraced mobile workstyles.
Mobile workstyles have been adopted widely and rapidly because it offers a number of benefits.
- For organizations, workshifting - where people move work to more optimal times and locations - creates a more flexible, agile workplace (73 percent), lower employee-related costs (53 percent), reduce real estate costs (48 percent) and help attract (47 percent) and retain (44 percent) top talent.
- Employees benefit from workshifting with more flexibility (65 percent), increased personal productivity (62 percent), less commuting time (61 percent), and a better work/life balance (55 percent). It also helps them spend more time with customers (48 percent).
- The majority of organizations (83 percent) will use bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives to manage the growing number of devices that people use to access the corporate network. Employees will generally choose and purchase their own computing devices, with 76 percent of organizations reimbursing the employee in-part or fully.
- Eighty percent of organizations that have already implemented workshifting and BYOD have seen cost-related benefits as a direct result. Ninety-six percent of organizations implementing mobile workstyles will invest in redesigning the workplace to create a more inspiring, collaborative and flexible environment equipped with the latest technology.
- Organizations expect to reduce workplace space by seven percent within just two years, and 16 percent by 2020. Organizations that have implemented workshifting already have 15 percent fewer desks than those who have not implemented such a policy, helping to deliver real estate savings.
Proactively managing the global mobile workstyles trend
To securely manage data across a mobile workforce that accesses corporate resources from multiple locations, using a range of devices that operate on different platforms, organizations need to proactively manage people, data and apps through policy and technology solutions.
While driving the implementation of mobile workstyles, organizations have to ensure sensitive data is managed correctly. Sixty-five percent of organizations consider eligibility a key part of their mobile workstyles policy. Similarly, the key drivers for an organization to provide funding for BYOD are to ensure it retains a degree of legal and technical control over the device and the management of its data and to take advantage of potential cost savings by shifting procurement and maintenance to employees and contractors.
Organizations are relying on multiple complementary technologies to manage their current and future mobile workstyle strategies. All enabling technologies are focused on the secure management of data and apps, including desktop virtualization and an enterprise mobility management as well as online file-sharing, meetings and collaboration services for a distributed workforce.
The research for the Citrix Workplace of the Future report was conducted independently by Vanson Bourne in August 2012, and is based on interviews with 1,900 senior IT professionals around the globe. The survey polled one hundred IT professionals across all industries from nineteen different countries including; Europe: France, Germany, Russia, Sweden the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom; Americas: Brazil, Canada and the United States of America; Asia Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Three-quarters of respondents were from organizations of 1000 or more employees; one-quarter were from organizations of 500-999 employees.