We have known for a long time that the way we work is evolving. More people are working outside the office, demanding greater flexibility to get work done wherever, whenever and on whatever device works best for them. In response to this demand, workplaces are getting smaller. They’re being better designed, and we’re seeing a reduction in the number of desks per person.  We’re also seeing people choose and use consumer devices to do their work.

The workplace of the future – today!

According to the Citrix Workplace of the Future report, organizations will have almost a fifth less workspace by the end of 2020, provide just two-thirds of a desk for each office employee, and completely redesign their workplace.

That’s a big change in the way businesses operate and is made possible by the adoption of a trend we call workshifting – where people move work to more optimal times and locations. This increases people’s flexibility and mobility, offering them access to their business apps, files, and services anytime, anywhere. It’s a hot trend – worldwide, 91 percent of organizations are adopting workshifting. In fact, those organizations that have already, or plan to embrace workshifting, predict that one third of the workforce will no longer even access the corporate network from their local office. Almost all (96%) of the respondents in our survey say they are enhancing the design of their corporate real estate.

They also predict that each person is expected to access the corporate network from an average of six different computing devices. In recent years, corporate attitudes toward the use of personal devices in the workplace have changed dramatically. Currently, two-thirds of organizations do not have an enforced ban on people’s use of their own devices for work, although 84 percent have had such a ban in place in the past. We’re seeing widespread adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. In fact, 55 percent surveyed say they now actively accommodate and encourage the use of personal devices for work purposes.

Lots of locations, more devices

People are demanding the ability to seamlessly work anywhere, whether it is within the workplace, from customer sites, at home, or while on the go. People are also demanding to use their own, consumer-grade devices for work. It’s no secret that organizations realize the benefits of workshifting and BYOD.

By implementing workshifting and BYOD policies and utilizing the best technology, while maintaining control of sensitive business information, the workplace of the future delivers the performance a business needs. It’s a win-win situation for everyone and for lots of reasons.

  • For organizations, workshifting creates a more flexible, agile workplace (73 percent), lowers employee-related costs (53 percent), reduces real estate costs (48 percent) and helps attract (47 percent) and retain (44 percent) top talent. It is also key to business continuity plans.
  • Employees benefit from workshifting with more flexibility (65 percent), increased productivity (62 percent), less commuting time (61 percent) and a better work/life balance (55 percent). They are also able to spend more time with customers (48 percent).
  • Increased worker productivity (57 percent) and worker mobility (53 percent) are driving BYOD adoption.Globally, 37 percent of organizations also indicated that they are adopting BYOD policies in order to shift some costs related to procurement, configuration and/or support to employees.

With people increasingly operating outside the office, and using the latest smartphone, home PC, laptop or tablet to do so, organizations face challenges in addressing information security. They need to put the right technology and policies in place to allow seamless access from anywhere and from any device while making sure that no critical business information falls into the wrong hands.

With this in mind, we are finding that to ensure the safety of business information, organizations are relying on technology solutions to manage their current and future workshifting and BYOD strategies. These core technologies are primarily focused on providing secure access to, and secure management of, business information and include desktop virtualization and enterprise mobility management. There is also a clear requirement for collaboration services which enable online file-sharing, meetings and social interactions for a distributed workforce.

Inspired workspaces = increased productivity

The traditional office, where people sit statically at dedicated desks working a 9-5 routine on standard corporate issued desktops, is being transformed into a highly mobile workplace of the future. Doctors can work on their rounds, architects from construction sites and customer service staff from the quiet of their home, using the device they want. Built on a solid technology foundation, the workplace of the future results in a stronger organization powered by people who can perform at their very best, when, where and how they want.