Your employees are moonlighting on you.

Now that the weather is warmer and the evenings are longer, chances are your workforce is leaving the office earlier to pursue other interests. They’re taking on second jobs as soccer coaches. They’re taking evening gigs as lawn care experts. And some are taking the court at an over-30 basketball league.

If you find yourself wandering through a somewhat-empty workspace in the early evening wondering how to crack down on this seemingly lost productivity, we have one word of advice: Don’t!

According to a recent survey by Oxford Economics and Citrix, fostering a culture that embraces a truly flexible work schedule — where employees are free to respond to a time-sensitive email from the sidelines of a lacrosse game or act on analytical data from the balcony of a dance recital — can actually lead to better productivity for your people and better overall profitability for your business. You can read my executive point of view on this here.

The reason is simple: Those same people logging off early also tend to log back on late. At this point, they are essentially moonlighting on their own life to work for your business. And all the while, they probably feel as though they have a stronger work/life balance.

The Oxford Economics survey goes on the share more encouraging news than you could shake a smartphone at: Digital work helps employees solve problems more creatively (96%), provide better customer service (87%), and collaborate more effectively (90%).


Yet, fewer than half of the 600 businesses we surveyed report that they are getting full value from mobile technology and virtual work. To understand why, we took a look at a group of Digital Workspace Leaders that are performing at a higher level than their peers.

A couple things jump out immediately. While the average organization is still busy implementing the foundational technologies that make digital work possible, Digital Workspace Leaders are more likely to create integrated mobile strategies from scratch. This means they’re more likely to change their investments in mobile technology (83% vs. 24%) and their approach to the IT procurement processes (77% vs. 31%). They’re also paving the way with emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and robotics. In fact, Digital Workspace Leaders are more likely to have defined IT criteria for evaluating emerging technologies. (And they’re still probably getting out of the office in the afternoon in time to play softball.)

These leaders recognize that virtual work starts with mobility, but it doesn’t end there. To truly get the most from their virtual work environments, organizations need to define how IT and HR can better support off-site employees — and how IT will vet, source, purchase, implement, manage and secure all the devices needed to get it all done.

If you haven’t done so already, now’s a good time to get started. Today, 23% of your peers have coherent, integrated strategies around mobility — and by 2020, the number will nearly double to 45%.

If all this makes you curious to learn more, read the Oxford Economics briefing paper “Building the Digital Workplace: What comes next in the mobile revolution” today.

Because summer is in full swing, and your employees are looking to spend even more quality time out of the office. But that’s okay — with a digital strategy and all the right tools securely in place, moonlighting can a very bright spot for your business.

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