The results of this international workplace study reveals that many people now believe that they no longer need to be "in the office" anymore in order to be truly productive.
This and other findings provide new insight into the expectations, demands, and behavior of today's global workforce -- that's influencing the way information is accessed and how business communications are changing.
"The Cisco Connected World Report gives further insight into the future of the workplace and it is clear from the research findings that the desire among employees to be more mobile and flexible in their work lifestyles is extremely strong throughout the world -- as strong as salary, said Marie Hattar, Vice President, Borderless Networks, Cisco.
She added, "It is also evident that organizations need to embrace a borderless IT infrastructure to capture competitive advantage and increase employee satisfaction. The employee desire to be productive anytime, anywhere, using any device provides an opportunity to embrace the agility and flexibility provided through a Borderless Network Architecture."
Key Findings from the Cisco Connected World Report include:
- The study, which involved surveys of 2,600 workers and IT professionals in 13 countries, revealed that three of every five employees (60 percent) believed it was unnecessary to be in the office to be productive. This was especially the case in Asia and Latin America. More than nine of 10 employees in India (93 percent) said they did not need to be in the office to be productive. This sentiment was extremely prevalent in China (81 percent) and Brazil (76 percent) as well.
- Two of every three employees surveyed (66 percent) expect IT to allow them to use any device -- personal or company-issued -- to access corporate networks, applications, and information anywhere at any time, and they expect the types of devices to continue diversifying. In the future, employees expect their choice of network-connected endpoints to broaden to non-traditional work devices like televisions and navigation screens in cars.
- For employees who can access corporate networks, applications, and information outside of the office, about half of the respondents (45 percent) admitted working between two to three extra hours a day, and a quarter were putting in four hours or more. However, extra hours do not translate to always-on, on-demand employees. They simply want the flexibility to manage their work-life balance throughout their waking hours.
- Employees also feel strongly about having the flexibility to work anywhere that it would dictate their company loyalty (13 percent), choice of jobs (12 percent), and morale (9 percent). For example, two of three employees worldwide (66 percent) said they would take a job with less pay and more flexibility in device usage, access to social media, and mobility than a higher-paying job without such flexibility. This percentage was higher in some countries, such as Spain (78 percent), despite economic woes the past couple years.
- Almost half of the IT respondents (45 percent) said they are not prepared policy- and technology-wise to support a more borderless, mobile workforce. Not surprisingly, security is the top concern.
- Although many of the IT respondents felt security (57 percent), budget (34 percent), and staff expertise (17 percent) were the biggest barriers to enabling a more distributed workforce, employees often felt IT and corporate policies were the obstacles. This perception among employees was extremely prevalent in India, where more than half (58 percent) felt IT was the obstacle to a more flexible work style.