Is 2019 the Year of Flexible Working?
Work is no longer associated with a place and instead, has morphed into an increasingly dynamic activity that people expect to be adaptable to their changing requirements. Employees across all industries are looking for the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime be it from home, from a café or even a park.
Despite the increasing desire to give employees the flexible working environments that they are looking for, corporations are still struggling to find the best way to make it happen. This especially holds true from a technology perspective as employees are also demanding for the same tools, network access, apps and libraries to be made available even when they are not working in the office.
The State of Flexible Working in India
In 2018, Citrix commissioned a survey of over 1,700 business and technology decision makers in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region to understand the state of IT complexity that organizations face and its impact on business agility, digital transformation, security and cloud readiness. The State of IT Complexity India 2018 study shows that flexible working environments continue to grow in the country, with 94 per cent of businesses offering flexible working options.
However, delving deeper, the study reveals that most companies restrict this offering to certain teams only, thus creating flexibility frustration.
A closer look at the data shows that although 94 per cent of organisations in India offer flexible working, only 32 per cent were broadly offered across the organisations. The rest are offered only to certain teams (37%), senior management (21%) and specific job functions (4%).
Flexible working needs to be implemented and not restricted for it to work. Senior leadership must take responsibility for changing the culture, policies and technologies to fully unleash the potential of flexible working within their organisations.
Cloud - The Enabler of Flexible Working
With today’s technology, flexible working can easily be implemented. Organisations need a secure digital workspace that integrates technologies, platforms, devices, and clouds, to simplify IT management. This helps to deliver personalised access to the relevant systems and tools that employees need, when, how and from where they need them; ensuring excellent end user experience and promoting productivity.
In this new digital era, flexible working depends to a large extent on a robust cloud-based infrastructure. Such infrastructure reduces cost and risk while unlocking potential productivity gains. It allows companies to enter new markets, implement new business models and develop new products and services.
The study shows that 89 per cent of organisations in India are already adopting cloud technology in the form of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions delivered by well-known brands like SalesForce, Office 365 and Workday. A high percentage of organisations (92%) are already approaching the move to cloud strategically, and are currently using, developing or planning to develop bespoke cloud native applications.
A hybrid multi-cloud adoption trend in particular will continue across the country for the next few years. And while this grows, organisations will need to take control early, and seek out a solution that allows for a unified and contextual digital workspace that enables employees to realise the full benefits of hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
The real strategic value of cloud adoption is how it can be used as a platform for building customised applications. This will transform business processes, how organisations do things, and create new ways of working. This is the real digital transformation and should be considered as part of the flexible working environment journey.
The benefits of flexible work environments have been well-documented. Flexible working allows employees to enjoy a better work-life balance; it helps to relieve work-related stress and cuts down on commute time and cost.
Happier workers are likely to be more productive and innovative and show higher levels of retention, reducing recruitment and training costs while minimising interruptions in the workplace. Organisations that provide flexible working conditions together with personalised tools to boost productivity, engagement and creativity are at an advantage when it comes to recruiting the most talented workers.
Let’s make flexible working work in 2019!
Area Vice President, Sales & Services, India Sub-continent, Citrix