Friday, November 16, 2012

Future of flexible work

Staying with the telework theme, this week was the inaugural 'Telework Week' here in New Zealand and I was invited to a lunch sponsored by Cisco, vodafone and other firms promoting awareness of 'telework,' which really means flexible and mobile work practices.

Anthony Weldon, HR Director at vodafone, NZ described how the company is radically re-thinking work.  Along with an expected shift toward mobility, they also have redesigned work space to reflect new, flexible ways of working.  It is not so much that it is a perfect solution (some people still like and/or need desks), but the fact that the company is experimenting and taking its own technological advice seriously is an important step into developing new ways of working.

Geoff Lawrie, country manager of Cisco, NZ, gave an enlightening and energizing overview of some pretty impressive trends in global connectivity, much of which can be found in Cisco Connected World report.  Or, check out the short video summary of the report's key findings, which will shape the future of work.

For insightful commentary on 'millennials' (derived from the Cisco report), see Ben Stricker's blog.

Stricker's top ten findings of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, with findings on the attitudes and behaviors of college students and young professionals from 14 countries:
  1. One of every three college students and young employees believes the Internet is a fundamental resource for the human race – as important as air, water, food and shelter. About half believe it is “pretty close” to that level of importance.
  2. More than half of the respondents said they could not live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives.”
  3. If forced to make a choice between one or the other, two of three college students wouldchoose an Internet connection instead of a car.
  4. Two of five college students said the Internet is more important to them than dating, going out with friends, or listening to music; and more than one in four said saying updated on Facebook was more important than partying/dating/music/friends.
  5. Two of five said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
  6. More than half of college students said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept a job offer or would join and find a way to circumvent corporate policy.
  7. If given the choice of either losing their purse/wallet or mobile device, more than half said they’d rather lose their wallet/purse.
  8. Regarding security-related issues in the workplace, seven of every 10 employees admitted to knowingly breaking IT policies on a regular basis, and three of five believe they are not responsible for protecting corporate information and devices.
  9. One in five college students admitted standing outside of retail outlets to use free wireless connections.
  10. One in four experience identity theft before the age of 30, and two of five college students said they know of friends or family members who have experienced identity theft.

A colleague in Sydney also shared another recent report on the Future of Work, sponsored by Optus Australia about trends of mobile and other connective technologies looking out 3-5 years.

No comments: