“Work Smart. Work Mobile.” is the latest thought leadership paper from Leitz, it follows on from the successful ‘Future of Work’ piece commissioned by the Esselte Corporation in 2012 to celebrate its centenary.
Andrew Crosthwaite, one of the authors of the original white paper, has continued his research into a more specific aspect of our future working lives, that of mobility. The report makes a clear distinction between traditional business travellers, and mobile workers, as the latter embraces a myriad of different activities – working in clients’ offices, coffee shops, serviced offices, motorway services, home and even the car.
Looking at the worker of today and tomorrow; how they work, where they work and some of the tools they use.
- Freelance Nation 2015
- 50% of HR professionals have said that they expect 20% of their entire workforce to be contract workers or freelancers by 2022
- The Nomadic Worker – the rise of a flexible working community
- 2/3 of all workers carry out some work based activity remotely in the course of any month
- The New Mobility
- Trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and wearable technology, where an increasing proportion of knowledge workers (especially but by no means exclusively the young) prefer to use their own technology and devices because it is more up to date and relevant than those provided by their company
- Keeping in touch in the smart world
- The dramatic growth of Wi-Fi and IoT (the Internet of Things) as companies set the goal of making products intelligent
- Staying powered up
- The essential, if less exciting, need for constant access to power for these devices. Battery technology lags computing capability growth
- Controlling smart information
- The need for increased security, both physical products and the information they store
- The more connected we are, the more we work in a collaborative business environment
- With suppliers, retailers, even competitors, the need to distinguish and protect truly private information
- At a more everyday, individual level, the security issues surrounding mobile working
- Down to the ability of the unknown person next to you seeing your work on screen.
The organisations and infrastructure needed to support workers of today and tomorrow – more than just coffee shops!
- Changing workplace
- Hot-desking is back but this time with a level of technology and personal connectivity that is transforming hot-desking from the pure cost saving activity of old to now adding real value.
- Controlling smart information
- As workers become more mobile, so do their needs for information. Smart information ranges from consistent work environments around the planet to web-enabled photocopiers.
- Measuring smartness
- Productivity no longer equals time spent at a desk. Trusting your smart workers is key to unlocking their productivity (28% of workers don’t feel trusted out of the office).
- Business and social networking
- Social media needs personality, it’s not just corporate exercise. Smart workers are now the sum of their social media prominence.
- Keeping smart
- Smart workers need tailored products, services and training to ensure they can be ‘always on’.
The changing business organisation in a rapid growth environment.
- The changing company
- Bigger is not always better, just 10 companies account for almost all the goods we consume but average company lifetime has declined from around 75 years to less than 15 years today.
- Agile working
- More than just another management theory, agile working is transforming businesses going forwards.
- With 86 new businesses born every hour just in London even established businesses are asking what they would do if they were starting again from scratch.
- Meetings, meetings, meetings
- More flexibility, more mobility, more mobility and more complexity require more communication; including face-to-face meeting.
- It’s better to travel (hopefully) than to arrive
- Smarter materials (and the increasing cost of travel) mean that mobile workers need, and will get, a smarter generation of bags and cases to support their flexible lives.
- Tools for the smart worker
- The continued search for the (mythical) single device that meets every business person’s needs and the software products needed to make them work.
- ‘Old technology’ in a mobile world
- Rather than thinking of either/or, perhaps our attitude to ‘old technology’ should be more flexible.
- For example, 94% of mobile workers still use paper pads for notetaking!
- Work/life balance
- How can the exhausted worker be a smarter worker?
Technology is speeding up the world of work. At the same time it's also helping us cope with the increased pace of life.
This self-perpetuating situation must drive greater productivity, rather than just added complexity. So it is vital we develop and use the right tools for the right job. It's good to know that some of the fundamentals haven't changed.
The Leitz Work Smart. Work Mobile. white paper is accompanied by research from a panel of over 800 workers across the four largest economies in Europe: the UK, Germany, France and Italy. This research has allowed significant insights into the habits of workers with traditionally different attitudes to work; such as the fact that nearly 60% of people run out of battery while at work in any month and concerns like these mean ¾ of people are forced to combat this issue by carrying a charger with them.