Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

New IBM Study: Enabling A Flexible Workplace

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What is work?

Click to enlarge. IBM’s recent workplace study revealed that 74 percent of CIOs prioritize flexible workplace investments over all other IT spend, with many forward thinkers seeing a 20 percent jump in productivity and 20 percent reduction in costs.

Is work a place? Is it something you do? Is it a combination of the two, or is it something else?

Those questions beg a larger one, particularly in our always-on, increasingly globalized business environment: What is the workplace?

Or, more specifically, what constitutes a flexible workplace?

IBM’s Center For Applied Insights recently conducted a study to try and better answer this question through a survey of 675 CIOs and IT managers of large enterprises in Australia, China, India, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.

The study was intended to gain perspective on the flexible workplace and to develop insight into what the most successful implementers of this workplace are doing that sets them apart.

Survey respondents suggested that such a flexible workplace is a new reality, with 74 percent of CIos and IT managers placing greater priority on the flexible workplace compared to other investments over the next 12 months.

The vast majority, in fact, expect to make significant investments across all the key attributes of the flexible workplace in the next one to two years.

More importantly, they expect these investments to yield productivity gains and enhanced security, and nearly half believe it will reduce costs and potentially increase revenues.

What Is A Flexible Workplace?

Today’s workplace is a virtualized and physical environment characterized by connections, collaboration, and user choice that enables the worker to be more agile and perform activities anywhere and anytime.

This redefinition of the workplace is the result of industry, demographic, and behavioral trends in technology and work habits. For example, with the introduction of smartphones, workers expect such tools that have enhanced their personal lives to play an increasingly important role in their business lives, a trend that poses important challenges and opportunities for the organization supporting the workplace.

The workplace study revealed that the most successful companies implementing the flexible workplace are reporting 20+ percent improvement in productivity and cost savings.

Facing The Challenges Of The Flexible Workplace

The study also revealed there are some important challenges that need to be met to accomodate the flexible workplace, most notably security and cost.

Security is seen as the most significant issue, but it’s also seen as a key benefit.

Improving colalboration is also key, with those organizations that leverage social business technology to strenghten two-way communication and sharing — amongst employees, partners, customers and vendors — becoming a competitive advantage.

In the attached infographic, you can see what the survey respondents highlighted as being key characteristics to becoming a more flexible workplace.

To learn more, register to download the full study results here.

Or, take this self-assessment to learn how your organization can increase its workforce productivity and reduce costs through enhanced and more flexible workplace development.

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