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Employees seek mobile working approval

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More than half of all employees believe they can work more effectively from a remote location than in the office, a new report has found.

Research conducted by Microsoft indicates that 55 per cent believe they are more productive when taking advantage of home or mobile working options.

The most common reasons for staff wishing to work on the move included finishing work tasks in the evening (48 per cent), having fewer distractions (44 per cent), being more productive than in the office (35 per cent) and achieving a better balance of work/home priorities (35 per cent).

James Nicholson, deployment specialist for Windows with Microsoft Canada, said perceptions of the traditional office are changing – and quickly.

“More and more customers, colleagues and technology partners are finding themselves taking business calls from airport waiting lounges, reviewing work documents as they wait at the dentist office or sit on the train, or running important personal errands during their work day,” he noted.

“And at the centre of their workstyles, people expect increased technological capabilities to keep up with them.”

In order to make the most of mobile working, they are using real time collaboration tools such as video conferencing and secure access to their files.

Many employers are warming to the idea of mobile working – which can enable businesses to move from the traditional workplace set-up to a virtual office, or potentially take advantage of hot-desking.

Microsoft found that 42 per cent of bosses surveyed support remote working arrangements for their employees.

“Organisations that will be successful in the future are those that remove the barriers between people, workplace and technology,” said Mr Nicholson.

“When you empower your people by creating a workplace that facilitates flexibility with the technology and solutions that help them to be productive wherever they are, you get the most out of your people.”

Carolyn Buccongello, vice-president of human resources with Microsoft Canada, said the boundaries between work and life are blurring.

“You may dismiss this as a Generation-C issue but this speaks broadly to all generations,” she added.

“There are pros and cons to this new way of work, but it is not going away and technology can become the key to resetting those boundaries.”