It’s no secret that technology as well as social media are changing the way we work and live. Thankfully, corporate America and the U.S. Government are finally getting the clue, learning that technology offers an opportunity to provide more employees flexibility while cutting overhead costs at the same time.
Two trends I’ve seen emerging among the workplace mainstream are telecommuting and BYOD.
Telecommuting is a relatively simple idea, although a challenge for managers and supervisors to execute effectively. Employees and teams work virtually from their home office, collaborating and communicating online and by phone. Telecommuting is a very highly desirable benefit. In fact, 83% of the 2,500 American adults stated that it was a trend growing not only in popularity, but importance. Importance that translates into 32% of those surveyed willing to give up a pay increase or half vacation days to work from home. The survey released by Team Viewer and Harris Interactive found that employees are willing to make significant sacrifices in both their work and personal lives to telecommute. In fact, 5% of respondents would leave their spouse and 12% would forego taking showers for the ability to work from home.
Telecommuting offers a benefit not just for the employee. In 2010, the government passed the Federal Telework Act allowing employees to work from home or have flexible schedules. The act, in less than a year, has had 79 agencies participate with 42% of them experiencing cost reductions.
BYOD “Bring Your Own Device,” employees are asked by employers to bring their own personal computers, tablets, and smart phones to work, lowering company technology costs while increasing potential corporate risk. The cost savings for an organization, depending on their size, could be in the thousands or millions each year. As companies transition to the cloud and the need for data storage, company issued devices become less important.
I no longer have the need for the company laptop and VPN to be able to access my presentation. In the cloud, I can quickly upload my presentation to my tablet, making for a more interactive discussion and lighter load. Employees no longer have to juggle two cell phones, multiple tablets, and lap top computers. With BYOD and technology, data is as safe as it was before, except it is stored via the Internet making my life and work less complex. The transition between the two is seamless and makes having to juggle multiple smart phones, calendars, and computers throughout the workday a problem of the past.
While these emerging trends are not new, they are catching the attention of corporate human resource professionals and members of the C-Suite who are beginning to use tablets, social media, and mobile technologies as part of their own everyday lives both personally and professionally. And when it comes to ROI for telework and BYOD, business leaders are more likely to make the connection to getting business done more than ever before. Because if the federal government can benefit, surely you can, too.