David Ross, Sales Manager, avsnet

Flexible working enables people to connect and collaborate from anywhere in the world. It’s incredibly empowering for businesses and teams. 

Polycom’s recent survey of 25,000+ professionals from 12 countries shows how far we have come in a short space of time. Just look at the figures…

When asked whether their company offers flexible working, 80% of UK respondents said ‘yes’ with answers ranging from ‘I work this way often’ to ‘Yes, but I don’t because the company doesn’t provide the right technology to work productively from anywhere.’

Similar progress is happening in nearly every other country surveyed. 76% in the US, 85% in Germany and 90% in Australia answered ‘yes’. The only laggard was France (67%).

Also in some business cultures, there is still the perception that an individual isn’t as hardworking if they work remotely. Overcoming this view is crucial if businesses want to stay ahead of competitors and attract the best talent, especially those early in their careers.

This is because there are still generational differences in how people want to work. 51% of 45-60 year olds said they take advantage of remote working while 70% of millennials do. That 70% would likely be higher too if every organisation provided the option.

The industries preferred by each group could be one reason behind this split. Younger workers gravitate to technology where flexible working is prevalent and older generations tend to work more in manufacturing where adoption is lower.

That said, the perceived benefits are fairly consistent in all age groups – work life balance, avoiding stressful commutes, increased productivity, more time to exercise and for hobbies, and personal cost savings.

The main driver behind this huge shift in how people work is technology’s rapid rise as a powerful business enabler and force for efficiency.

75% of people surveyed now use collaboration technologies to communicate with stakeholders based elsewhere. Interestingly Brazilians are leading the charge, with 64% of respondents saying they use video to communicate several times a day.

Other countries aren’t far behind, and as public connectivity continues to become more reliable by the day, these percentages will continue to rise as people’s personal apprehensions with video fall by the wayside.

The key question is – which category does your business come under? Innovative leader that’s a beacon of modern working practices, a dawdling and outdated organisation struggling to change or somewhere in-between? Let me know.

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