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Getting Ready for the Mobile Office

Getting Ready for the Mobile Office

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Published by Hewlett-Packard

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Published by: Hewlett-Packard on Sep 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Are you ready for the mobile, virtual,flexible office of the future?
Don’t get left behind. Equip your staff with the tools they need to
do the job, whether they work at home, during their commute, in the office oranywhere else. Today, every small business can become faster, moreresponsive and more productive by embracing mobile and flexibleworking.
Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation inthe U.S. and/or other countries.
Getting ready for the mobile office
Getting ready for the mobileoffice
The concept of the ‘workerless office’ has been moving into the mainstream for over a decade. But it’s only
in the past few years that technological, social and economic forces have begun to converge to create what
London Business School’s Lynda Gratton callsa perfect storm’
 of organisational upheaval.
“Executives around the world are now facing a substantial schism with the past, which is so great that
 organisational architecture, people practices and skills and organisational culture will change
over the next two decades,” she writes.
 Technology is a major factor, with tablets and smartphones already overtaking PCs. Analysts at Gartnerexpect 70 million tablets to be sold this year and 108 million in 2012, compared with 17.6 million in 2010,according to CIO Zone.  Cloud computing is fast replacing office-based IT infrastructure, while the cost of broadband is dropping asspeeds pick up
4G is expected to be 230 percent more efficient than existing 3G technologies, accordingto UK regulator Ofcom.Global connectivity and collaborative media encourage us to collaborate over distance, while the lines
between consumer and workplace technology grow increasingly blurred. The ‘app culture’
is so widespreadthat 35 percent of US smartphone users log on before even getting out of bed, according to a survey byEricsson. In other words, we are already mobile. But the tipping point for the mobile office is more likely to comefrom employees
than technology, according to
, a presentation by CBRE RichardEllis’s Lenny Beaudoin and Benn Munn.
It’s a desire for greater flexibility that’s behind the mobile push, l
ed not just by working mothers but
20-somethings who expect flexibility and have been reared on digital tec
hnology. In
, Cisco’s survey of 2,600 employees worldwide, 60 percent claimed they could be
 just as productive outside the office and 66 percent claimed t
hey’d rather take a lower
-paid, flexible jobthan a restrictive, higher-paid position.
Getting ready for the mobile office
Many work harder
‘anytime, anywhere connectivity’ can add 11 hours to a mobile worker’s week,
according to a Forrester report.It can do much to encourage employee loyalty and retention
UK-baseddesign firm Plinkfizz uses flexible working as a differentiator, a way of attracting high-calibre talent. Then there are the more prosaic benefits of a workerless office: lower property costs, utility bills and carbonemissions.IT firms and the large consultancies
PwC, KPMG, Accenture
are early adopters, but predictions are thatit will become commonplace. So what are some of the issues companies need to consider when preparingfor the mobile office?
The management mindset
The emergence of a mobile workforce changes the workplace hierarchy and the role of managers
someargue that automation of work processes makes their jobs redundant.Managing mobile workers requires a different mindset, one where trust and outcome-driven measuresdetermine success. This changes the way people are managed
and may mean reviewing performancecriteria, possibly shifting to a more continuous feedback tool such as Rypple.Results only work environments offer a good model for mobile office management, balancing a flexibleapproach to individual work with a more formalised communications structure. Employees work at theirown pace (with a clear deadline), but have regular, scheduled progress checks and virtual meetings to keepeveryone motivated and encourage team bonding. Ideally, location becomes immaterial, as at teleworkingpioneer 37Signals. Managers can also teach by doing, particularly when it comes to the etiquette of virtual meetings. Anycompany without a social media policy should draw up a guide on language, tone and disclosure rules,particularly for corporate Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.
The ten myths of mobile working
Flexible working boosts motivation, makes your staff more productive
and you can try it without spendingthousands. Sceptical? Read on as we demolish the top myths about working flexibly.
Myth #1: Flexible workers are less productive because they can get away with it.
 Research shows that working from home can boost productivity because it reduces the number of  distractions and interruptions.
Myth #2: People can’t work e
ffectively in a noisy environment like a cafe or bar.
Sure, it’s not always appropriate. But a
 change of environment often helps people to think more creatively and look at problems in a different way.
Myth #3: It’s hard to work as a team when people are in different places.
 Not as long as you have the right tools.You can share ideas with collaboration software, communicate fast in teleconferences and answer questions via instant messaging.

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