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Alternative Workplace Strategies in the Current Economy

Alternative Workplace Strategies in the Current Economy

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Published by Coy Davidson

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Published by: Coy Davidson on Oct 10, 2011
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Alternative Workplace Strategiesin the Current Economy
 
Results from New Ways of Working’s Benchmarking Study, April 2010
by: Joe Ouye, Ph.D., Gabor Nagy, Ph.D., Bas Singer, and June Langho 
Haworth is an ocial sponsor of The New Waysof Working, an interactive network of organiza-tional innovators - people who are transformingtheir work environment, or preparing to do so.NewWOW researches and exchanges knowledgeon how the integration of the worlds of humanresources, information technology, and the work-place can lead to greater productivity and engage-ment. For more information on New Ways of Work-ing, please contact Jim Creighton (jim.creighton@newwow.net). To follow them online, visit theirwebsite:www.newwow.net
 
Successful AW programs incorporate Human Resources(HR), Information Technology (IT) and Corporate RealEstate (CRE) practices. If AW is not supported by allthree domains, success is less likely. Most companiesget the technology right, however the other twoaspects of AW (practices and places) are often misun-derstood or underutilized. Options for alternative work practices (such as management practices, performanceevaluations, work exibility), and options for alternativeworkplaces (such as touch-down, hoteling, work fromhome, etc.) are just as important as technology. Thisstudy explores all three domains.
KEY LEARNINGS
Our study revealed AW trends in a number of areas:Escalating adoptionReaction to recessionary pressuresExpanding workplace exibilityShifting prioritiesUnderutilized spaceNeed for trackingChanging sponsorshipStubborn barriersWidely variable management methods
Alternative Workplace Strategies in the Current Economy:
Results from New Ways of Working’s Benchmarking Study, April 2010
By: Joe Ouye, PH.D., Gabor Nagy, Ph.D., Bas Singer, and June Langho 
AW DEFINED:
 The study denes alternative workplace (AW) as the combination of nontraditional work practices, settings,and locations that supplement or replace traditional oces.Leading organizations have been employing alternativeworkplace practices (AW) for over two decades—as farback as 1989 when IBM began piloting AW options—and long before the word “Internet” became part of thecommon lexicon. But for many years they were mainlythe practices of a select few companies. They remainedmostly experimental and retained their unique identi-ties. Today, however, alternative workplace may beshedding half its name, and becoming simply “work-place” as such practices become mainstreamed inmany organizations. This is the conclusion of a studyreleased last month by New Ways of Working (NewWOW), a member organization focused on holisticsolutions for new ways of working.
 Alternative Workplace Strategies in the Current Economy: A 2009 Global Benchmarking Study by New Ways of Working
showed that recessionary pressures areexpediting the adoption of alternative strategies in theworkplace. Based on a global survey of 103 organizationsincluding Fortune 100 companies, representing over4.5 million employees, New WOW’s research revealshow leading corporations are employing alternativeworkplace strategies to keep their edge in a challengingeconomic climate. This online study was a collaborativeeort of experts from leading companies and researchorganizations globally and was open to any companyor organization. Now in its second year, the surveyassessed types of alternative workplace locations andwork options used, status and length of program, businessdrivers, provisioning, barriers, change management,values, benets, and recessionary impacts.
NewWOW Summary
Alternative WorkplaceBenchmark Study
©2010 by the New Ways of Working, LLC. This publication may not be copied or transmitted in whole or part, in any form by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the written permission of the New Ways of Working
 
ESCALATING ADOPTION
In the past ve years, AW practices have escalated.Fortyve percent reported in this study that they hadstarted their AW programs within the past two years,and 80% within the past ve years. In the study, thepercentage of employees using AW averaged about21%. Also, in some leading organizations, AW isbecoming standard practice.
RECESSIONARY PRESSURES
Survey participants identied the recession of 2008-2009 as a signicant impetus for AW adoption. Whilesome companies reported that the current economydelayed (7%) or reduced (6%) their AW programs, manyexpanded their programs (40%). Almost half (47%)reported no impact. The recession also pressuredcompanies to reduce overhead expenses, such as traveland real estate, and encouraged worker mobility andother remote work options. When asked to assess thelasting impacts of the recession, four out of ve organi-zations reported an anticipated increase in remotecollaboration and continued reduction in businesstravel while over sixty percent reported replacingassigned one-to-one workplace seats with AW.
NewWOW Summary
Alternative WorkplaceBenchmark Study
EXPANDING WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY
Respondents reported using a variety of workplaces. These included osite locations such as home-basedworkplaces (89%); on-site exible or unassigned drop-in spaces (82%); noncompany oces such as clientsites (37%); and satellite oces (drop-in spaces on the employee side of the commute) (35%).
PROGRAM LENGTHIMPACTS OF THE RECESSION
©2010 by the New Ways of Working, LLC. This publication may not be copied or transmitted in whole or part, in any form by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the written permission of the New Ways of Working

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