Dell Technologies and VMware have unveiled the findings from a survey, the results of which are published in the IDC Executive Summary, Becoming “ Future of Work” Ready: Follow the Leaders, sponsored by Dell Technologies and VMWare. The study is focused on the adoption of the latest technological innovations in European businesses. The results reveal that only 29%
of European organisations have successfully established a Future of Work strategy - a holistic and integrated approach to empower a company and its workers with the latest innovations and concepts.
The study surveyed full-time employees from small, medium and large businesses across the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. In the businesses identified as “Future of Work determined organisations” (FDOs – companies that have established a Future of Work strategy), the top initiative currently underway (50%) is the implementation of training programs to bring employees up to speed with the latest digital skill requirements. Almost half of FDOs consider employee productivity as a critical driver in the transformation of their workplace.
However, driving the workplace of the future isn’t just the improvement of digital skills but also the working environment itself. 46% agreed that redesigning the office space for smarter working is an integral programme presently taking place, and France is leading the way with well over half of organisations in the country driving renovations.
Working styles have continued to evolve, and European FDOs have acknowledged this and are adapting. 48% of European businesses have created security policiesthat benefit contemporary working styles such as flexible and remote working. The UK is leading the chargewith two-thirds of Britain-based companies demonstrating a strong resolve to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the European workforce.
“There are great examples of companies who have adopted a holistic approach to the Future of Work and their success highlights the importance of this approach to today’s workforce. More European companies need to consider this enterprise-wide strategy,” says Therese Cooney, Senior Vice President, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies. “The future workplace shouldn’t be created to solely fit the needs of the company, but also the people who drive it. We need to equip employees with the right digital skills, technology and security safeguards in an environment which helps them grow and succeed with improved collaboration, productivity and flexibility.”
“Prospective employees today are more selective than ever when it comes to deciding where they want to work, which means companies need to transform their workplaces to attract, retain and empower top talent,” says Kristine Dahl Steidel, Vice President, End User Computing, VMware EMEA. “Employees are at the heart of the digital transformation that is changing the future of work and companies that provide an employee experience that boosts flexibility, mobility and productivity are managing to increase their performance and overall success.”
- Security has been a principal focus for European businesses due to legislations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Overall, over a third of companiesagreed security privacy and governance were the biggest challenges to workplace innovations. Also, redundant IT systems have been found to affect the integration of new technologies (30%). Investing in new technologies may seem daunting at first; however, with ineffective solutions, the security risk increases which can inevitably lead to a breach of your company and customer data.
- The current generational divide is a contributing factor to the Europe-wide delay in realising the future workplace. European companies were found to be comprised of 38% Gen Y, 35% Gen X and 7% Gen Z. Due to this mix, intergenerational conflicts and multigenerational work expectations (29%) are one of the most common factors affecting adoption rates. Companies could overcome the generational struggles by determining within their business the root causes of these issues, be it a lack of training or fears of the unknown.
- Intelligent technologies automate tasks and are enabling workers to maximise their potential. FDOs have understood this with over half that have implemented smart digital assistants, and almost a quarter are using or plan to use AI enabled back-office functions. While these technologies may mean workers will need reskilling, these training services can be conducted through online tools on various mediums (mobile, video, etc.) or even through peer to peer interactions.
- For the workplace to evolve, FDOs have recognised the need for dedicated resources to spearhead the overall development within their businesses. A quarter of FDOs have implemented a company-wide transformation budget to ensure their respective company is on the right track. However, over a quarter of companies are using funding provided by their IT department.
While this isn’t a detrimental issue, companies should still keep in mind that digital transformation shouldn’t run the risk of being left on the wayside but instead be built into their overall business plans for success.
- Flexible working arrangements are the cornerstone for many modern workers - they provide the much-needed work / life balance through technological innovation. Only 2% of European employees have found that their organisations expect no benefits in flexible working compared to the 57% who say they’re wanting to improve productivity and 56% wanting workers to feel satisfied. Companies should consider implementing these work / life balance schemes to not only improve their workers’ overall happiness but to increase retention since 46% expect that it is one of the top benefits.
- Further to this, we’ll be seeing FDOs instigating and continuing technological upgrades for their employees to ensure that they can work in a way that’s beneficial to them. Cloud-based platforms (54%),mobile security software 49% and mobile access to tools (39%) are vital initiatives to foster employee productivity according to FDOs.
The numerous positive benefits surrounding cloud-based platforms can help simplify device management and the level of scalability for an evolving business.