According to a recent report mobile working is on the slide, as employees shun the flexible working lifestyle pushed as a channel moneyspinner by so many vendors, and choose to stay in the office.
This is because in the current period of economic uncertainty, many staff, particularly junior staff, feel it would be better if they were actually seen in the office rather than just a remote presence. For the vast majority of respondents to a survey by Microsoft, remote working is still seen as a senior level employee perk.
However, over a quarter of those questioned by Microsoft said they would leave a job in six months if it did not offer remote working.
This research is very interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly the channel is relying on the uptake of mobile solutions as a guaranteed revenue stream, particularly in the SME space. Secondly, for many firms that have employees working off site ie estate agents, surveyors etc - being able to connect to the office remotely is a vital part of their working day.
Flexible working is an interesting, yet at the same time potentially dangerous situation. It is unfair to allow one person to work remotely on a regular basis, but to deny the other employees the same benefit. However a firm cannot have all its staff out the office all the time because it leaves no-one at the back end to deal with customer queries.
Bring people with children into the equation and it gets a whole lot trickier to deny them the choice of working from home at certain times.
I think in today's working environment it is pretty much impossible to implement a blanket strategy on all employees - the nature of the modern day workforce is just far too diverse. It is just a case of trying to strike a happy medium.
From a personal point of view, mobile working is not a pleasant experience at the moment - if you looked at the size and weight of my laptop you would understand why. I think actually it would be easier for me to carry a breezeblock around with me than my current laptop. Hence I too prefer to stay in the office.
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