KUALA LUMPUR: Industry researcher IDC predicts the global mobile worker population will grow to 1.19 billion — or nearly 35% of the worldwide workforce — by 2013.
In another survey — polling 5,500 business technology end-users — by Forrester, 34% of the respondents reported telecommunicating from anywhere other than their office.
Yes, “workshifting”— the ability to move work to a more optimal place, be it an office, home or a coffeeshop — is becoming the way of life for today’s tech-savvy worker, according to Yaj Malik, area vice-president for Asean at Citrix Systems Inc.
Enabled by technologies such as desktop virtualisation, workshifting gives employees on-demand access to their work on the move or at a location of their choice, any time of the day.
This concept applies to shifting workloads and processes to more optimal people or locations as well. Meetings can now be moved from the conference room to the Web, and organisations can support real-time collaboration between dispersed co-workers or overseas customers and partners.
To make this happen, Malik said, organisations need to change the way they think of business and information technology. They also need a comprehensive workshifting policy.
A good workshifting policy can aid recruitment, as well as improve employee productivity and satisfaction, which in turn translates to better workforce retention.
It can also support diversity by making it possible to recruit the best talent globally, he said.
As part of its workshifting policy, organisations can incorporate a Bring Your Own Mobile Device (BYOD) policy that allows employees to bring their own device to work and use it interchangeably and securely for work and personal tasks.
The ability to work from anywhere and on any device can make a huge difference to both individual and organisational productivity.
Organisations benefit from reduced hardware and operating costs, while employees enjoy the benefit of more flexible work arrangements and the ability to work on their own terms.
Without the stress of the daily commute or 9-to-5 timelines at the back of their minds, employees are better able to give their full attention to their work, according to Malik.
With an aging workforce, a more savvy generation of workers calling for more autonomy in their devices, and with the Malaysian Government pushing for more productivity-driven growth, embracing a workshifting model will be a competitive differentiator and is essential for enterprise success.
Citrix Systems, based in Florida, offers server and desktop virtualisation services, as well as software-as-a-service and cloud-computing technologies. It is a partner with more than 10,000 companies in 100-plus countries.