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21st Century Workplace Visions Being Held Back By 20th Century Technologies and Habits
Foster City, CA – February 14, 2017: TECHnalysis Research, a technology market research and consulting firm, released a new study today which showed that the vision of a modern workplace adapting to the needs of a young workforce with different types of workstyles is still more concept than reality in most work environments. Despite the availability of more advanced communications and collaboration capabilities, email and phone calls are still the dominant means of interacting with both co-workers and outside contacts, even among younger workers.
“As most people would expect, the survey results highlighted some important variances in workstyles among different aged workers,” noted TECHnalysis Research President Bob O’Donnell, “but the differences weren’t as large as many might think. All workers under 45 still primarily used email and phone calls for their business interactions, along with texting. In fact, the 18-24-year old ‘millennial’ group used phone calls with co-workers more than those in the 25-44 age groups and at a level equal to those likely from their parents’ age group (45-54).”
The study includes the results from a recently completed survey of 1,001 US adults aged 18-74 working at medium (100-999 employees) and large (1,000+ employees) companies across a wide range of industries. Survey results show that fewer than 30% of companies have adopted modern workplace tools and concepts, such as real-time collaboration software and hardware tools, open air workspaces, persistent chat software, and more. The companies that have started to use these kinds of tools, however, have found satisfaction and quality ratings among employees that are as much as 180% higher than for traditional tools like basic audio and videoconferencing.
Another key finding from the study is employees’ expectations for physical workplaces. While much attention has been focused on open-air alternative workspaces in the office, as well as offsite locations, such as WeWork, the place that people really want to work is at home. When comparing how employees currently split their work time vs. how they expect it will be in two years, there was approximately a 2-hour drop in time spent in an office or cubicle and a corresponding 2-hour increase in time spent working at home on an overall average. For those in the common child-rearing 35-44 age group, the time spent working at home is expected to increase nearly 3 hours, bringing their work-at-home time to more than 8 hours per week.
Figure 1 shows a breakdown of the overall average of weekly work hours at current work sites vs. expected work sites in two years.
“When asked to highlight the most important workplace-related benefits, the number one answer was work time flexibility, even above modern devices and workplace flexibility,” commented O’Donnell. “Combine that with the potentially negative impact that the noise and distractions from open air workspaces can have, and it makes sense why people want to increase their work-at-home time by nearly150%.”
Other topics included in the study addressed devices and operating systems used in the workplace, company policies towards work time and workspace flexibility, conference room services, security policies and more. For instance, one of the many findings showed that large companies were slightly less supportive and more prohibitive of work time, workspace and, particularly, personal device usage, than medium-sized organizations.
A summary version of the Workplace of the Future Study is available in PDF format and can be downloaded for free here. The complete 98-slide version of the report with detailed breakdowns for every question is available for purchase. For additional information, please e-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded by technology market research veteran Bob O’Donnell, TECHnalysis Research, LLC provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. Building on a deep understanding of critical technology and business trends, in conjunction with hard-hitting, original research, the firm provides unique "out-of-the-box" perspectives that are still grounded in the practical realities of the technology, media and telecom markets.
You can download a copy of this press release in Adobe Acrobat format here.