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Reports & Presentations: The Virtual Workplace: The Around-The-Clock Worker | Kelly Services

virtualThe digitization of work has accelerated, contributing to what will become an increasingly virtual workplace.

The trend toward a virtual workplace is speared by the growing numbers of workers’ spending more time in the field, interacting with customers, business partners, and collaborators and spending less time in traditional offices.

Growing numbers of firms in high-tech or other industries are moving in the virtual direction as their employees become part of highly distributed, virtual teams, with members anywhere in the world, needing to meet and collaborate irrespective of place and time.

Virtual workplaces also enable temporary or part-time workers meet other project-team members and to come up to speed quickly and easily by accessing, perhaps from their home offices, virtual project rooms where they can find all the project information.

As organizations seek new ways to reduce costs—including costs of office space and physical facilities—and increase productivity and efficiency and at the same time perhaps improve their “green image” (by reducing unnecessary travel because teams can meet virtually), the move toward the virtual workplace will hold its pace despite some latest moves to get employees back in offices.

The Around-The-Clock Worker.

azaMobile technologies are transforming the workplace and are helping to lift productivity and efficiency, but these technologies are also contributing to increased fatigue and burnout among workers who are putting a lot of the pressure on themselves.

Employees everywhere are feeling the pressure to stay connected with their work in a world where technology is pervasive.

The uptake of mobile technologies has transformed workplaces and the way that employees interact with their work.

This report explores the pressures faced by employees to stay connected to their work outside normal working hours. It examines both the benefits and the downsides of this technology as well as the impacts on productivity, work-life balance and job security.

It shows that the impacts have been largely positive, and that while productivity and efficiency can be enhanced, the intrusion into employee downtime can contribute to fatigue and burnout if not carefully managed.

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The findings are part of the latest survey results from the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI), that examines the rise of the highly virtual workforce, characterized by widespread access to mobile technologies, and the impact on workplace productivity, work-life balance and job security.

KGWI5The Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) brings together the findings from almost 170,000 respondents from 30 countries, including over 4,400 in the UK and Ireland. It shows the results of diverse forces impacting the contemporary workplace, including generational and geographic diversity, technology, employee empowerment, and the widespread use of social media.

It looks at the emergence of the highly virtual workforce, characterised by employees that are connected to their workplace around the clock by virtue of mobile technologies.

The advent of smartphone’s and laptops, and 24/7 access to corporate IT networks has empowered a generation of workers for whom the office is always in their pocket. Not so long ago, it was predicted that technological advances would give us all more leisure time. In hindsight, that seems quaintly naïve. As this study shows, most are juggling the competing pressures between work and leisure, but outcomes vary markedly across countries and generations.

 

 More than a quarter of employees (27 percent), globally, say that they feel pressured to stay connected with work outside of normal work hours, through email, smartphones and other online platforms. More than half (53 percent) say that staying “connected” has increased their productivity, while work-life balance has also largely improved, but concerns about job security and burnout are being felt by a significant number of respondents. Nearly a quarter of workers (23 percent) report spending no time “connected” to the workplace during their off hours. Almost half (49 percent) report spending up to five hours each week, another 27 percent spend more than six hours per week, with many revealing they spend more than 10 hours per week connected to work during their off hours.
The blurring of the line between work and leisure is occurring across all generations but is most pronounced for Gen Y and Gen X employees and those with a professional and technical background. These workers feel the greatest pressure to maintain contact with their work, even during their downtime. Asked to identify the main pressures for staying connected with work, the largest share (36 percent) said they were placing the pressure on themselves. Other sources of pressure were coming from employers, identified by 26 percent, “industry culture” (15 percent), customers and clients (14 percent), and other employees (5 percent).
The results also show: — Workers in APAC feel the most pressure to stay “connected” to their work outside of normal work hours, with 35 percent feeling compelled to stay in touch, compared with 28 percent in EMEA and 21 percent in the Americas. — The most significant increase in workplace productivity occurred in APAC, with 62 percent experiencing gains, compared with 50 percent in both EMEA and the Americas. — Almost one-third (32 percent) say that the use of mobile technologies has contributed to fatigue or burnout. — Only 29 percent say that the online technologies have improved their job security. — 60 percent would consider telecommuting — working mainly from home or away from the office — if that were offered.
Advance Your Science Career in the Virtual Workplace ImageAs the pressure to compete globally increases, leaders within the sector are being forced to think globally – and this means more deeply embracing the trends of working across time-zones, being present in professional social media, and learning to collaborate more effectively.
 Explore some of the ways that science professionals can do this, and how they can build and grow their careers in the process.

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Find out more about | THE VIRTUAL SCIENTIFIC WORKPLACE

The days of the insular workplace may be approaching their end …. the large community of highly skilled “free.

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The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Visit www.kellyservices.com to review findings on the current topic. About Kelly Services Kelly Services, Inc. is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly(R) offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe.

About Dr. Ev D'aMigo; PhD

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