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The Future is Flexible: Equip Workers for the Revolution

Guest Blog by Nichole Izzo, Head of Marketing North West Europe, Logitech

The Future is Flexible: Equip Workers for the Revolution

The concept of ‘flexible working’ has grown in popularity over recent years, with more people working from home, working part-time or freelancing. In fact, recent data reveals that nearly half of workers today consider being able to have a good work-life balance as one of their top priorities when choosing a job.

As we look towards the future, flexible working is set to become even more popular, with 50% of UK workers expected to work remotely by 2020. This shift in modern working has even been recognised by the UK Government, with a proposed bill which stipulates that flexible working should be offered by default by all businesses. If approved, it will have a significant impact on how UK businesses manage their workforce and how they use office space.

This, in turn, will drive a significant shift in how we communicate and collaborate in order to continue to work productively. Here are some of the changes that UK businesses will have to consider to prepare for the mainstream adoption of flexible working.

A new approach to office design

Nichole Izzo

Nichole Izzo

According to research from Gensler, individual workstations are only occupied 55% of the time at the average workplace. As more businesses embrace flexible working, there will be a stronger need to rethink how organisations use office space to accommodate the needs of their increasingly dispersed workforce.

Companies could, for example, fit out an office with movable walls and pop-up meeting rooms. This means that when needed, dividers can be put up to create private spaces for meetings, both in-person and through video calls, but the rest of the time and more communal space is maintained, with break out areas and hot-desking policies designed to facilitate flexible work styles and encourage collaboration. These break-out areas should also be equipped with portable, easy to use video conferencing solutions and appropriate desktop peripherals such as headphones that can cancel out distracting noises.

Additionally, large, corporate meeting rooms are likely to become less popular, so they could be replaced with smaller, video-enabled huddle rooms designed for calls with remote workers. These spaces will need more specialised cameras that offer a wide field of view and integrated audio, allowing everyone to be seen and heard in a way which can replicate the informal style of collaboration within the office.

Facilitating collaboration across remote teams

As more employees begin to work remotely, teams will become increasingly disparate and there is a risk that the ability and inclination to communicate regularly and effectively could be lost. To combat this, businesses must empower remote workers to be productive and communicate easily with on-site employees when outside of the office.

Investing in desktop peripherals with a portable set-up which are designed for those who work on-the go or travel frequently can offer the same accessibility and ease of use as a desk and computer. For example, a tablet can become a portable laptop when paired with a detachable keyboard, and provide a light and compact workstation which enhances productivity no matter where you work.

For those who have a permanent working from home set-up, such as those who freelance or are self-employed, a fixed setting with a monitor, webcam, docking station and reliable WiFi is a strong foundation for productive working. Ergonomic and customisable keyboards and computer mice can also ensure that home workers are comfortable and are able to perform tasks such as scrolling through large amounts of data or more technical skills by customising buttons for maximum efficiency.

Those who work from the office must also be supported with high-quality collaboration tools, such as video conferencing systems that offer ease of use and excellent video quality. For instance, a system that has one-touch calling and requires minimal set-up will be able to deliver more productive video meetings as no one will have to worry about technical glitches or unexpected delays at the start of the calls.

Regardless of whether the proposed flexible working bill will be approved or not, the demand for flexible working in the UK is going to increase significantly in the coming years, so businesses will have to manage an increasingly dispersed workforce. Maximising the use of office space and providing appropriate video collaboration tools and desktop peripherals will be key to empowering this flexible workforce and boosting productivity.


Guest Blog by Nichole Izzo, Head of Marketing North West Europe, Logitech

A Swiss company focused on innovation and quality, Logitech designs products and experiences that have an everyday place in people’s lives. Founded in 1981 in Lausanne, Switzerland, and quickly expanding to the Silicon Valley, Logitech started connecting people through innovative computer peripherals and many industry firsts, including the infrared cordless mouse, the thumb-operated trackball, the laser mouse, and more. Since those early days, we have expanded both our expertise in product design and our global reach. For each of our products, we focus on how our customers connect and interact with the digital world. We keep design at the center of everything we create, in every team and every discipline, to create truly unique and meaningful experiences.

 

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