Businesses in the UK are ahead of the pack when it comes to encouraging staff to take up flexible working and mobile working options (68%) compared to just 32% in Germany and 26% in France.
This is according to a new survey by Citrix online, a technology provider. Their findings show that whilst the momentum towards greater flexible working in enabling a more effective workforce was common to all organisations across all three geographies, the pace of change varied.
Overall 35% of companies have adopted more mobile working habits in the past five years.
Commenting Andrew Millard, director marketing, eCommerce EMEA, for Citrix said: “Though the rate of change differs in each country, there is a general move among employers towards more virtual workstyles, a practice Citrix Online calls workshifting. For example, 42% of companies are actively encouraging their staff in adopting more mobile or virtual working across all parts of their organisation.”
Only 42% of respondents overall still believe they need to be in the office and interact with colleagues face-to-face all the time to get things done (including only 18% of UK companies, compared to 56% and 51% of German and French companies respectively). Overall, 21% say they can be as productive when working remotely and for a further 11% this flexibility is now embedded in their working practices. Only 13% now actively discourage mobile/remote working.
Technology is the key to mobile and flexible working, finds the survey, with more than two-thirds (70%) already seeing access to devices and applications that enable mobility as important to productivity, with a further 11% confirming that this is not important now but will become more important.
More than half (57%) of respondents confirmed that their organisation provided technology to enable virtual working, with mobile computing devices such as laptops or Notebooks the most popular (used by 57%), followed by smartphones (28%).
Web conferencing is also growing, according to the research. For 24% of respondents, more than one half of face-to-face meetings could be held online and be just as effective, with only 45% still believing that physical co-location remains essential in every case.
To enable online meetings, 23% of organisations have already put in place web conferencing solutions to improve productivity and cut travel costs. And here, French companies are significantly ahead in adopting tools to facilitate remote meetings, with 30% using web conferencing software, compared to 21% in Germany and 17% in the UK.