Virtual Office Environment to Continue

Feb 14, 2016

We here at Frost & Sullivan are prepping our 2016 survey of IT decision makers, an annual study in which we ask respondents about their current usage of and future plans for enterprise communications. The questionnaire covers a wide range of technology, including UCC (conferencing, telephony, IM, and collaboration), social media, and mobility.

We also ask participants about the nature of their workforce, looking at the percentages of employees who regularly work out of a headquarters or satellite location, as well as home offices and offsite (mobile field workers, sales people, and so on).

This year’s results show that the move to the virtual workplace—in which enough employees work in a location that is different from that of the colleagues, managers, and direct reports to create a “virtual” environment for everyone—isn’t slowing down. Indeed, if anything, it is growing.

The number of telecommuters—people who spend all or most of their time working from a home office—is expected to increase by 46 percent of respondents; roughly the same number expect the number of telecommuters at their organizations to stay the same. The number of employees based in a satellite office is also expected to increase by roughly 45 percent of participants, and stay the same at another 50 percent of organizations.

Indeed the area in which we see the biggest expected decrease is in headquarters locations; around 20 percent of respondents expect the number of corporate-office workers to decline over the next three years.

Clearly, having a remote workforce—one heavily dominated by telecommuters, who are primarily working from home—is a boon to most organizations. They’re seeing benefits ranging from more productive employees to better customer satisfaction scores, all because their people can get work done, from anywhere and on almost any device, at the times and places that matter most.

Our survey looks at a lot of the technology that has enabled this shift, and will continue to do so in the future. Keep checking back for more posts on the topic, and look for the survey itself, in its entirety, to be posted to very soon.

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Melanie Turek


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