Two-thirds of Australian workers are mobile

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 18 April, 2017

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Two-thirds of Australian employees consider themselves to be mobile workers, spending at least 20% of their time working outside of the office, according to a survey from Microsoft.

But the survey also indicates that only 45% of workers feel empowered by their organisation’s culture and management to work together productively and collaboratively.

A widening skills gap is also a pressing issue, with only 32% of respondents agreeing that their organisation’s leadership is committed to ensuring that all employees are involved in closing the gap.

But on the bright side, the percentage of respondents indicating that they are ready for what Microsoft calls the “new world of work” — whereby organisations have the right people, place and technology principles for a productive, collaborative and innovative workforce — has increased to 48%, from 39% in 2015.

Empowering employees has also emerged as the second most important digital transformation priority among Australian business leaders, and the lack of a digitally skilled workforce was named as one of the main barriers to achieving digital transformation.

Main challenges inhibiting collaboration and productivity include too many face-to-face meetings taking up productive time (24%), the rigidity and inflexibility of current teams (23%) and team members not being accommodating with flexible work schedules (16%).

Respondents believe that technologies capable of enhancing productivity and collaboration include mobile access to information and data (27%), cloud-based productivity tools (25%), real-time intelligence to aid decision-making (25%), artificial intelligence (25%) and instant messaging or document sharing (24%).

“As Australia primes itself to become the most connected market with more than half of all mobile connections originating from the region by 2021, organisations need to rethink how they empower their workforce with the right culture, policy, infrastructure and tools to maximise their potential,” commented Sharon Schoenborn, director of Microsoft Australia’s Office Business Group.

“This means enabling collaboration from anywhere, on any device. However, it is also critical for business leaders to evaluate and implement changes to counter cultural and management challenges that are hindering employees to work seamlessly from wherever they are, which will, in turn, hinder an organisation’s growth and progress in the digital age.”

Image courtesy of David P Brown under CC

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