Today, Cisco released the findings of its Connected World Report, a global research effort that assesses the expectations, demands, and behavior of employees around the world as lines between work and personal life continue to blur and new technologies make it possible to access information from anywhere at any time. The study will be presented today by Cisco executives during a live Internet TV broadcast from 8:00-9:00 a.m. PDT. To view the broadcast, click here just before show time. Also, check out my video with Dave Evans, futurist and chief technologist of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, discussing key findings from the report.
The report, which involved 2,600 workers and IT professionals from a variety of industries in 13 countries, revealed some pretty significant findings. One of the most interesting is employees’ increasing desire to be mobile and flexible in their work life. For example, the study found that if given the choice, two of three workers would choose job offers that were lower-paying but had leniency in accessing work information outside the office than higher-paying offers with inflexible information access. The study also found that when employees were granted mobility and leniency in accessing information outside the office, most tended to work more – up to three hours more a day.
Other key findings from the Cisco Connected World Report:
Can Businesses Meet Employee Needs?
- Almost half of the IT respondents (45 percent) said they are not prepared policy- and technology-wise to support a more borderless, mobile workforce. Not surprisingly, security was the top concern.
- Although many of the IT respondents felt security (57 percent), budget (34 percent), and staff expertise (17 percent) were the biggest barriers to enabling a more distributed workforce, employees often felt IT and corporate policies were the obstacles.
Employee Behavior Indicates Education, Corporate Policies as Important as Technology
- As workforces become more distributed, the potential for data loss increases. One of four IT respondents (26 percent) said one-fourth of the devices issued to employees in the past 12 months had already been lost or stolen.
- As workforces become increasingly mobile, security and risk management concerns inevitably grow. The findings indicate the real need for better corporate policies, end-user education, and stronger, trusted relationships between employees and IT departments. How well IT brokers these relationships impacts a company’s growth, productivity, competitive advantage, as well as its risk management.
By all accounts, the findings indicate that it makes a whole lot of business sense to offer your employees the flexibility and mobility they desire. But what if you aren’t prepared? Well, get prepared. Through employee education, corporate policy and technology, companies can enable their workers to be more mobile, more productive and more secure. As John Chambers put it, “deal with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it was.” With 14 billion mobile devices connected to the internet today and no slowdown in sight, it’s your call.