Digital work takes work

by Adrianna Gregory

Until recently, I thought of mobility and digital work in the context of working from home, the road, or another remote location. But my definition changed when our office recently moved 11 floors down in the same building to an expanded space with—probably no surprise here—an open floor plan.

The new office is great, but its lack of walls frequently pushes us into conference rooms for meetings and work sessions, which means we need every corner of every room outfitted with, well, the things you need to actually get work done—strong wireless signals, ample outlets and laptop chargers, and big screens for presentations. (Soft lighting and a few plants go a long way, too.)

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It has taken us some time to get our offices and equipment up to code for digital work. Maybe that’s why it was no surprise to me that respondents to our recent survey, conducted in collaboration with Citrix, are similarly underprepared. Just 61% of executive respondents say their company has successfully improved connectivity and IT infrastructure for virtual work, and only 35% have made meaningful changes around support for off-site work environments. Worse, most lack an overarching strategy to make these things happen: less than one-quarter of companies are executing a cohesive, integrated mobile strategy.

Our research shows that the surveyed organizations that do have strategies and policies for digital work are seeing the payoff from their efforts: they are more likely to say digital work helps their employees solve problems creatively, provide better customer service, and work together more effectively.

For more results from our survey, read the full report, “Building the Digital Workplace,” and stay tuned for two shorter takes on the subject next week.

Adrianna Gregory is an Assistant Managing Editor at Oxford Economics.