Almost 62% of the global working population take advantage of flexible working practices, including 91% of people surveyed from in India. According to a survey conducted by Polycom Inc, also found out that, 91% of the surveyed people believe that video collaboration technology helps improve relationships and fosters better teamwork. And HR departments within India should provide more support to flexible workers according to almost 63% of respondents.
The Study by Polycom, Inc explored the future of work and the impact technology on both employee behaviour and workplace culture. It challenges the notion of going to work as we know it with two-thirds (62%) of the global population are quite literally working from anywhere. Capturing insights from more than 25,000 of today’s working population including over 2,100 from India, millennials to baby boomers and more, the findings show that despite generational differences, in some cases, age really is just a number. The survey found three major flexible working trends that were commonly shared across the 12 countries:
- Being able to work from anywhere is believed to boost performance with 98% of all respondents, believing that anywhere working has a positive impact on productivity
- Almost two thirds (62%) of the global working population are currently taking advantage of flexible working practices
- Findings also showed that 91% of respondents believe video collaboration helps improve workplace relationships and teamwork
These results suggest that flexible workplace success is about providing the right environment that allows individuals and teams to work together productively to deliver great results.
Minhaj Zia, Managing Director, Polycom India, SAARC and South East Asia explains, “With the build of high speed broadband networks across Asia Pacific and increased 4G and 3G penetration in India, technology can now give people the freedom to work the way they want and deliver location liberation. Regardless of whether you are working in India or China, the findings show that today’s multi-generational workforce has the same expectations when it comes to working from anywhere – they want the ability to work and collaborate in a very human way that gets the job done and employers need to provide flexible working policies to attract and retain their best talent.”
Millennials Concerned About Being Recognised as Hard-Working, while Remote Based Workers Use Video Technology to Stay Socially Connected
Surprisingly, it was technology-savvy millennials who were most concerned about the correlation between being physically present at work and being recognised as getting the job done. Approximately 62% of the world’s millennials (18-30 year olds) were concerned that they would not be perceived as hard-working if they were not in the office. Findings also showed that having face time with colleagues over video helped maintain important social interaction that can sometimes be lacking for remote-based workers. An overwhelming 91% of global respondents said video collaboration helped them get to know their co-workers better.
Understanding Flexible Working Habits in Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific (APAC), more than 10,000 respondents participated from five countries: India, Australia, China, Japan and Singapore. Findings showed that almost 60% of workers in India, Australia, and Singapore are working flexibly on a frequent basis. In China, 85% of people surveyed said their company offered flexible working arrangements with 87% stating they work with a colleague located in a different office. Japan was the only country that deviates from the global anywhere working trend, with only 35% of respondents having flexible working available.
A Closer Look at India
Respondents in India called for increased support for flexible workers. Despite a huge number of companies (91%) in India offering flexible working arrangements, 63% believed that clear HR policies and guidelines were necessary to ensure everyone enjoys the benefits responsibly and fairly.
The results have fortunately shown that distance isn’t a true barrier to working with colleagues based in a different location. Video collaboration is the way forward in India – a vast majority (91%) of those surveyed used video technologies to stay in touch.
“It’s clear that employees want more flexibility in their workplace and while it needs to be managed, it does provide a competitive advantage when recruiting talent. When delivered in the right way, flexible working practices can improve both employee productivity and wellbeing. However, more needs to be done to ensure HR catches up with technology and policy guidelines, to ensure flexible working benefits can be beneficial to all,” said Minhaj.
“With more Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities coming online rapidly, an increasing number of people now have access to collaboration solutions and video technology. This improved connectivity helps organisations to recruit the best talent for jobs without location ever becoming a limitation.”
Findings further revealed the significant impact that technology is having on anywhere working:
- A majority (97%) of APAC respondents believed collaboration technologies were important in bringing colleagues closer together, to build relationships and overcome flexible working challenges. Perhaps understandable given the diverse cultural and language differences within Asia Pacific.
- It was a similar story in India, where 98% recognised video technology as a core element of building relationships and improving productivity. Not surprising, given 86% of working population have a colleague based in a different location.
- More than half (51%) said they use video multiple times a day to collaborate for work purposes.
Commenting on the growth in flexible working within Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan research analyst Zi Ning Chong said, “Across the region, governments and businesses are creating disruptive change to remain competitive in the digital era. The adoption of modern and flexible work styles is important in current working environment. Transformational technologies like video collaboration are changing the way we work and live, impacting everything from workspace design, to workflow and office culture. The growth in flexible working and geographically distributed workforces mean that businesses will need to find ways to empower employees with vastly different experiences and relationships with technology, ensuring they can collaborate effectively to drive the productivity.”