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What do we mean by “the Future of Work?”

The future of work encapsulates how work is changing over the next five to ten years. Advances in technology, machine learning, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence coupled with the growing diversity of views and expectations across the workforce are at the heart of the shift.

At Fuze, we see ourselves as part of this much larger movement that is connecting the digital workforce. Technology is generating significant opportunities for people and companies alike. Employees are demanding consumer-like experiences to match technology in their personal lives, with greater flexibility on where and how they work. Work is personal and employees want the opportunity to choose their workstyles, schedules, and tools.

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The future of work is creating an increasingly complex environment for business leaders across the globe. They must balance the demands of the incoming workforce with those of more experienced employees and navigate the obstacles of operational responsibilities, modest budgets, and rising expectations of customers and employees.

Our Research on the Future of Work

We surveyed nearly 10,000 current workers, IT leaders, and members of the incoming workforce to understand the broader trends that are impacting the workplace, technology, communications, collaboration, and productivity.

Fuze - Future of Work
  • of workers do not believe they need to be in an office to be productive

  • believe they would be more productive working from home

  • of those surveyed ages 16-44 want to be more mobile at work

  • use smartphones for work daily

  • use tablet minimum 3x/week

The CIO’s Perspective

Fuze CIO Outlook FINAL

As part of our broader research on the future of work, we spoke with more than 200 CIOs from around the globe. We learned what was on the minds of CIOs and what was keeping them up at night

Watch the video to get an overview of the research or read the report here >

Connecting the Digital Workforce

Business Disruption

Shadow IT

91%

of CIOs feel pressured to cut IT department costs

46%

of CIOs think shadow IT is weakening security

83%

of IT leaders say hesitency to retire legacy apps is due to business processes they represent

48%

of the apps workers use are not provided by IT

44%

of CIOs say security concerns are stopping them from adopting new technologies that employees want

49%

of IT leaders want to reduce the number of applications in their company

As business leaders figure out how to connect the digital workforce, they are facing pressures on both sides. On one side, the pressure of disrupting the business is barrelling down on CIOs and on the other, they must consider what could happen if workers are left to their own devices, allowing shadow IT to flourish.

Understanding the Changing Demographics and Preferences

Nearly half of the workforce today is comprised of millennials. What’s more, 2.5 billion millennials will be in the workforce by 2020. In part, this influx is changing the way work gets done. According to our research, 77 percent of current workers believe that young people will help refresh approaches to technology. Already we are seeing the trend towards what is familiar. 40 percent of current workers use their smartphones at work on a daily basis. Teens 15-18 also named their personal smartphones as the #1 device they’ll use at work.

Building a Culture to Support Remote Work

Research is showing that the remote work trend cannot be stopped. In our own study, Breaking Barriers 2020, 83 percent of workers said they don’t need to be in an office to be productive. What’s more, a Gallup poll that found 43 percent of Americans did some or all of their work from home in 2016, up from 39 percent in 2012. We predict that remote work will continue to be a part of the future of work. In order for companies to continue attracting and retaining top talent, they must have flexible work policies.

But how can organizations successfully implement remote work policies? These three principles are critical to keep in mind.

1.

Motivation

Companies must hire the right people for the job if planning to go HQ-free: self-starters are essential. Sometimes, that can be an arduous process, but getting talent right is a big part of the equation for embracing new models of work. But it doesn’t end there: to keep remote workers motivated, clear expectations must be set by the company to allow them to continue to march toward a shared goal. Once this foundation has been laid, an individual can, as the article states, “choose their own adventure.” When performance and incentives are tied to goals created by individual employees (“determining the right floor and not restricting the ceiling”), remote workers have stronger buy-in and clear objectives drive outcomes. This degree of autonomy helps reinforce the benefit of remote work. This brings us to the next principle

2.

Freedom

Remote work is attractive because it provides the freedom for work to fit into other aspects of life. Inside and outside of the office, companies who embrace remote work policies must also sign on to a workplace culture that encourages investments in other areas. Take the kids to practice, train for a marathon, have an extended lunch – and get your work done around those other responsibilities and interests. Celebrate this schedule fluidity: it’s what makes remote work so appealing for many job candidates today.

3.

Access

While remote work is all about choice, not everything can or should be up to individual employees. Having no physical office space requires a belief in decentralization of resources, but certain structural elements are needed for business to run smoothly. And, while consultants do a great deal of individual work, communication is essential. Consider creating a standard IT package to bind your remote teams together. Technology provides the access to one another across geographic distance while also providing the means to help workers realize all the perks of remote work without feeling disconnected. When technology systems support rather than contradict the freedoms associated with this benefit, more can get done on employees’ terms: wherever and whenever.

Nearly

50%

of workers – across all generations – agree they would “like to be more mobile at work.” This figure swells to 70 percent between the ages of 16 and 44.

The workplace is changing, and with this we need to change the way we communicate.

With the right technology, the world can be your office, but there are a few critical steps.

For more information, view our infographic on how remote work is redefining the office.

View our infographic

See How our Customers are Driving a Digital Workforce Transformation

  • “It was clear from our first conversation that Fuze was committed to understanding the needs of our business and how our employees like to work. The result is a communications approach that is an ideal fit for our workforce and the partners and suppliers we engage with on a frequent basis.”

  • “Over the years our IT system has evolved organically, creating a complex environment for both our employees and our IT team. We wanted to bring our organization’s technology up to date, with modern tools and applications that have a flexible look and feel to appeal to all our employees.”

  • “On the heels of enhancing our customer/partner self-service experiences, we felt the time was right to invest in a best-in-class communications and collaboration platform for our teams to improve their individual efficiencies and our overall organizational processes. The result is a superior engagement experience for partners and customers.”

Making Communications and Collaboration part of the new Work Experience

The Future of UCC: Making Communication and Collaboration Part of the New Work Experience with Jim Lundy of Aragon Research

To succeed, modern enterprises must focus on a holistic approach to real-time collaboration. In this video from Aragon Research, learn about how to streamline the workplace with a unified approach to voice, video, and messaging.

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