The majority of workers claim that it is now possible to throw off the shackles of the office as the UK workforce opts for a remote approach. 60 Per cent of workers think being in the office is no longer necessary in order to be productive and efficient.

Cisco has announced the results of its Connected World Report 2010. Questioning 1,303 people and 1,309 IT decision makers across 13 countries of the world about their attitudes to technology in the workplace, how it changes their lives and how prepared IT departments were to support their wishes, the study highlights how importantly employees view mobility and flexibility in their work, as 64 per cent globally (78% in the UK) said that they saw the ability to work remotely as a right, not a privilege.

Workers’ desire to be mobile and flexible in accessing corporate information is so strong that the same percentage of workers would choose jobs that were lower-paying but had leniency in accessing information outside of the office over higher salaried jobs that lacked flexibility.

Key Findings include:

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 is 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. This perception among employees was extremely prevalent in India, where more than half (58 percent) felt IT was the obstacle to a more flexible work style.
Employee Behaviour Indicates Education, Corporate Policies as Important as Technology
• About one in five (19 percent) employees globally said they have noticed strangers looking at their computer screens in public, while an additional 19 percent admitted that they never think to check their surroundings.
• Nearly one in five (17 percent) employees admitted leaving devices unattended in public.
• Almost three of every five employees globally (58 percent) admitted that they have allowed non-employees to use their corporate devices unsupervised.
• 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.