“According to recent research by TechTarget, about 30% of UK IT departments are incorporating smartphone and tablet initiatives into their 2012 IT strategies as workers increasingly use the devices for work purposes.

The research, which surveyed over 2,500 IT workers worldwide, shows that many organisations are acting now to capitalise on the benefits a flexible working environment brings, such as increased employee productivity, improved agility, reduced operational costs and increased employee satisfaction, which enables businesses to attract and retain the best talent.

This is positive news considering Canalys’ recent announcement that smartphone sales in 2011 outsold PCs for the first time, with smartphone shipments rising by 63 per cent compared to only a 15 per cent rise for PCs. Furthermore, this is despite an increase of 274 per cent of sales in the tablet PC sub category, which suggests adoption of portable devices in the workplace will increase in the years to come.

It’s also good to see businesses taking the initiative when it comes to implementing an efficient flexible working environment, such as a bring your own device (BYOD) programme. For example, while an effective BYOD programme will bring many benefits, organisations must ensure they are delivering a secure platform that can be accessed via a number of devices, and by implementing the preventative measures now, organisations should avoid facing bigger problems further down the line.

At Plantronics we’ve taken steps to encourage our workforce to embrace a flexible working environment. We’ve established a smarter working office, flexible work practices and have equipped 95 per cent of our staff with flexible working technology. While many businesses like our own are taking the appropriate steps to deliver flexible working programmes, there are still many who have not; and considering the increase in the use of tablets and smartphones in the coming years, their decision not to deliver a flexible working environment could impact their ability maximise the efficiency, agility and happiness of their workforce.”

Philip Vanhoutte, Managing Director, EMEA