The born-mobile and always-connected generation is challenging traditional business operations, transforming the workplace with their lifestyles and preferences
SINGAPORE, 1 March 2013 - VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced the results of the VMware New Way of Life 2013 study, which found that the use of personal technology is eliminating the boundary between separate work lives and personal-lives. However, those surveyed are reportedly happier and more efficient at work, particularly when they are able to use their own technology to get their jobs done.
The VMware New Way of Life 2013 study was conducted by Acorn Research across 12 Asia-Pacific countries/regions and sampled 2,142 end users, of which six out of 10 were of the millennial generation. It revealed that 67% of employees work from home and 61% work while on holiday. Additionally, when working remotely, 80% of employees will use their personal devices or a combination of personal and a work-issued device for business purposes. Interestingly, more than half (58%) say that the use of personal devices has not affected their ability to switch off.
The survey also found that eight out of 10 respondents own more than one device, and their personal devices have increasingly found their way into the workplace – an increase from 77% in 2012 to 83% this year.
“Evidently, the high penetration of smart devices in Asia Pacific is transforming the way people live and work. The connection between work and personal lives is being redefined and what was once considered an intrusion of personal time, such as a late night conference call on your personal device is now becoming an accepted norm,” said Andrew Dutton, senior vice president and general manager, VMware Asia Pacific and Japan.
Getting the Job Done
The use of personal technology is also a major contributor to the efficiency of today’s workforce, with respondents revealing that it makes them more efficient in completing tasks (72%) and allows them to stay productive even when they are out of the office (75%). For some of them, the use of personal devices is in fact a job necessity – they are contacted for work purposes on their mobile devices (41%) and their jobs are mobile in nature (35%).
While improved efficiency and job necessities were noted as important, personal preferences were among the top reasons for opting to use their own devices at work. Functionality and familiarity with their own applications and choice of operating systems resulted in improved efficiency and overall happiness at work.
Employees find that using their own choice of applications has helped with problem solving at work (63%) and has reduced work stress (57%). A third of respondents have also said that they prefer working at an organization that gives them the flexibility to choose their own applications and tools.
“Cloud computing, mobile technologies and an application-rich personal life are all creating new challenges for IT departments to prepare for and to enable the New Way of Life at work,” said Dutton. “Millennials are driving this trend but they will be the majority of the workforce before we know it, so organizations need to adapt now in order to attract and retain the best talent,” Dutton added.
Employees resort to own means of solving IT issues
However, despite the improvements to productivity that the use of personal devices has brought to businesses in Asia-Pacific, many companies are still not seen as providing the support needed. While almost all companies are aware that employees are bringing personal devices to work (97%), only half of the respondents feel they are getting adequate support, and 83% think that their companies’ IT policies are restrictive.
As such, employees take it upon themselves to trouble-shoot issues – 69% try to make it work on their own while 63% turn to search engines such as Google instead of their IT department. Dealing with IT problems is one of the top causes of stress in almost every country in the Asia-Pacific region, ranking behind frustration at the slow pace of organizational change, the volume of work and bosses.
“The number of employees who are attempting to solve their own IT issues should be a cause for concern for businesses, as it exposes the company to security and compliance risks,” said Dutton. “Companies should consider implementing more flexible IT policies and implement an IT infrastructure with device management tools that can enable employees to work freely and securely from any device, and at any place.”
In a separate announcement today, VMware unveiled the VMware Horizon Suite™, designed to be the industry’s most comprehensive platform for workforce mobility. The suite, consisting of VMware Horizon Workspace™, VMware Horizon View™ and VMware Horizon Mirage™ promises to simplify end-user computing and empowers workforce mobility that connects end-users to their data, applications and desktops on any device without sacrificing IT security and control.