Hong Kong, 24 April 2012 – Separate research studies by two global companies – flexible workspace provider Regus and virtualization and cloud solutions provider Citrix – have drawn strikingly similar conclusions about how people will work in the future. In a stark contrast to current work styles, both studies uncovered overwhelming evidence of companies adopting policies that enable staff to work at the times and locations that suit them best, using the technology tools of their choice.
The Citrix Workshifting Index surveyed 100 IT professionals in each of 11 global markets, revealing that, by the end of 2013, 93 per cent of organisations will have implemented such policies – a dramatic increase on the 37 per cent that have already adopted such policies for all or part of their workforce. This suggests that fundamental changes to the way that people and companies work will take place over the next 18 months.
The Regus study, Flexibility Drives Productivity, surveyed over 16,000 business decision-makers in 90 global markets, revealing strong evidence that flexible working is directly linked to better business performance. In Hong Kong, the survey revealed that, among local companies that had already adopted flexible working practices, 75 per cent had seen increases in productivity as a result of such practices. 72 per cent drew a direct link between flexible working and increased revenues.
Globally, small businesses have embraced flexible working more readily than larger firms: 80 per cent of respondents from small businesses said their company now works more flexibly than it used to, compared to 68 per cent of respondents from large organisations.
"Despite the fact that these two studies surveyed different respondents in a range of different markets, they both arrived at the same broad conclusions," said Hans Leijten, Regus' Vice-President for East Asia. "Taken together, they provide strong evidence of a global trend towards flexible working. Organisations the world over are benefitting from increased productivity and revenue as a direct result of flexible working practices. This can only be good news for companies and staff."
The Citrix study also revealed that employers see solid business benefits to adopting flexible working policies. Respondents said that such benefits went far beyond the predictably greater employee satisfaction that such practices generate. According to IT decision makers, the benefits include:
· Reducing real-estate, travel and labour costs. Cost savings were cited as being among the main drivers for flexible working. Areas where it enables savings include HR-related costs (cited by 45 per cent of respondents), improved ability to recruit workers in lower-cost regions (39 per cent), reduction of real estate costs (38 per cent) and contribution to environmental sustainability (26 per cent).
· Giving people the flexibility to choose the ideal time, place and device for their work. 71 percent of respondents indicated that they are using flexible work policies to enable people to work from anywhere, and 63 per cent enable staff to work from home when required.
· Business continuity. Flexible working requires staff to have uninterrupted access to desktops and apps during business disruptions of any kind. 94 per cent of senior IT decision makers agreed that this was an important benefit. 93 per cent saw desktop virtualization as an effective foundation for flexible working and business continuity.
· Attracting and retaining the best talent. 51 per cent of IT decision-makers said that one of their reasons for implementing flexible working was to help attract and retain top talent. Nearly half of respondents also said that flexible working enables organisations to tap into a broader talent pool by facilitating collaboration with and among outsourcing partners and other stakeholders.
"We've long believed that workshifting – the term for flexible work coined and promoted by Citrix – is a key part of a solid business and IT strategy," said Victor Wong, Citrix's regional director for Hong Kong and Taiwan. "These survey findings show that, increasingly, our view is shared by businesses around the world, which are moving away from traditional work environments and realising real-estate, travel and labour cost savings through mobile and flexible ways of working. In this sense, the findings provide a fascinating glimpse into the future of work."
Commenting on the results of the two studies, Martin Cerullo, the Managing Director - Development - Asia Pacific for global talent management consultancy Alexander Mann Solutions, said "Employer branding - the discipline of marketing an enterprise's value proposition to employees - is becoming increasingly important in Asia Pacific as organisations seek to attract and retain top talent.
"This is particularly important for members of generation-Y, for whom the ability to work flexibly is an important part of the total employee value proposition. Employers that allow staff the freedom to work flexibly are really saying 'I trust you to make the decisions about time and working location that are right for you.' As well as the obvious benefits in terms of work/life balance, this approach makes employees feel valued by their employer. A happier, more productive workforce has to be in the interests of both employers and employees."
# # #
About the Citrix Workshifting Index
The research for the Citrix Workshifting Index was conducted independently by Vanson Bourne in October 2011, and is based on 1,100 IT professionals across eleven countries. One hundred IT professionals were surveyed in each of eleven countries including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (USA). Three quarters of respondents were from organizations of 1000 or more employees, one quarter were from organizations of 500-999 employees.
The research is based on the insights and experiences of 1,100 senior IT decision-makers from organizations of over 500 employees, across 11 countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
About Regus' Flexibility Drives Productivity Study
Over 16,000 business respondents from the Regus global contacts database
spanning 88 countries were interviewed during January 2012. The Regus global contacts database of over 1 million business-people worldwide is highly representative of business owners and senior managers across the globe. Respondents were asked a wide variety of questions including ones about their ways of working, flexible working in their company and its effects along with their intentions to hire and views on changes in working practices. The survey was managed and administered by the independent organisation, Mindmetre – www.mindmetre.co.uk.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) transforms how businesses and IT work and people collaborate in the cloud era. With market-leading cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and more accessible for 260,000 organizations. Citrix products touch 75 percent of Internet users each day and it partners with more than 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2011 was $2.21 billion. Learn more at www.citrix.com
Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the world’s largest network of video communication studios. Regus enables people to work their way, whether it’s from home, on the road or from an office. Customers such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline, and Nokia join hundreds of thousands of growing small and medium businesses that benefit from outsourcing their office and workplace needs to Regus, allowing them to focus on their core activities.
Over 900,000 customers a day benefit from Regus facilities spread across a global footprint of 1,200 locations in 550 cities and 95 countries, which allow individuals and companies to work wherever, however and whenever they want to. Regus was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1989, is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information please visit: www.regus.com
About Alexander Mann Solutions
Alexander Mann Solutions builds world-class talent and resourcing capability for organisations and is the recognised global leader in Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). Alexander Mann Solutions is a trusted advisor that delivers its services through innovative outsourcing and consulting services that include permanent, contingent, internal mobility, graduate and talent resourcing programmes. Alexander Mann Solutions was founded in 1996 by Rosaleen Blair, the Veuve Clicquot 2007 Business Woman of the Year.
For more information, please visit www.alexandermannsolutions.com
Issued on behalf of Citrix Systems, Regus and Alexander Mann Solutions
by EBA Communications
For further information please contact:
Adam Barty / Summer Chow (EBA): (852) 2537 8022