Work

Workplace flexibility and remote working is being held back by a lack of mobile technology provided by employers, according to workplace solutions provider, Steelcase.

Its research of more than 12,000 employees across 17 countries found that only 50% of British businesses currently accommodate remote working – six percentage points lower than the global average – while fixed technology, like landline phones and desktop computers, still outnumber mobile devices by a ratio of 2:1.

Steelcase says its findings suggest that the so-called ‘remote working revolution’ and its benefits are being held back by a lack of investment in the tools and technology needed to most the most of it.

Only 39% per cent of UK workers are provided with a laptop, compared to 77% who receive a desktop computer. Meanwhile, only 38% are given a mobile phone, compared to 91% who have a landline. As a result, nearly a third (29%) of employees say they aren’t satisfied with the IT and phone equipment provided by their employer.

The study also shows that workers in the UK are particularly keen to work more flexibly. Seventeen per cent say they already have a nomadic working experience – spending less than 40% of their time at the office – more than twice the global average. And nearly a quarter (24%) said they work remotely at least one a week, with 9% doing it every day.

Bostjan Ljubic, vice president of Steelcase in UK & Ireland, said: “With the array of innovative technology on the market today, it’s surprising that so many workers are still tied to their desk, with just a desktop computer and landline provided by their employer.¬†While Bring Your Own Device can offer an alternative, this is not yet widely adopted in the UK. Only 31% of British workers say they can bring their personal equipment to work.

“Our research has shown that the most engaged workers are those who have more control over their work experience, including the ability to work in the office, at home, or elsewhere – depending on their task, personality and work style. Yet, without the necessary tools to do so, employees can feel constrained, lacking the mobility and flexibility they need to do their best work.”

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