Do We Still Need to Go to Work to Get the Job Done?

Business Wire IndiaPolycom commissioned survey finds:
  • The majority (98%) of the global working population believe anywhere working has a positive impact on productivity
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of the global working population take advantage of flexible working practices, including 91% of people surveyed from in India  
  • Globally, 91% of those surveyed believe that video collaboration technology helps improve relationships and fosters better teamwork
  • Human Resource (HR) departments within India should provide more support to flexible workers according to almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents

Polycom, Inc., a global leader in unified communication and collaboration, today announced findings from a new world-wide consumer survey** that explores the future of work and the impact technology is having on both employee behaviour and workplace culture. It challenges the notion of going to work as we know it with two-thirds (62%) of the global population are quite literally working from anywhere. Capturing insights from more than 25,000 of today's working population including over 2,100 from India, millennials to baby boomers and more, the findings show that despite generational differences, in some cases, age really is just a number. The survey found three major flexible working trends that were commonly shared across the 12 countries:

  • Being able to work from anywhere is believed to boost performance with 98% of all respondents, believing that anywhere working has a positive impact on productivity
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of the global working population are currently taking advantage of flexible working practices
  • Findings also showed that 91% of respondents believe video collaboration helps improve workplace relationships and teamwork

These results suggest that flexible workplace success is about providing the right environment that allows individuals and teams to work together productively to deliver great results.
Minhaj Zia, Managing Director, Polycom India, SAARC and South East Asia explains, "With the build of high speed broadband networks across Asia Pacific and increased 4G and 3G penetration in India, technology can now give people the freedom to work the way they want and deliver location liberation. Regardless of whether you are working in India or China, the findings show that today's multi-generational workforce has the same expectations when it comes to working from anywhere – they want the ability to work and collaborate in a very human way that gets the job done and employers need to provide flexible working policies to attract and retain their best talent."
Millennials Concerned About Being Recognised as Hard-Working, while Remote Based Workers Use Video Technology to Stay Socially Connected
Surprisingly, it was technology-savvy millennials who were most concerned about the correlation between being physically present at work and being recognised as getting the job done. Approximately 62% of the world's millennials (18-30 year olds) were concerned that they would not be perceived as hard-working if they were not in the office.  Findings also showed that having face time with colleagues over video helped maintain important social interaction that can sometimes be lacking for remote-based workers.  An overwhelming 91% of global respondents said video collaboration helped them get to know their co-workers better.
Understanding Flexible Working Habits in Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific (APAC), more than 10,000 respondents participated from five countries: India, Australia, China, Japan and Singapore. Findings showed that almost 60% of workers in India, Australia, and Singapore are working flexibly on a frequent basis. In China, 85% of people surveyed said their company offered flexible working arrangements with 87% stating they work with a colleague located in a different office. Japan was the only country that deviates from the global anywhere working trend, with only 35% of respondents having flexible working available.
A Closer Look at India
Respondents in India called for increased support for flexible workers. Despite a huge number of companies (91%) in India offering flexible working arrangements, 63% believed that clear HR policies and guidelines were necessary to ensure everyone enjoys the benefits responsibly and fairly.
The results have fortunately shown that distance isn't a true barrier to working with colleagues based in a different location. Video collaboration is the way forward in India – a vast majority (91%) of those surveyed used video technologies to stay in touch.
"It's clear that employees want more flexibility in their workplace and while it needs to be managed, it does provide a competitive advantage when recruiting talent. When delivered in the right way, flexible working practices can improve both employee productivity and wellbeing. However, more needs to be done to ensure HR catches up with technology and policy guidelines, to ensure flexible working benefits can be beneficial to all," said Minhaj Zia, Managing Director, Polycom India, SAARC & South East Asia. "With more Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities coming online rapidly, an increasing number of people now have access to collaboration solutions and video technology. This improved connectivity helps organisations to recruit the best talent for jobs without location ever becoming a limitation."
Findings further revealed the significant impact that technology is having on anywhere working:

  • A majority (97%) of APAC respondents believed collaboration technologies were important in bringing colleagues closer together, to build relationships and overcome flexible working challenges. Perhaps understandable given the diverse cultural and language differences within Asia Pacific.
  • It was a similar story in India, where 98% recognised video technology as a core element of building relationships and improving productivity. Not surprising, given 86% of working population have a colleague based in a different location.
  • More than half (51%) said they use video multiple times a day to collaborate for work purposes.

Commenting on the growth in flexible working within Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan research analyst Zi Ning Chong said, "Across the region, governments and businesses are creating disruptive change to remain competitive in the digital era. The adoption of modern and flexible work styles is important in current working environment. Transformational technologies like video collaboration are changing the way we work and live, impacting everything from workspace design, to workflow and office culture. The growth in flexible working and geographically distributed workforces mean that businesses will need to find ways to empower employees with vastly different experiences and relationships with technology, ensuring they can collaborate effectively to drive the productivity."
For more information about the survey results, download our Anywhere Working E-guide or read Polycom's white paper: "Changing Needs of the Workplace"

About Polycom Inc.
Polycom helps organisations unleash the power of human collaboration. More than 400,000 companies and institutions worldwide defy distance with secure video, voice and content solutions from Polycom to increase productivity, speed time to market, provide better customer service, expand education and save lives. Polycom and its global partner ecosystem provide flexible collaboration solutions for any environment that deliver the best user experience, the broadest multi-vendor interoperability and unmatched investment protection. Visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more.
**About the survey
The 'Guide to Anywhere Working' survey commissioned by Polycom Inc.  was conducted by Morar Consulting. Sample Data collected from 25,234 consumers of 12 countries, which included: United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, United Kingdom, India, Singapore, Germany, Russia, France, Australia and China.  55% of those surveyed had job titles managers or above. 58% of surveyed are responsible for care in some capacity, and 68% surveyed are parents.
In September 2016 Polycom announced the completion of its acquisition by affiliates of Siris Capital Group, LLC ("Siris" or "Siris Capital") in a transaction reflecting an equity value of approximately $2.0 billion in cash. In connection with the closing of the transaction, the company, which continues to operate as Polycom, Inc., is wholly owned by affiliates of Siris Capital.
© 2017 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom logo, and the names and marks associated with Polycom's products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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