Lack of remote working is holding back businesses » SMEInsider

Lack of remote working is holding back businesses

Only half of workplaces in the UK have the resources to enable remote working, despite the huge efficiencies it could bring, a study has found.

Twice as many workers have access to ‘fixed technology’ than have mobile equipment, according to the study of 12,000 companies commissioned by Steelcase.

It revealed that 77 per cent of employees have a desktop computer, compared with just 39 per cent who have a work laptop. And even fewer – 38 per cent – have a dedicated work mobile, while 91 per cent have a landline phone.


Cutting ties

Almost one third of respondents said they are dissatisfied with the IT and telephone equipment their workplace provides, which ties them to a desk much of the time.

This flies in the face of previous research, which suggests that a remote working culture could generate an extra £11.5 billion a year for the economy.

Bostjan Ljubic, vice president of Steelcase UK and Ireland said recommended that workplaces make the most of the technology solutions at their fingertips and tap into the ‘work from anywhere’ mindset, rather than keeping staff shackled to a desk by outmoded, static equipment.

He said: “While ‘bring your own device’ can offer an alternative, this is not yet widely adopted in the UK. Only 31 per cent of British workers say they can bring their personal equipment to the office.


Increased engagement

“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.”

There is appetite among workers to adopt flexible working. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) reported that they work remotely at least once a week, while 9 per cent do so every day.

  • Keith Cockburn

    OK for office work only a small proportion of total work.