Pension & Benefits News Flextime, remote work are “new normal” for global business
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Flextime, remote work are “new normal” for global business

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The rise of cloud computing and teleconferencing represent both the biggest opportunity for growth as well as the most significant organizational challenge to companies around the world, according to a recent report from Condeco entitled The Modern Workplace 2019: People, Places and Technology. Among the countries in the survey, remote working is particularly prevalent in Australia (45 percent) with the U.S. tied for being the country with the second most amount of companies allowing remote work (43 percent) and least widespread is Germany (35 percent). However, U.S. businesses were least likely to offer flextime (49 percent), while those in Singapore were most likely (66 percent).

In addition, 43 percent of U.S. business forecast that they will allow more remote working in the next year while only 9 percent have indicated that they will offer less remote working, a clear indicator that remote working is a major trend in America. Fifty-four percent of U.S. companies have said that they offer remote working to increase employee retention, which showcases employees increasing demands to work from home.

Digital transformation is top challenge. The report is based on an in-depth survey of business leaders in six countries, including the United States, backed by qualitative interviews. Respondents overall say the biggest challenges facing their organizations in the next 12 months are digital transformation (37 percent) and the adoption of new technology (35 percent), access to talent supply (26 percent), regulation and compliance (24 percent), and business uncertainty (22 percent).

While recognizing digital transformation as crucial to their future success, 60 percent of those who participated express concern over the speed with which new technologies are reshaping their businesses. They are increasingly preoccupied with issues related to cloud computing, the internet of things, and big data.

These technology challenges are contributing significantly to the changing nature of the corporate environment, the report finds. Cloud computing in particular has made it possible for increasing numbers of employees to work remotely and flexibly—meaning that the central company workspace is rapidly becoming an administrative hub, rather than a traditional central focus where everyone gathers during set hours. The demands of regulation and compliance are also adding to the burden felt by businesses as they face the future.

Flexible work revolution. Almost half of global businesses surveyed (41 percent) say they already offer some degree of remote working, while 60 percent provide flextime opportunities, allowing employees to choose when to start and end their workday.

“The research clearly shows that businesses are in the process of transforming their workplaces digitally, which enables them to transform the way that they are used physically," said Paul Statham, CEO of Condeco. "Today's technology allows for space to be used more flexibly and for employees to work remotely. This benefits businesses by maximizing office space, reducing costs and by keeping employees engaged and productive.”


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