Workplace of

the Future

The Global Drivers of Flexible Working

Flexible and remote working is on the rise around the world. The nature of work is changing dramatically and it’s not just the West leading the way. Significant advancements in the field of anywhere collaboration are being seen in all four corners of the world.





Remote Working is on the rise. Globally a significant proportion of employers are providing or expanding their remote working options.1,2




People Working at Home Once a Week or More3,4

Predicted Global 2022

Predicted Global 2022

Virgin Media Business recently predicted that 60% of office-based employees will regularly work from home by 2022, thanks to technological advances in the workplace.5

30 million work from a home office at least once a week in the US, a number that is expected to increase by 63% in the next five years.6

China is the most advanced country in allowing and enabling staff to work from any location, on any device (69%), closely followed by the U.S.7

Countries that actively encourage people to work anywhere on any device8

The U.S. and China lead the world both at 48% of companies in each country — well above the global average: 29%.

Global average
of Companies

The lowest is the UK, with only 13% of U.K. companies encourage mobility, the lowest score in the survey.

But what’s driving this move towards collaborating anywhere, anytime and on any device?

Employee Empowerment

In the modern world employees are more in demand than ever, and creating workforce loyalty is a challenge for many businesses. In contrast to previous generations the workforce of the future are more concerned with autonomy and flexibility than financial remuneration. Empowered employees are driving the agenda when it comes to flexibility in time, location and duration of work.

Talent and Retention

2 out of 3

of the world’s most effective leaders are unwilling to relocate.9


of employees said the availibility of working flexibly was important or very important when they made their decision to work for their current employer.10

9 out of 10

of Generation Y identify flexibility in the workplace as a top priority, further driving the trend.11

Work-life Balance


of millenials say work-life balance is important to them.12


of employees say that flexible working is critical in easing work-related stress.13

Gender Roles


of women made a request for flexible working.14

In order to achieve this level of flexibility employers need to equip their workforce with the right technology solutions.


Collaboration solutions require connectivity, and this means the global shift towards urbanisation and better connected towns and cities is supporting the facilitation of flexible working. The rise of visual communications technologies is indicative of better connectivity and a desire to collaborate naturally and effectively from anywhere.



By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, today more than half of the world’s inhabitants live in them.15

Mobile data traffic in India rose by over 90% in 2012 alone.16

of millennials said that access to the technology they like to use makes them more effective at work.17

By 2025, as much as 8% of global growth will come from emerging-market megacities with over 10 million inhabitants.18

Technology is the key that unlocks the potential of flexible working

of people would use wearable technology from their employer if they knew the information would be used to improve their wellbeing at work.19

say the lack of investment in appropriate mobile technology is the biggest barrier to flexible working.21

of business leaders and managers expect video to be their most preferred collaboration tool in 2016.22

of enterprise employees around the worlds use video conferencing solutions at home today.23

of businesses say web conferencing is the most effective technology for remote collaboration, followed by video conferencing (25%).20

cite unreliable technology as a major challenge to reliable collaboration from multiple locations and nearly 23% of people say their desire to collaborate more freely is inhibited by a business culture resistant to change or new technology adoption24

A business with empowered employees and the right technology solutions can expect to derive a range of business benefits from implementing flexible and remote working.

Business Benefits

The workplace of the future is built on productivity. Currently entire nations are failing to extract the full potential value from their businesses and workforce due to antiquated work practices. Businesses are aware of the tangible benefits of flexible working, including cost reductions, improved productivity, faster decision making and better efficiency and are now beginning to reap the rewards.

Proportion of users willing to take a lower salary in return for flexible working privileges25


The new work environment is full of performance challenges as executives try to increase employee productivity by 27%, the amount necessary to reach business goals and initiatives.26

The average turnover cost per employee is £8,200 ($12,700), rising to £12,000 ($18,600) for senior managers or directors.27

Two-thirds (66%) of business decision makers say enabling flexible working has a bigger financial impact than cutting operational costs.28

Businesses say video collaboration contributes to flexible working strategy by improving productivity of remote workers as much as 39%.29

More than 85% of respondents across all business functions and at all levels within an organization believe video conferencing is effective at helping achieve business objectives and goals.31

Buro Happold Engineers equipped over 90% of its staff with video collaboration to allow them to work remotely. This resulted in 3,000 hours a month gained in productivity and £250,000 ($390,000) a month in savings.32

Aetna, which has 47% of its workforce working remotely, shed 2.7 million square feet of office space and reaped $78 million in savings.30

Since the 1980s, BT has been adapting its physical infrastructure to embed flexibility. Today, BT employs around 70,000 flexible workers, saving around £700 million ($1 billion) a year on property, and reducing absenteeism by 60%.33

The right solutions can overcome the logistical challenges of flexible and remote working to enable employees to collaborate naturally from anywhere, allowing businesses to reap the rewards of future ways of working.