Future Workplace Formula = 1 Person x 6 Devices @ Two-Thirds of a Desk

By 2020, organizations will likely reduce office space by almost a fifth (17 percent), according to a new study by Citrix, mobile and cloud technology company. According to the study, the workplace of the future will provide just seven desks for every ten office workers, with each person accessing the corporate IT network from an average of six different computing devices. The figure for 2020 is as low as six desks for every ten workers in Singapore, the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Some of the highest desk to worker ratios in 2020 will be in Japan (8.77), South Korea (7.95), and Germany (7.90).

Almost every organization says they will redesign office space to be more appealing. The workplace of the future will foster creativity, be inspiring, and encourage collaboration by enabling people to work from wherever, whenever and on whatever device so that work becomes something people do, not a place people go.

The Citrix Workplace of the Future report, which polled 1,900 senior IT decision-makers in 19 countries, shows that a third of people (29 percent) will no longer work from a traditional office. Instead, employees will base themselves from various semi-permanent locations including the home (64 percent), field and project sites (60 percent), and customer or partner premises (50 percent). People are also expected to access corporate applications, data, and services from locations such as hotels, airports, and coffee shops while in transit.

The trend towards fewer office-based employees — who use multiple computing devices to access corporate apps, data, and services from a range of locations outside of the traditional office — is part of a global trend that goes by a lot of names including “virtual workforce” “mobile workstyles.” Globally, a quarter (24 percent) of organizations have already fully adopted mobile workstyles. By the middle of 2014, 83 percent of organizations will have embraced mobile workstyles.

Mobile workstyles and  have been adopted widely and rapidly because it offers a number of benefits, according to Citrix:

  • For organizations, workshifting — where people move work to more optimal times and locations — creates a more flexible workplace (73 percent), lower employee-related costs (53 percent), and lower real estate costs (48 percent). Plus, it helps attract (47 percent) and retain (44 percent) top talent.
  • Employees benefit from workshifting with more flexibility (65 percent), increased personal productivity (62 percent), less commuting time (61 percent), and a better work/life balance (55 percent). It also helps them spend more time with customers (48 percent).
  • The majority of organizations (83 percent) will use bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives to manage the growing number of devices that people use to access the corporate network. Employees will generally choose and purchase their own computing devices, with 76 percent of organizations reimbursing the employee in-part or fully.
  • Eighty percent of organizations that have already implemented workshifting and BYOD have seen cost-related benefits as a direct result. Ninety-six percent of organizations implementing mobile workstyles will invest in redesigning the workplace to create a more inspiring, collaborative, and flexible environment equipped with the latest technology.
  • Organizations expect to reduce workplace space by seven percent within just two years, and 16 percent by 2020. Organizations that have implemented workshifting already have 15 percent fewer desks than those who have not implemented such a policy, helping to deliver real estate savings.

Visit Citrix to read the full report.

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