Work 3.0: New Study Signals Working Revolution

The UK is at the tipping point of a workplace revolution that could result in drastic change to offices, cities, economy and culture, according to a new study from Mitel (2.5MB PDF).

Deemed generation ‘Work 3.0’, the research paper shows how technology, individualised working and a transformation of the physical workplace are catalysing radical change that is likely to see the emergence of the ‘human cloud’ and signal dynamic, adaptive and smarter business.

The Mitel paper, ‘Work 3.0: The next generation model for smarter business’, brings together new research revealing the demands and requirements of today’s workforce, opinion from leaders in technology and innovation, and insight from analysts and experts in workplace psychology and modern architecture.

The study presents clear evidence that new ways of working will fast overtake the traditional office environment and reveals that the majority (81%) of UK workers now want to break free from a nine to five culture or adopt new ways of working. This figure is even higher (87%) for younger generations who, Mitel argues, are the biggest drivers of the revolution.

Based on this research, Mitel presents the ‘human cloud’ concept – born out of the interplay between the BYOD trend, virtualisation, unified communications (UC) and more – whereby workers no longer need to take ownership of a physical space or specific device. Beyond simply hooking their personal tablet onto the company VPN, the ‘human cloud’ will see every document, IT tool and application, even work phones and voicemail, all hosted in the cloud and accessible at a moment’s notice on any device, in any location.

The impact of this will go far beyond worker productivity and a ‘paperless office’, driving change in our cities, economies and culture. For workers, it means taking control of their working lives, choosing their devices and technologies, and how, where and when they want to work. Traditional commuting patterns will be eradicated and the culture will evolve to support multi-faceted careers.

For businesses, the resulting cost savings and productivity boom, with virtually limitless access to a global pool of talent, could dramatically improve operations and drive business growth. The new landscape is likely to become fertile for start-ups, as traditional overheads such as real estate and staff become ‘virtual’ and can be scaled up or down almost instantly.

Steve Little, CIO, Mitel, commented: “Technology is not only a key driver of new working practices, it will also be responsible for making sure that businesses are equipped to manage the change. The last decade has seen an explosion of game-changing technologies and our report suggests that once these truly get a foothold in UK businesses, the impact will be enormous. Establishing a culture of dynamism will be of benefit to individual workers, businesses and markets, and could help to give the UK economy a real competitive edge on the global stage.

“Vendors have a huge responsibility as enablers of this revolution. The ‘one size fits all’ single vendor model is simply unviable in supporting the Work 3.0 generation of businesses, which will need to be populated with interoperable best-in-class technologies. A fundamental shift in vendor models is needed whereby they are set up to contribute to an ultimate solution, working alongside other vendors, rather than competing on an all-or-nothing basis. This is something that Mitel has long championed and is fast becoming critical.”

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Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.

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