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Skype - Living Workplace Survey: A Shift in the Way We Work

April 5, 2011 | Howard Lichtman
Skype released a survey-study today which revealed that, from today's workplace, a "Living Workplace" is emerging. The survey was commissioned by Skype through Incites Research to evaluate how business is "being conducted in more ways, from more locations, on more devices, and in more communication modalities than ever before." The survey was conducted in the 4th Quarter of 2010 and included "500 business end users and 500 technology decision makers" from large, medium, and small sized businesses.

Work environments that are flexible and remote have become accepted and are important for productivity and hiring, the survey found. Of the firms that were assessed by the survey, 62% have remote workers and one third of the employees at these firms work outside of the office. The remote workers at the aforementioned firms are said to spend an average of 40% of their time working away from the office. The option to work away from the office remotely also helps business recruit and retain effective workers.

skype living workplace survey image.JPGIn addition, the survey found that as a result of employees adopting their own personal technologies, the adoption of new workplace technologies has occurred; as opposed to resulting from company policy. In fact, in 67% of the organizations evaluated, employees were allowed to bring their own technology to the workplace (with 41% and 26% being able to use their own tools independently or with permission, respectively). Out of all of the organizations evaluated, only one third required everyone to use the same communication tools.

Business people are utilizing more alternative forms of communication tools including instant messaging, mobile text messaging, social networks, and video communications as opposed to the decline of utilization of legacy technologies. Interestingly enough, video calling is the communication tool to have the biggest expected gain in the year to come, the survey found.

skype living workplace survey image2.JPGTools such as email are a number one contributor to information overload, says 35% of survey respondents, with more than 40% claiming that their workplace suffers from "information overload." More often than not, workers were found to have been overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information dealt with regularly.

Finally, the survey found that communication is being made more collaborative and productive with the use of video. In fact, a majority of respondents found that video resulted in better collaboration and more savings of time and money. 68% of people found their video experience with clients, suppliers, and colleagues to be richer as well.

"This study confirms the transformation of the workplace due to technology and the evolving acceptance of remote work," says Skype in a media summary. "The methods of collaboration are changing, but what hasn't changed is the act of working together with employees and business partners towards the common purpose of sharing information, enriching business relationships, and getting work done."

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