Beyond the Cubicle

How technology connects and optimizes the modern workforce

It used to be that workers had to adapt to their workplace, now workplaces are adapting to them and the kind of work they need to accomplish. That's why we actively work to create devices that keep up with the current trends happening in the workplace. Each one has been carefully designed and built to be secure for mobile employees, easy to manage for IT people and most importantly, reliable so you can stay in touch no matter where you are.

The modern workplace is in the midst of unprecedented change. While employees previously had to work within the confines of a traditional work environment, companies are increasingly adapting to their workers' needs and increased mobility. This is the first in a series of articles that explore the evolution of the modern office and how Dell is helping companies stay ahead of the curve.

There was a time when 9 to 5 was simply the way the world worked. If employees didn't thrive in the traditional workplace, then they (and their employers) were out of luck. When workloads exceeded the eight-hour day, personal time was inevitably sacrificed. But technology has fundamentally changed this dynamic. And the effects are astonishing: as employees have more freedom to decide how and where they work, productivity is an all-time high. It's a change that companies can't afford to ignore. According to the Dell and Intel® Evolving Workforce Study, 76% of employees feel that technology has had a significant influence on the way they work in the past year. The shift is even influencing how they attract the best talent: 80% of younger employees say that the quality of available tech would influence their decision to take a new position. But just giving workers just a laptop or a desktop isn't enough.

The workplace is being revolutionized, and not in the ways you'd expect

It turns out that most employees use multiple devices for different purposes while sitting at their desks.

Why? One factor is the rise of open office plans, which make up a staggering 53% of business. While open workspaces are touted for encouraging conversation and collaboration, many believe it taxes productivity and creativity. Workers are increasingly turning to technology to cope with these challenges. Employees report that they are frequently interrupted in the /the-office-is-still-king/office, and research shows that workers facing constant distractions in the workplace are more as likely to use headphones at their desks. Another downside of the boundary-free workplace is the lack of personal space, which can inhibit open conversation. Research confirms that 51% of employees still frequently IM or email colleagues who are located physically near them rather than talking with them directly. While utilizing other devices can help, employees say another key to solving these challenges is getting out of the office entirely.

Remote working is on the rise and employees couldn't be happier

The vast majority of today's workers place a premium on having a flexible work environment: almost three-quarters see working from home as an extra benefit, and more than one in four consider it a right. They also say they're just as productive at home—or even more so—as they are in the office. Indeed many employers recognize what employees also report—that mobile technology gives them the freedom to be more involved with their families without jeopardizing work responsibilities. Interestingly, it's an area where companies in emerging markets are ahead of the curve. Most workers in emerging markets conduct some business at home, and half of workers globally currently use a personal device for work purposes. When companies don't empower workers to employ other technologies, researchers report that they still find a way. In offices that don't allow personal devices, workers say they often use them without the company knowing, creating security problems for IT departments.

Companies that give employees the tech and tools to succeed reap the rewards

It's clear that both companies and their employees face significant demands in today's workplace. As companies adapt to the trends and allow employees to work in a way that works for them—what researchers call "activity based work"—they enjoy better security and greater productivity.

Dell is ahead of the curve when it comes to creating devices that address these workplace trends. From making technology that offers greater security for mobile employers to helping IT better assist employees working from home, Dell has innovative, reliable solutions for making work friendlier and more productive. And that makes everybody happy.

Read more from the Workforce Study.

Workforce Study

The transition to smart workplaces is well underway. Check out the latest in today's workforce trends and employees' expectations.