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Mobile devices create need for workplace flexibility


Australian employers can expect greater demand for flexibility, as new mobile technology creates an opportunity to work anywhere, at anytime.

According to the Randstad 2011 World of Work Report, smartphones, tablets and new emerging technologies will make a remote workforce possible in the next ten years.

“In much the same way as the internet and emails revolutionised the modern workplace, the continued development of mobile technology will be a powerful force reshaping the world of work,” Randstad CEO Fred van der Tang said.

This change will create new tests for companies as the workforce becomes more mobile. Van der Tang believes the challenge will come in managing a workforce that can work anywhere they choose.

He warns companies to change policies and HR practices, and expect workers to demand more from their employers.

“The rising popularity of handheld devices in the workplace will require a shift in the way organisations monitor employees, encourage teamwork, and manage issues and expectations.”

Employers are aware of the influence new technology will have on the workforce. It found that 79 percent of employers believe it will change the way employees work and 93 percent believe employees will demand both security and flexibility.

“While organisations of the present are firmly focused on the productivity and leadership, the emergence of tablets and smartphones as business tools, suggests organisations of the future will be turning their attention to ‘flexicurity’,” he said.

Van der Tang said the ability to work anywhere will increase the speed at which new technology is developed and only businesses that acknowledge the shift will be able to prepare for it.

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