We are moving towards a single technology ecosystem, where 20 billion devices will be connected by 2020. This connectivity is changing working patterns as new tools and services transform the traditional workplace into a smart one.
Smart working is the combined use of technology and connectivity with flexibility and agility for people to work from home, a co-working hub or using a hybrid model (part-home, part-office). With at least 216,000 people in Ireland working from home or from a co-working space 2 , smart working is increasingly becoming a key consideration for Irish SMEs and it is predicted that over 35 per cent of all employees will be smart working by 2022. 3
Despite an employee desire for it, very few Irish SMEs are seen to be fully embracing smart working. There is a reoccurring theme within the sector among both business managers and employees, that company culture is a real barrier to introducing smart working.
Some employers have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude to people working remotely. Their worry is that transitioning from a situation where staff are easily observable to one where they are not will result in a drop in productivity.
But many experts believe it’s a serious mistake to underestimate the importance of the generational shift that’s taking place as younger people age into the workforce and take up management positions. It turns out there can be significant differences in terms of expectations between employers and their employees when it comes to smart working.
Is it time for your SME to cross this particular work Rubicon? We’ll look at how it could benefit you in our next blog post.
1 Based on a US study that a typical business would save $11,000 per person per year
2 Figure derived from the UK statistics and applied to Irish population