Mobile technology is removing barriers to traditional ways of working. Connectivity is helping increase productivity, and employees have their own ideas about how they can use technology to manage their role more independently. Embracing these emerging themes is crucial for employers to empower their teams to shape their own futures and careers.

In the 2018 Global Talent Trends report, one principle stands at the forefront – the need for more freedom at work. Over half of workers feel unsatisfied with their current situation, with 51% of participants wanting more flexible work options.

Growing possibilities to work from anywhere in the world are driving a new independently minded demographic. As Deloitte explains: 

The future of work will be driven by three forces changing how and where we work: automation and cognitive technologies, which are augmenting how people and machines work together; new workforce portfolios, including full-time, part-time, managed services, freelancers, gig workers, and crowds; and new ways of working.

Businesses need to stay in tune to the following developing themes to win the war for top talent.

Technology-driven globalisation

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is fundamentally changing the way people around the world work, according to Forbes. People are no longer tethered to their desks with VDI systems, making it possible to access company desktops from any location with internet access.

Cloud-based computing is also supporting remote ways of working. Employees can access files, no matter where they are based. Software as a service (SaaS) is also shifting the entire business environment. Streamlining tasks, cost savings and more flexible ways of working are just some of the benefits of bringing the cloud into the workspace.

Beyond simply being able to work from home, VDI and the cloud are cutting the barriers to working across borders. It is opening the door to a globalised workforce – a generation that demands freedom of choice and the ability to shape their careers around their own lives.

New opportunities from snowballing connectivity

During a Deloitte interview, it came to light that 70% of workers are mobile. With the majority of employees not sitting at a desk each day, the mobile revolution has allowed for increased connectivity and, as a result, productivity.

We are now moving beyond a mobile-desktop hybrid set up, where lots of employees work on both a laptop and a mobile device. As more companies adopt applications that support their services – or even create their own – we are likely to see more 100% mobile employees. In fact, Deloitte suggested that those 70% of mobile workers are expected to be 100% mobile within the next five to 10 years.

As we shift to a more connected working environment, the lines between ‘at work’ and ‘at home are blurring. It is understandable why employees want to benefit with greater flexibility. Employers need to provide tools for employees to shape their own working lives to continue attracting talent in this increasingly mobile world.

Mobile mindsets – the chance to be independent

840 million people around the world use a tablet at least once a month, according to Statista. It is unsurprising that technology at work is often worse than the devices employees use at home. Slow systems and clunky processes add an extra element of frustration to the working day.

Driven employees expect to be able to use advanced technology at work. To retain and attract talent, businesses need to empower their teams with technology that makes their working days easier to manage. The additional benefit for businesses is the potential for better productivity.

Companies that go one step further and offer their employees choice over which device to use are likely to enjoy better engagement. This freedom allows employees to work towards their company’s goal but in the way they want.

Freedom for employee benefits

Tuned-in businesses will build on the mobile mindset to create adaptable employment packages with cloud-based systems. When it is possible to manage benefits from any location, employees can make choices about how and where they work without affecting their protection, stability and prospects.

The future of work

With flexibility at the forefront of the employee mindset, technology needs to keep up. Security and data breaches risks are still key risks where employees work remotely and use multiple devices. However, tighter infrastructure from shrewd IT teams will overcome this hurdle and allow for greater globalisation.

Lots of businesses are already enjoying the advantages of secure working platforms, from workload applications to employee benefit tools. They are enabling individuals to work from anywhere in the world, using any device.

Advantages for every business

Many SMEs naturally have the potential to allow for more freedom of choice at work thanks to fewer internal structures. They often enjoy more relaxed rules, making it possible to allow exceptions for staff looking for more flexibility.

The appeal of a better work/life balance is a prospect multinational companies traditionally find it difficult to compete with, but technology could be the answer. International companies can use their larger budgets to invest in software and tools that provide freedom while allowing managers to keep track of performance.