Are companies prepared for global legislative changes around flexible working?

This summer, the US Biden administration issued guide to make flexible working conditions for its federal employees more acceptable after the pandemic. The British government then went a step further with its recent open consultation proposing a reform of flexible working rules in England, Wales and Scotland that would extend the right to request flexible working from some to all employees.

Are these recent legislative moves a harbinger of what is to come for other countries in both the public and private sectors, the transition of remote and flexible working from a temporary pandemic response to a normalized way of life?

Precedent-setting legislation for the future of flexible working

At the height of the pandemic, nearly 60 percent of US federal workers were working remotely, a dramatic increase from 3 percent before the pandemic. The result was that government agencies found that they could still meet their mission needs while working from home.

Now, with Britain’s open consultation focused on long-term flexible working policies, it is clear that the perception of the workplace and the office has changed dramatically from previous generations who insisted maximum employee productivity could only be achieved through achieve in the office environment.

These government entities represent significant percentages of each nation’s workforce. In the US, for example, the federal government is the largest employer in the country, with an estimated workforce size of 2.1 million. Furthermore, such a sea change is likely to spread across the globe, with industries across the private sector soon to follow this precedent.

Employees demand new accommodations for remote work

The last 21 months have been a learning curve for companies. Still, in that time, we’ve seen plenty of new developments that take advantage of new technology tools to enable more collaborative ways of working remotely.

So it’s no surprise that the experience has influenced employees’ unprecedented demands and expectations for the new work normal. For example, in a recent study According to Accenture, 83% of workers surveyed said they prefer a hybrid work model, in which they can work remotely at least a quarter of the time.

As companies adapt to new ways of doing business, the importance of improving employee satisfaction to counteract the effects of the Great Renunciation has become clear. For example, in a recent study by Lenovo and Intel, 60% of IT decision makers saw more than a 10% improvement in their employee experience scores by focusing on improving employee satisfaction with technology.

Enabling new flexible working models

For employers, enabling the transition to flexible/hybrid working models is a smart business move, but implementing and supporting the required hardware infrastructure can be costly and challenging.

One solution that is gaining traction is device as a service (DaaS), which allows companies to offload device asset management to an IT partner to lower employee total cost of technology ownership.

Most companies (63%) surveyed at Lenovo study on the future of work they are interested in DaaS subscription offerings to free up valuable time and resources for more strategic projects. Additionally, 90% of large enterprise IT decision makers have expressed interest in implementing DaaS to support their new remote hybrid work standard.

DaaS implementation can support a business with a distributed workforce in a number of ways, including:

  • Mitigate the costs of upgrading a fleet of personal computing devices for remote workers.
  • Offering a holistic solution that allows broad flexibility to scale hardware up or down over time based on your current business needs.
  • Help organizations avoid unnecessary costs related to energy efficiency, security, downtime and workforce productivity, reducing total cost of ownership
  • Ensuring reliable, stable and fully customized solutions that free up internal resources and keep employees connected and supported from anywhere.
  • Support organizations’ sustainability goals by helping them dispose of retired devices in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Food to go

New legislation and guidance on flexible working policies are just the beginning, and many in the private sector are already implementing new business models to accommodate the change.

As flexible and hybrid working become a standard expectation for the existing workforce, companies will need to explore new technology solutions that ensure scalability, security, and productivity for their distributed workforce.

Device-as-a-Service is just one solution in the modern IT toolbox that can get them there.

Image credit: Kate Sade; Unsplash; Thanks!

Rob Makin

Rob Makin is a senior business leader in the IT and telecommunications industry with more than 20 years of experience building and growing businesses in multiple markets. Rob is currently the Worldwide Executive Director, Device as a Service at Lenovo.

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