Companies Still Figuring Out How to Enable Remote Working For Employees

Companies need to go beyond providing remote access to email in order to address the need for greater workplace productivity and meet employee demands for improved work-life balance. According to “Enabling the Remote Workforce in Canada,” a recent survey of IT decision makers by Citrix, a concerning disparity exists between how companies define a mobility strategy and what tools employees actually need to do their jobs and be productive.

More than eight in 10 (84 per cent) IT decision makers report having employees who work remotely. Yet, the same number admit their companies’ definition of enterprise mobility is giving employees the basic ability of sending and receiving emails from a mobile device.

Two-thirds describe their organizations’ concept of enterprise mobility as providing employees with mobile devices. Michael Murphy, Country Manager for Citrix Canada, believes this misunderstanding to be a major barrier in creating a successful workplace mobility strategy.

“The biggest problem we’re seeing is companies not creating a mobile environment conducive to working collaboratively remotely,” explained Murphy. “Providing mobility means more than simply enabling access to email. It’s about minimizing restrictions so people can do their jobs successfully outside of the office. This includes giving employees secure access to all essential applications and data from anywhere, providing a seamless user experience and allowing for collaboration.”

More than two in five IT decision makers admit to not having a comprehensive enterprise mobility strategy in place for their companies.

“When a company only partially supports a remote workplace environment there is a higher likelihood it will fail,” said Murphy.

However, of those who do have a mobility strategy in place, 95 per cent say it is integral to the competiveness of their business.

In a separate survey of Canadian working professionals commissioned by Citrix, three-quarters of employees (75 per cent) say all employers should offer the ability to work remotely while the overwhelming majority (96 per cent) want jobs that provide a good work-life balance. IT decision makers tend to agree with this sentiment. Nearly 70 per cent of IT decision makers believe increased mobility allows for more productive employees while 62 per cent note the biggest benefit their organization experienced as a result of mobility is increased productivity.