Workplace of the future between BYOD Consumerization and Mary Poppins: Office as a phase-out model?


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In the near future, the workplace will become even more flexible and mobile. The tools become smaller, more versatile and more personal. IT decision makers are convinced of that. At the Consumerization leads for Company soon no way over.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Instituts Berufebilder Yourweb.

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Working tools of the future

Some time ago I wrote here about my personal wish-work tools of the future: They should be small and light, ideal for the handbag, but at the same time as powerful as a normal, large desktop PC.

A few years ago, I was still laughed at by the manufacturers for the idea of ​​a kind of Mary Poppins bag, which, if desired, brings the right device to the surface. Various studies today show that a device that flexibly adapts to our wishes is more than just a dream. The future of work is much more flexible than many, especially manufacturers, can obviously imagine. And right at the forefront: foldable screens.

Six terminals and two thirds desk

If you follow the “Workplace of the Future” report from the IT company Citrix Systems, in 2020 there will be six devices for every employee and two thirds of the desk. For its study, Citrix interviewed 1.900 high-ranking IT decision-makers in 19 countries. They make it clear: by 2020 Company reduce its office space worldwide by around 14 percent.

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At the workplace of the future, there will only be 6,7 desks for ten employees on a worldwide average. On the other hand, the number of different devices that employees use to access the corporate network every day will increase. 4,35 already has a variety of different devices from PCs to smartphones on a worldwide average - a kind of Mary Poppins bag, so to speak.

BYOD - future-proof or hype

The boundaries between work and personal life are also increasingly blurring in devices: the majority of surveyed companies want to implement bring your own device (BYOD) programs to manage the large number of endpoints used by employees.

Already, 31 percent of companies surveyed worldwide have such models, with another 37 percent planning to do so within the next two years. More than one-third of the companies spend up to 2014 on the total equipment costs, with another 41 percent contributing a portion of the acquisition costs.

Employees use private devices during working hours

It's a good thing for employees: 69 percent of employees in companies with at least 250 PC workstations use a private device while they work. That's what IT analyst Techconsult found out in a study (PDF) commissioned by Microsoft.

The most widely used device is the smartphone (67 percent), followed by its own laptop (53 percent), a simple cell phone (31 percent) and a tablet (17 percent). There are slight differences between business enterprises and the public sector (in the latter case, less widespread use of gadgets), but only marginal differences between men and women.

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Private services with service devices

Around one in four employees - men here significantly more than women - uses private services at work, for example eMails with friends or surfing the net. However, an astonishingly high proportion of respondents also said they were doing work tasks with their personal hardware, such as office work, image editing, electronic calendars, or business eMails.

This suggests that corporate IT does not stand up to current developments and employees often have to use outdated hardware and software. The majority hopes for a productivity boost if they are allowed to use their own systems.

Opportunities and risks of consumerization

Exactly with this topic, the trend known in the jargon as Consumerization, also a multi-year study, which carried out TNS Global Research on behalf of Dell and Intel, occupied itself. This shows that freedom of choice in technology increases the productivity of employees, because the employees decide more consciously, freely and flexibly adapted to their needs for a terminal.

At the same time, however, the use of end-user devices increases the security risks in many companies: Among the surveyed executives there is a consensus that the use of personal devices in the workplace is associated with additional security risks and the risk of data misuse. The challenge is to accurately identify increased productivity as well as accurately assess security risks and balance each other.

Tablets without a future?

But what exactly will the work equipment of the future look like? The British market research company Vanson Bourne looked at this question and asked 500 British CIOs. 47 percent dream of a paperless office, even though companies today print more rather than less.

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Fixed line telephones, the CIOs say, will soon disappear from offices. They also no longer attribute an excessively long lifespan to the classic desktop PC. But even iPad and tablets do not seem to be an alternative for many: 24 percent of those surveyed believe that iPad and Co will lose importance in the coming years.

Conclusion: Mary Poppins sends greetings

But what does it look like, the ideal working tool of the future? Maybe in a few years, we will only work on holographic, virtual surfaces according to your needs. The Mary Poppins bag sends greetings.


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  1. Cathryn

    Great article in your blog, I'll remember.

  2. Maria B.

    Time is getting tighter and better in today's hectic daily work routine. Here your page really helps with a lot of information.

  3. Robert

    However, consumerization does not only have advantages. As of now, BYOD devices “brought along” cause a lot of problems. Starting with data protection and liability issues in the event of loss to the big issues of IT security and mobile security. With BYOD, IT has to absorb a lot. For employer branding, on the other hand, it would be better if you got a stylish company device and didn't have to bring your own. As described here: https://blog.everphone.de/byod-ist-tot

    • Simone Janson

      Hi Robert, I think that's very similar, but I just think that this trend is unstoppable in the course of the mixture between private and professional.

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