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Flexible working comes before high pay for majority of workers around the world

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Three of five workers around the world believe that they do not need to be in the office anymore to be productive.

In fact, according to a new report from Cisco, their desire to be mobile and flexible in accessing corporate information is so strong the same percentage of workers would choose jobs that were lower-paying but had leniency in accessing information outside of the office over higher salaried jobs that lacked flexibility.

 

The study, which involved surveys of 2,600 workers and IT professionals in 13 countries, revealed more than nine of 10 employees in India (93%) felt they did not need to be in the office to be productive. This sentiment was extremely prevalent in China (81%) and Brazil (76%) as well.

Two of every three employees surveyed (66%) expect IT to allow them to use any device – personal or company-issued – to access corporate networks, applications and information anywhere at any time, and they expect the types of devices to continue diversifying. In the future, employees expect their choice of network-connected endpoints to broaden to non-traditional work devices like televisions and navigation screens in cars.

For employees who can access corporate networks, applications and information outside of the office, about half of the respondents (45%) admitted working between two to three extra hours a day, and a quarter were putting in four hours or more. However, extra hours do not translate to always-on, on-demand employees. They simply want the flexibility to manage their work-life balance throughout their waking hours.

Employees also feel so strongly about having the flexibility to work anywhere that it would dictate their company loyalty (13%), choice of jobs (12%), and morale (9%). For example, two of three employees worldwide (66%) said they would take a job with less pay and more flexibility in device usage, access to social media and mobility than a higher-paying job without such flexibility. This percentage was higher in some countries, such as Spain (78%), despite economic woes over the past couple years.

But the evidence suggests employers are not prepared to accommodate this with half of the IT respondents (45%) claiming they are not prepared policy- and technology-wise to support a more borderless, mobile workforce.

Marie Hattar, vice president, borderless networks at Cisco, said: "The Cisco Connected World Report gives further insight into the future of the workplace and it is clear from the research findings that the desire among employees to be more mobile and flexible in their work lifestyles is extremely strong throughout the world – as strong as salary. It is also evident that organisations need to embrace a borderless IT infrastructure to capture competitive advantage and increase employee satisfaction. The employee desire to be productive anytime, anywhere, using any device provides an opportunity to embrace the agility and flexibility provided through a borderless network architecture."