Tools, gadgets, gizmos galore. These days technology is outpacing the culture at many workplaces. You might have the tools in place to telework but not the management style. But one thing everyone can agree on is that without the tools there is no telework.
In our latest guide, “Agency of the Future: Telework More Than a Trend – A Workplace Transformation,” we looked at the five most essential tools of the trade.
A significant number of survey participants (270) provided open-ended responses to this question. If tallied up, the list below would represent the technology and tools that enable them to remain productive from anywhere:
- VPN / Remote Desktop
- Cell Phone
- Online Project Management Tools
- Intranet / Shared Drive
Respondents indicated that these tools were essential to keeping business operations moving and allow teleworkers to not only stay in touch with colleagues, but it creates an atmosphere that breeds innovation.
What does that mean for the agency of the future?
Did you know the company behind WordPress (Automattic, which powers 18% of the Internet) has 130 out of its 150 employees work outside of their San Francisco office? It’s a completely distributed workforce that relies on instant messaging, video chats, and quarterly in-person meetings (held around the world, including Rome) to increase bonding.
Imagine a fully prepared agency that when a natural disaster (snowstorm, hurricane, etc) hits, you are up and ready right away as you have access to all the tools you need.
The agency of the future telework is not the telework of 5 years ago. It’s not just sitting behind a desk at home on a phone. It’s building mobile and tablet apps referenced above to solve work problems as you go. It’s building in co-working space in government buildings and allowing your employees to work at co-working spaces and coffee shops.
The agency of the future is more likely to be distributed and use telework as its primary operating mode. The technology is there – from instant messaging, video calls, to mobile phones. The trick is how we use this new technological capacity to craft policies and norms that leverage them to better accomplish an agency’s mission.