In the last few months I keep hearing the term “Agile Working” and it certainly seems to be the latest buzz word in the world of IT but what is the term Agile Workspace? I asked a Project Director at a large not for profit who was running a multi-million pound “Agile Workspace Project” and she told me “We are reducing our physical footprint and offering our staff the flexibility to dictate their own workspace whilst providing them with the toolset they require to achieve their goals”. Wow, that certainly cleared that one up for me!
What she was trying to say is that the organisation was looking to save costs by reducing the amount of office space it used and to achieve this they were encouraging staff to work part of their week from home or any other location and not keep them to a 9-5 routine. For this to be achieved, they needed an IT system that would allow people to access their data and applications from any place, on any device and at any time.
In short it’s remote working, it’s flexible working, its mobilisation and all the other buzz words that have gone before. It’s nothing new, it just has a new name and seems to be happening across more and more businesses. Why? Because they are looking to provide staff with more information and tools on the go with the objective of reducing costs. What has changed though is the technology and how it enables people to work seamlessly from anywhere, creating this idea of an Agile Workspace.
I’m a live case study in many ways.
I’m writing this article on my iPad on the train. I usually access my work files and applications via a virtual desktop which allows me to work on any device from any location (with a stable-ish Internet connection). However, my 4G signal is pretty hit and miss on the train due to some long tunnels so I have all my essential files sync’d to my phone, iPad, home laptop, work VDI etc. via Citrix ShareFile. What this means is that as soon as I hit a WiFi spot or my 4G connects, all my files are sync’d back to the work servers and available for everyone else to view. Even better for me is that I can roll back to previous iterations of the document and have my marketing team notified as soon as a new blog post is saved so they can start correcting my poor English and publish it!
The technology available to work from anywhere and from any type of connection (including not having a connection) has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and this is where the term Agile Workspace comes from. It’s also become accessible to smaller businesses whereas as just twelve months ago, only the big Enterprise businesses could afford to use this sort of technology. For me as a business owner, I also know that the data and applications aren’t leaving the business via things like Dropbox etc. and that gives me confidence that we are compliant with all the current and incoming legislation and peace of mind that we don’t have data leakage issues like many businesses.
Life is now easier…
For me it’s a bit of a life changer. That sounds pretty dramatic I know and it’s not meant to be but it has helped me spend far more time with my family. I can now work on the train even without a signal and access all the information I need to do my job. This means that rather than sitting reading a paper or book, I am working and that gives me two hours more of productivity a day. That alone gives me two hours of my life back to spend helping my wife with the school run or watching my kids school play or any of those other special moments that often get missed by working parents.
I can also work from home as though I am in the office. My desk phone diverts to either my virtual desktop or my mobile, whatever I choose, I have access to all the same applications and data as I do in the office. I basically carry my office around with me and that enables me to decide how and when I work, making me more Agile. I certainly have a better work/life balance now and I would say that I get more done and am far more productive than I have been in previous businesses when I was tied to a desk from 9 until 5.
Our Hosted Desktop Services are built across highly available, enterprise class datacentres in the U.K that deliver all your applications and data securely. Using any device, in any location, your workforce will have a plethora of options for home-working, ‘hot-desking’ and other flexible working environments, all proven to increase productivity and ultimately, the efficiency of the business.