Out of Office

Out of Office Trends for 2013

Crystal BallWe’re nearing the end of another year, so it’s time for our annual podcast episode about trends for the coming 12 months.

Listen to the episode here:

Download the MP3 file here

Buy the book here (available at a reduced price for a limited time).

Our list:

  1. Video Conferencing: It has become easy and ubiquitous, and its use will grow. It has higher “fidelity” than other channels. You need to think about how to use these tools effectively: When to use it, and how to use it well.
  2. BYOD on the Rise: Because of the rise of mobile technology, there’s an increasing demand for “Bring Your Own Device” capability in workplaces, particularly those with Semi-Commuters.
    But BYOD raises a number of issues. It’s not just the software and hardware integration, but also security, legal, acceptable use, and even HR/workstyle issues. Nevertheless, it’s already with us, so organisations need to embrace it. We expect BYOD usage to rise in 2013.

  3. Android is King of the Road: Total Android smart phones to top one billion in 2013, with one million currently being activated daily. Currently, the situation is good because we have competition between two strong rivals: Apple and Google. This ought to drive innovation in mobile platforms. Microsoft are playing catch up but have released the Surface tablet and Windows 8.
  4. Multiple Devices: Although we’ve seen some moves towards convergence, there still isn’t “one device to rule them all”, especially with the growth of Android (as noted above) competing with the iPad. So there’s still a need/desire for multiple devices, even if it’s less convenient to carry them all around.
  5. Part-time Telecommuting (Semi-Commuter): I’ve noticed a lot more working from home amongst my colleagues, i.e. more Semi-Commuting. Technological improvements are making it possible; employers are recognising that it’s win-win; and there’s a changed attitude towards it.
  6. Google Apps for Business: More organisations moving to this, because it brings all sorts of Cloud-based functionality under one roof.
  7. Better, Cheaper Texting: SMS is 20 years old. SMS texts are a useful way of conducting immediate, one-to-one communication but can be expensive. There are many cheaper Internet based alternatives, and SMS usage is in decline.
  8. Better Connectivity for Travellers: Although Out of Office work, by definition, means less travel between home and an office, there’s still a lot of business travel happening. And the travel and hospitality industry are competing to offer better services in this area, particularly for business travellers.

We wish all our listeners a safe and happy Christmas, and ongoing success in 2013.

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