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The Highly Virtual Workplace


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This installment of the 2012 Kelly Global Workforce Index looks at the emergence of the highly virtual workforce, characterized by employees that are connected to their workplace around the clock by virtue of mobile technologies.

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The Highly Virtual Workplace

  1. peoplekelly Global workforce index ™ 00 0 168, 2The highly virtual r 201 : Novembe release s ie 30 rworkplace c o u nt
  2. the connected workerImproved productivity increased improved pressureIn terms of efficiency and productivity, there is a narrow risk of work-life to staymajority (53%) of respondents who believe that mobile burnout balance connectedtechnology has increased their effectiveness. Less tha n 5h80% ou rs60% 23% 32% 40% 36% believe that say there has been say the greatest40% staying connected an improvement pressure to stay None with work after- on work-life connected comes Amount of time spent 49% hours poses a risk of fatigue balance as a result of online from themselves. The second most20% each week “connected” or burnout. The technologies. common source to work outside of the highest rate of Those in APAC of pressure typical workday burnout is in have best comes from 16% M o re0% APAC, where 37% integrated these employers (26%). Gen Y Gen X Baby Boomers Professional/ technical Non-professional/ technical Americas EMEA APAC are adversely technologies into affected. their lives with tha 50% experiencing n1 an improved 12% 0 ou work-life balance. h rs 6 –10 h o urs“connected” timeoutside of thetypical workday(by region) Americas 72% EMEA 74% APAC 89% Time spent No time spent 28% 26% 11% 2
  3. contents Section 1: Section 2: The Kelly Global Workforce Index 2012 4 Introduction 14 Introduction The 2012 Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) brings together the findings from almost 170,000 5 The connected employee 15 Impact on productivity (by region) respondents from 30 countries. It shows the results (by region) 16 Impact on productivity (by generation) of diverse forces impacting the contemporary 6 The connected employee workplace, including generational and geographic (by generation) 17 Impact on productivity (by worker type) diversity, technology, employee empowerment, 18 Impact on work-life balance and the widespread use of social media. 7 The connected employee (by worker type) 19 Impact on job security This fifth installment of the 2012 KGWI looks at the emergence of the highly virtual workforce, 8 The connected employee: APAC 20 Impact on burnout characterized by employees that are connected 9 The connected employee: Americas 21 Appeal of telecommuting to their workplace around the clock by virtue of (by region) mobile technologies. 10 The connected employee: EMEA 11 Main pressures to stay connected 22 Appeal of telecommuting The advent of smartphones and laptops, and 24/7 (by generation) access to corporate IT networks has empowered a 12 Amount of time connected generation of workers for whom the office is always with work (by region) 23 Conclusion in their pocket. 13 Amount of time connected The paper examines these workforce issues across with work (by generation) industry sectors, and globally, across the Americas, APAC and EMEA regions. It also includes a generational perspective, with a focus on the three main workforce generations – Gen Y (age 19-30), Gen X (age 31-48) and Baby Boomers (age 49-66).Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 3
  4. sec tion 1The Around-the-clock workerEmployees everywhere are feeling the pressure to stay connectedwith their work in a world where technology is pervasive.The uptake of mobile technologies has as well as the impacts on productivity,transformed workplaces and the way that work-life balance and job security.employees interact with their work. It shows that the impacts have been largelyThis report explores the pressures positive, and that while productivity andfaced by employees to stay connected efficiency can be enhanced, the intrusionto their work outside normal working into employee downtime can contribute tohours. It examines both the benefits fatigue and burnout if not carefully managed.and the downsides of this technology,Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 4
  5. the connected employee (by region)Å Globally, more than a quarter(27 percent) of respondents feel under Do you feel under pressure to stay “connected” with your work, online, and The Connected Employee by region via email or phone, outside of normal work hours? (% yes, by region)pressure to stay connected with workoutside of normal work hours.Within APAC, the intensity is greatest,with 35 percent required to maintain a AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESconnection, compared with 28 percent inEMEA and 21 percent in the Americas. 21% 28% 35% 27%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 5
  6. the connected employee (by generation)Å Even though younger generationsare more adept at accommodating Do you feel under pressure to stay “connected” with your work, online, and The Connected Employee by generation via email or phone, outside of normal work hours? (% yes, by generation)new technology, all generations arefeeling the pressure to maintain avirtual connection to their work. GEN Y GEN X BABY BOOMERS 28% 29% 26%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 6
  7. the connected employee (by skill set)Å The degree of pressure to stayconnected is directly related to the nature Do you feel under pressure to stay “connected” with your work, online, and via email The Connected Employee by P/T and non-P/T or phone, outside of normal work hours? (% yes, by skill set)of the work performed. Those workerswith a Professional & Technical (P/T) skillset—sales, marketing, education, IT, legal,science, finance and accounting, security NON-clearance, and healthcare—all experience PROFESSIONAL/ PROFESSIONAL/ TECHNICAL TECHNICALgreater pressure than those in non-Professional & Technical (non-P/T) roles—administrative, call center and customerservice, light industrial and clerical.Approximately one-third (32 percent)of workers with P/T skill sets feelunder pressure to stay connected, 32% 21%significantly more than those withnon-P/T skill sets (21 percent) .Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 7
  8. the connected employee: APACÅ Across the globe, there is a trendtoward some of the most dynamic, Do you feel under pressure to stay “connected” with your work, online, and The Connected Employee - APAC via email or phone, outside of normal work hours? (% yes, by country)emerging economies, particularlythose in Asia, being the most likely to 42% 40% 40% 39% 37% 31% 25% 22% 21%have workforces feeling the pressureto stay connected with work.Leading the field are Hong Kong,Singapore, Malaysia and India, all withapproximately 40 percent of respondentsconscious of the need to stay in touchwith their work outside of normal hours. Hong Kong Singapore Malaysia India China Indonesia Thailand New Zealand AustraliaKelly Global Workforce Index™ 8
  9. the connected employee: AmericasÅ Of the three global regions examinedin the report, fewer workers in the Do you feel under pressure to stay “connected” with your work, online, and The Connected Employee - Americas via email or phone, outside of normal work hours? (% yes, by country)Americas report feeling pressure toremain connected with their workplaces. 23% 23% 20% 14%In both the United States and Canada,slightly less than a quarter (23 percent)are under pressure to remain online, butthis falls to 20 percent in Puerto Ricoand just 14 percent in Mexico, which isthe lowest of any country in the survey. United States Canada Puerto Rico MexicoKelly Global Workforce Index™ 9
  10. the connected employee: EMEAÅ In EMEA, the three countries whereemployees face the greatest pressure Do you feel under pressure to stay “connected” with your work, online, and The Connected Employee - EMEA via email or phone, outside of normal work hours? (% yes, by country)to maintain contact with their workare Russia, Hungary and Poland. 37% 37% 36% 32% 31% 30% 28% 27% 27% 26% 26% 25% 25% 24% 23% 21% 19%EMEA, on average, has 28 percentof respondents reporting pressure tostay connected to their work. Manyof the smaller European economiesreport higher levels than this, includingBelgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands.The biggest economies including,UK, Germany, France and Italyare all below the average. Russia Hungary Poland Belgium South Africa Luxembourg Netherlands Germany Switzerland France Portugal Ireland Norway Sweden Italy Denmark UKKelly Global Workforce Index™ 10
  11. Main pressures to stay connectedÅ Where is this pressure to stay Main Pressures to stay connectedconnected with work coming from? If you are under pressure to stay connected with work, where is the main pressure coming from? (By region) 50%It is intriguing that the greatest pressure,accounting for 36 percent of responses Americasglobally, comes from individuals EMEAthemselves. It seems that employees 40% APAC All countrieshave an acute sense of the need tostay connected with their work, evenduring their so-called downtime. 30%The next most motivating factordriving the connected employee isemployers, who account for 26 percent 20%of responses, followed by industryculture (15 percent), customers/clients(14 percent), other employees 10%(5 percent) and other factors (3 percent).The pattern is consistent across theAmericas and EMEA but slightly different 0%in APAC. In Asia, more workers say that Self Employers Industry culture Customers/clients Other employees Otheremployers are a source of pressure whenit comes to ensuring that their employeesare never more than a click away.Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 11
  12. Amount of time connected with work (by region)Å Once, there was work time and Amount of time connected with work - by regiondowntime. Now the lines are blurred. Most How much time do you spend each week “connected” to work via mobile technology outside of the typical workday? (By region)employees are spending at least some of 60%their leisure time connected with their work. AmericasAlmost half of all respondents globally EMEA 50%(49 percent) say that they spend five hours APACor less each week connected to their All countrieswork outside of the typical working day. 40%There is a further 12 percent whospend 6–10 hours, and 16 percent who 30%spend more than 10 hours connectedto their work. Less than a quarter(23 percent) say they spend no time. 20%Those in APAC are the most likely to beusing their downtime to keep in touch 10%with their work. Only 12 percent of thosein APAC report spending no time duringtheir off-hours connected to work, less 0%than half the rate in EMEA (26 percent) < 5 hours 6–10 hours > 10 hours Noneand Americas (29 percent).Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 12
  13. Amount of time connected with work (by generation)Å Among the main working generations, Amount of time connected with work - by generationGen Y and Gen X are the most likely How much time do you spend each week “connected” to work via mobile technology outside of the typical workday? (By generation)to be spending a part of their out-of- 60%work hours still connected, although Gen YBaby Boomers are not far behind. Gen X 50% Baby BoomersThere are 22 percent of GenY and 21percent of Gen X who report spendingno time at all connected to their work 40%during their off-hours, comparedwith 30 percent of Baby Boomers. 30% 20% 10% 0% < 5 hours 6–10 hours > 10 hours NoneKelly Global Workforce Index™ 13
  14. sec tion 2online technologies—benefit or curse?Mobile technologies that connect employees with their work do provide benefits,but they are not without costs.On the one hand, there is increased For some, this is a blessing, freeing themflexibility and efficiency for both from the need to be anchored at a definedemployees and businesses, but also location at a given time. For others, it justadded employee workload, and means more work.interruption to leisure or family time. For employers and employees alike, gettingFor many individuals, work is leaping the this balance right is undoubtedly the nexttraditional boundary of the workplace. big challenge in the online work revolution.Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 14
  15. Impact on productivity (by region)Å In terms of efficiency andproductivity, there is a narrow majority To what degree do you agree that the use of mobile technology has improved Impact of productivity by region your work efficiency/productivity (% agree, by region)(53 percent) of respondents whobelieve that mobile technology hasincreased their effectiveness.Significantly, the greatest increases inproductivity appear to have occurred AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESin APAC, where 62 percent say theyare more efficient, compared with 50percent in both the Americas and EMEA. 50% 50% 62% 53%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 15
  16. Impact on productivity (by generation)Å Across the generations, mobiletechnology appears to have had a more To what degree do you agree that the use of mobile technology has improved Impact of productivity by generation your work efficiency/productivity (% agree, by generation)positive impact on productivity andefficiency among Gen Y (54 percent)and Gen X (56 percent), but less soamong Baby Boomers (47 percent). GEN Y GEN X BABY BOOMERS 54% 56% 47%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 16
  17. Impact on productivity (by skill set)Å The productivity gains arisingfrom use of mobile technology are To what degree do you agree that the use of mobile technology has improved Impact of productivity by P/T and non-P/T your work efficiency/productivity (% agree, by skill set)more pronounced among thoseworkers with Professional/Technicalskills (62 percent), than thosewithout those skills (43 percent). NON- PROFESSIONAL/ PROFESSIONAL/ TECHNICAL TECHNICAL 62% 43%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 17
  18. Impact on work-life balance (by region)Å As well as the productivitygains, there are also downsides. To what degree do you agree that the use of mobile technology for work Impact of Work-Life Balance by region has resulted in a more positive work-life balance? (% agree, by region)On the question of work-life balance,40 percent of respondents, globally,say there has been an improvementas a result of online technologies. AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESThe outcomes are uneven across theglobe. Those in APAC appear to havebest integrated these technologies intotheir lives, with 50 percent experiencingan improved work-life balance.In contrast, 44 percent of respondentsin the Americas have experienced 44% 34% 50% 40%better work-life balance, and thisfalls to just 34 percent in EMEA.Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 18
  19. Impact on job security (by region)Å The impact of mobile technologyon job security, in the eyes of To what degree do you region that the use of mobile technology has increased your job security? (% agree, by region) Impact on Job Security by agreeemployees, is also equivocal.When asked, 29 percent say that theonline technologies have improved theirjob security. This is highest in APAC, AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESwhere 36 percent experienced improvedjob security, compared with 30 percent inthe Americas and 25 percent in EMEA. 30% 25% 36% 29%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 19
  20. Impact on burnout (by region)Å Perhaps the greatest peril of Impact on Burnout by region To what degree do you agree that the use of mobile technology has contributed to increased fatigue/burnout? (% agree, by region)online technologies in relation tostaying connected with work isthat, for some, the added workloadcontributes to fatigue or burnout.While there are clear benefits from AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESproductivity improvements, nearlyone-third (32 percent) agree thatthe use of mobile technologies hascontributed to fatigue or burnout.The highest rate of burnout is in APAC,where 37 percent are adversely affected,higher than in EMEA (33 percent) 26% 33% 37% 32%and the Americas (26 percent).Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 20
  21. Appeal of Telecommuting (by region)Å Perhaps the purest form of virtual Appeal of Telecommuting by regionemployee is the one who telecommutes Would you consider telecommuting (working mainly from home or away from the office) if that was offered to you? (% yes, by region)—working from home or in a remotelocation, and rarely, if ever, having aphysical tie to an office or workplace.Issues such as family-friendly workarrangements, traffic congestion AMERICAS EMEA APAC ALL COUNTRIESand flexible hours have all madetelecommuting a viable option formany organizations and employees.Our survey shows that 60 percent saythey would consider telecommuting,working mainly from home or away from 68% 56% 59% 60%the office, if that option was offered.The greatest appeal is in the Americas,where more than two-thirds (68 percent)would consider telecommuting,significantly more than in APAC(59 percent) and EMEA (56 percent).Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 21
  22. Appeal of Telecommuting (by generation)Å Among the generations, there is adistinct leaning toward telecommuting Would of Telecommuting by generation (working mainly from home or away from the office) if that was offered to you? (% yes, by generation) Appeal you consider telecommutingamong older workers. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Gen X and BabyBoomers would consider telecommuting,compared with only 55 percent of Gen Y. GEN Y GEN X BABY BOOMERS 55% 65% 65%Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 22
  23. ConclusionVirtual RealityThe virtual workforce is now upon us. Organizations and employees have adapted to thisnewest workplace evolution in different ways, and with varying degrees of success.Not so long ago, it was predicted that Overall, the results seem predominantly For employers: For employees:technological advances would give us all positive. Most employees recognize • Are you allowing ample access to mobile • Do you have the opportunity to use mobilemore leisure time. In hindsight, that seems the positive impacts on workplace technology so employees can stay technology to stay connected and improvequaintly naïve. As this study shows, most productivity and efficiency, and many connected 24/7?Are the expectations your productivity? are juggling the competing pressures report a more positive work-life balance. regarding after-hours and virtual • Is telecommuting something you’d bebetween work and leisure, but outcomes vary connections clearly understood by But there is also recognition that interested in or comfortable with?  Would itmarkedly across countries and generations. all employees? the extension of work into personal be a viable option in your current job?Some businesses, notably in the dynamic downtime comes at the cost of • In terms of performance evaluation, are • In your opinion, what is the best strategyAsia Pacific region, have integrated virtual increased fatigue and burnout. there guidelines to assess those who for keeping a healthy balance?technologies into their workplaces at a embrace virtual work compared with thoserapid rate. In the Americas and EMEA, As work leaps this spatial boundary who don’t?the change has been somewhat slower. into personal time, there are some • Are there even more opportunities for important issues that employers and your firm to take advantage of employee employees may need to consider. telecommuting or virtual work? • With more virtual workers, are we at risk of losing the critical human connection?Kelly Global Workforce Index™ 23
  24. About the kelly global workforce indexThe Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and theworkplace. More than 168,000 people across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions respondedto the 2012 survey. This survey was conducted by RDA Group on behalf of Kelly Services.About Kelly services®Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions.Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-classstaffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe,Kelly provides employment to more than 550,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2011 was$5.6 billion. Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.Download The Talent Project, a free iPad app by Kelly Services.An Equal Opportunity Employer © 2012 Kelly EXITKelly Global Workforce Index™ 24