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13 September, New York and London.

New in-depth research released by the Digital Workplace Forum shows the vast range of benefits and potential ROI available by investing in digital working, meeting the needs of an increasing mobile and flexible workforce.

Digital Workplace Business Case: What is the financial value of investing in digital working?Citing a bank of statistical and anecdotal evidence, the free report ‘Digital Workplace business case: What is the financial value of investing in digital working?’ shows there are huge opportunities for organizations to reduce costs, improve productivity, increasing employee engagement and even contribute to improving the environment.

Paul Miller, report author and founder and CEO of the Digital Workplace Group, said: “This report is required reading for CEOs, CIOs, Heads of HR and anybody involved in the provision of digital working. This outlines in detail exactly what the business case is for investing in what I call the ‘digital workplace’.”

Miller continued: “Work is changing to something portable. The workforce no longer wants to be tied to the office.  Organizations which make this area a strategic priority will gain a significant competitive advantage over their rivals.”

The report outlines six distinct areas where there are clear benefits from investing in digital working. These are:

  • Real estate reductions  (ability to reduce costs on office space)
  • Productivity improvements (employees are often more efficient when working away from the office)
  • Absenteeism declines (staff are less inclined to have a day officially away from the office if they are working flexibly)
  • Staff turnover decreases (employees who work flexibly are more engaged, happier and less likely to leave)
  • Operations continuity (a good digital workplace infrastructure is key for successful operations continuity and disaster planning)
  • Environmental gains (by reducing employee travel there are significant reductions in organizations’ carbon footprint).

The report, which is partly based on research undertaken by Global Workplace Analytics (formerly the Telework Research Network), also outlines a wealth of case studies and statistics such as:

  • The average business could save $2,500 to $5,000 a year in real estate and related costs for each half-time teleworker
  • Significant savings can be achieved through reduction in business travel. For example, Ernst & Young (£2.5m a year) and Cisco ($10.3m a year).
  • Surveys suggest  60% of office desks are vacant at any given time
  • The value of annual increased productivity through half-time telework is estimated at between $4,000 and $16,000 per teleworker
  • Flexible work programs have delivered productivity improvements over 55%
  • 82% of Fortune Magazine’s 100 best companies to work for in 2011 offer telecommuting opportunities to workers
  • Agile working pilots have reduced employee absenteeism by 42%
  • US Department of Labor studies estimate absences cost employers in the US $100bn a year.

The report can be downloaded for free.

About the author

Steve-BynghallSteve Bynghall is a freelance consultant, researcher and writer specializing in the digital workplace, intranets, knowledge management, collaboration and other digital themes. He is DWG’s Research and Knowledge Lead, a benchmark evaluator and research analyst for DWG. Steve previously worked at accountancy firm BDO in a variety of knowledge roles, including managing its global extranet programme.

Connect with Steve on Twitter: @bynghall or on Google +.

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