The UK lags behind many other major economies in the adoption of collaborative working technology, which could impact business productivity, according to a global study conducted by Polycom. Collaborative technologies include video and teleconferencing, instant messaging and file sharing tools.
The study found that 46% of UK workers use collaborative tools daily. This is far lower than many leading economies, including Russia (61%), Australia (55%), Singapore (54%), United States (53%), Canada (51%) and France (49%).
Emerging economies Brazil (82%) and India (72%) lead collaborative technology adoption, while a culture of presenteeism in Japan limits the ability to work remotely there.
The UK government enabled flexible working for all in June 2014. Despite the UK trailing in adoption of collaborative technology, there is clearly a demand for the ability to work remotely and business people well understand the benefits of such a culture.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the UK now works remotely at some point, Polycom finds, with 38% of people using email 'considerably less' in favour of the phone or instant messaging. Those aged 30-44 are most likely to ditch email, possibly because it is the format they have used most during their career and know how much time email can take to manage effectively.
"Embracing collaborative working technology and flexible working practices can benefit organizations from a business continuity and resilience perspective," said David Thorp, Executive Director of the Business Continuity Institute. "By having processes in place that allow people to work flexibly during 'business as usual', it makes it far easier to enable them to work flexibly during an emergency."
“In the UK, many organizations maintain a legacy ‘nine-to-five’ culture while others are going through a process of digital transformation, so may be exploring the viability of remote working for their workforce,” says Jeremy Keefe, UK&I and Benelux Area Sales Vice President, at Polycom. “To enable staff to work effectively from home, organisations need to equip staff with the technology that connects them with colleagues, generate working from home policies and update them as culture and technology evolves, and provide guidelines to staff.”