Nicola Millard

The reinvention of the office: does distance still matter?

By Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist BT

Technology seems to be heralding the death of distance as we become untethered from our desks by a combination of mobile technologies, connectivity and cloud. Packed commuter trains and rush hour traffic jams show us a different picture. Maybe work hasn’t changed as much as the digital revolution initially promised and distance does still seem to matter.

The truth is that co-location may look like an easy solution for fostering collaboration but it doesn’t guarantee it. It is just as easy to feel isolated in an office as it is working from a remote location and the people just five bays down might just as well be on the moon to people in many offices. [Read more...]

Steve Gillies

10 ways to increase your productivity at home

By Steve Gillies, Transformation Consultant, BT

The internet is full of helpful hints and tips on how to be productive whilst working from home. Common suggestions revolve around getting the right technology, mindset, practices, office set-up and family relationships. Of course, all of these are sensible and are important things to get right.

But what about the less common ideas? In my research, I’ve come across some that are slightly left-field, some that are highly questionable and a few that are just plain bonkers. I’ve compiled a list some uncommon ways to keep productive when working from home… I’ll leave you to decide which are barmy. [Read more...]

Adrian Hardy

There is no ‘we’ in ‘flexible working’

By Adrian Hardy

Many times I have heard the overused adage that there is no “‘I’ in team” when talking about objectives and strategy. It is therefore interesting to note that ‘flexible working’ — when considered as a strategy to deliver better against the same objectives — contains two ‘i’s’ but no ‘we’.

The problem, as I see it, is that in the last five years of the flexible working revolution, the focus has been solely on ‘enabling the individual to work any place, anytime, anywhere’. [Read more...]

Steve Gillies, Transformation Consultant, BT

Sorry to interrupt you

By Steve Gillies, Transformation Consultant, BT

One of the main reasons I regularly work from home is to avoid interruptions. They come in many forms and are one of the biggest destroyers of my personal productivity. I run a lot of focus groups on agile working and know from them that many others share the same feelings about office interruptions — especially if you work in an open plan office as many of us do.

The problem with interruptions is that they take some time to recover from, to get your mind back on track and back to the place where your flow of thought was interrupted. According to ‘interruption science’ knowledge, workers can be distracted up to every 11 minutes, and can take up to 30 minutes to fully recover. If you are writing a report, or conducting research or analysing financial data, interruptions can be very costly in lost productivity and high error rates. [Read more...]

J-P De Clerck

Business agility: elasticity as the driver of cloud deployment

An increasing need for higher business agility remains one of the key drivers in the growing interest regarding cloud services. As each year, cloud computing ranks of the ‘technology prediction lists’. However, each year the tone continues to change as well, with less ‘cloud vapor’ and more focus on ‘business’. According to Forrester’s Craig LeClair, infrastructure elasticity should be seen as an enabler for other dimensions that make the business more agile and higher performing.

Whether you take a look at the evolutions in business domains such as information management, enterprise collaboration and work or at the fast digitalization across specific verticals, cloud computing is ranked as a crucial factor. The end goal of those evolutions, in many cases, is one of higher agility, at the same time one of the original drivers of the cloud to start with. This is not a coincidence in an increasingly real-time economy where business agility drives better business performance.

While agility and the ability to respond faster (and soon to pro-spond) to changing business, customer and worker demands is obviously not just a technology question, technology is an enabler of it. When looking at some of the IT and CIO priorities for 2014 as mentioned in a previous blog post (and many of us know this but can we turn it into action?), business is driving IT with challenging consequences. The same goes for business agility and cloud computing. [Read more...]