2013 Will be the Year of Streamlining Our Business Lives – Forbes

This house in the clouds symbolizes how our work and home lives will need to backed up and organized in the cloud.

This house in the clouds symbolizes how our work and home lives will need to backed up and organized in the cloud.

How quickly will the workplace evolve in 2013?

Brett Caine, a vice president at Citrix Online Services, has written a fascinating article at Forbes, and many of his trends portend good things for reducing our solo-driving footprints for getting to our jobs.

By embracing technology, Caine envisions that businesses increasingly will offer work-at-home options to their employees. And this, he writes, makes good business sense.

His main point is that workplaces need to embrace social media as much as individuals have – and he believes that will happen in a robust way over the next 12 months.

He says email will be used more for simply scheduling meetings and handling logistics, whereas teamwork and idea generation will happen in the cloud, where new information will be added to previously gathered information in order to keep everyone on the same page and moving forward.

It seems clear that productivity could receive a huge boost from such a development. And the onslaught of creativity-crushing email that consumes so much of the workday at so many organizations could disappear.

Caine writes:

The number of work-at-home employees is increasing dramatically and not just day-extenders. For the first time we are seeing companies implement work-at-home policies and practices that make it possible to work from home as a full member of the team. Everyone wants flexibility, more and more ask for it and the Millennials will demand it. What does this changing workforce (and workplace) mean for leaders and managers in the workplace?

Twenty to 30 million Americans work from home at least one day a week, and teleworking becomes even more important as we see more natural and man-made disasters. The average American commute to work by private car is 23 minutes, and it’s higher in cities where traffic increases. Battling all the way to work through congestion will be much more unnecessary as teamwork thrives in the cloud.

Making telework even easier is the trend away from casual Fridays to work-from-home Fridays.

And with the snow coming down right now in the Washington DC region – mixed with my post-holidays runny nose and stuffed-up head – working from home has become a really useful option. And I’m sure my co-workers agree!

Photos by Sheba_Also and Calotype46

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