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How Can a Virtual Workspace Increase Productivity?

Article Written by Vissarion Yfantis

The influx of Millennials in the workplace - a generation that values experiences and freedom over money - is spurring businesses to equip employees with virtual workspaces. But not all companies are convinced. These organizations fear that virtual workspaces and the practices driving them (like telecommuting and remote work) will reduce productivity. But the truth is, that's probably the last thing to worry about.

Defining the virtual workspace

An employee's workspace used to be defined by the four corners of an office or cubicle. That notion is slowly being eroded. Today, a virtual workspace can be any place where an employee can communicate, collaborate, connect, and ultimately accomplish practically all work-related tasks. (This is assuming that employee is given access to all the necessary technologies, like core business applications, email, instant messaging, and virtual meeting tools.) With the emergence of mobile devices and high-speed Internet connections (especially the impending arrival of 5G), that could now mean almost anywhere.

What Millennials really mean when they say they want freedom

When companies push back on their employees' desire for more freedom, it's usually because they already have a preconceived notion of what that "freedom" means. Freedom, especially when uttered by a younger generation in the context of work, is sometimes associated with laziness. That notion needs to be corrected.

Employees who want freedom aren't necessarily looking for shorter working hours. Rather, they just want to work on their own terms-where they want, when they want. One might find it more comfortable to work in a particular coffee shop because it has the right ambience. Another might prefer to work at home until 10 a.m. simply to avoid rush-hour traffic. These things don't have anything to do with reducing productivity. If any, they even enhance it.

Reporting for work doesn't always equate to actual work

We see it all too often in the workplace. A lot of employees report to work on time every day-but how many of them actually buckle down and work right away? Some employees might still have their minds wandering elsewhere: last night's unfinished business, a personal errand they need done within the day, a family member suddenly gone ill, and so on.

As the day carries on, those distractions can keep weighing down on the person's mind. Some things affect productivity unless they're addressed first.

Winning back actual working hours

If you give employees more flexibility, they can adjust their schedule so that work-related tasks can be tackled when they can be more focused. If that's at home, after they've dealt with personal matters, then so be it. If it's in a nearby coffee shop right after they've completed an errand, then that shouldn't be a problem. It would be so much better to end the day with a lot of tasks completed than to end it with just a lot of hours punched in.

Virtual workspaces enhances productivity

In order to ensure these employees can actually get to work the moment they're ready to buckle down, you need to equip them with the right tools. This is why a virtual workspace is crucial. The right virtual workspace can enable an employee to get right down to work, regardless of where he/she is and what time of day it is. (Provided of course, that the deadline for the task at hand has not expired).

Ideal virtual workspaces

At its most basic, a virtual workspace will have to include tools for connecting, communicating, and collaborating. In that case, any smartphone, tablet, or laptop equipped with Internet connectivity and commonly used applications (like a web browser, Microsoft Office suite, email, instant messaging, and video conferencing tool) will do, right? Not really.

Many employees will want to use exactly the same work-related applications as the ones they have in their office. Sometimes, they might even need to use a particular line-of-business (LOB) application that can't be installed on a mobile device. And in all cases, employees will be looking for a user experience that's at least as responsive and delivered in a resolution that's on par with their office computer. How can you meet these demands-especially if employees also insist on using their own devices?

The answer is applications and desktop virtualization. With a virtual application and desktop delivery solution like ParallelsĀ® Remote Application Server (RAS), you can securely deliver applications and desktops (including LOB applications) on any device. Not only that, users get to use those applications and desktops as if they were on their office computer.

Want to see how it works? Grab a 30-day evaluation period of Parallels RAS today!

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About the Author

 

Vissarion Yfantis, Content Writer & Technical Trainer, Parallels

After many years in the IT industry as a technician deployed in multiple positions such as hardware, networking, customer support and more, I decided to extend my knowledge over virtualization. Working with Parallels since March 2018 I am responsible for writing and managing content for the manuals, blogs, how-to guides and also provide training over the Parallels RAS solution.
Published Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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