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Is your business keeping up with changes in the workplace?

The way we work is undergoing fundamental changes
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Most of us have spent the majority of our working lives in offices that have undergone little change from the traditional set-up, bar the technology sitting in front of us.

But the smart device explosion and increasing mobility of the workforce is changing things drastically. Indeed, many of us are spending less time in the office than ever before with the new-found capability to work almost anywhere.

This is bringing a whole host of security and productivity challenges for businesses, so we sat down with Samsung's enterprise expert Graham Long to find out what companies must be considering as these changes and trends unfold.

TechRadar Pro: First of all, what does Samsung mean by the term multiscreen?

Graham Long: Multiscreen refers to the trend for employees to use a variety of devices and screens to get work done, choosing the right screen to use for the work that is being carried out at the time. This can be made up of checking emails on your phone, creating presentations on your laptop and then using your tablet to present in a meeting.

TRP: How do you think the consumerisation of the workplace is affecting employee behaviour and ways of working?

GL: Employees now expect to be able to access and complete their work wherever they are. Mobile devices have been the enablers of this trend; allowing employees to check emails, write documents and create presentations on the go.

Recent research from Samsung has found that three quarters of the European respondents are work-life blending by doing personal tasks in work time (75 per cent) and work tasks in their personal time (77 per cent). This demise of the 9-5 can be largely attributed to the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, giving employees ultimate flexibility about when and where they want to work.

TRP: To what extent have companies and employers had to adapt to cater for an increasingly mobile and remote workforce?

GL: The consumerisation of workplace technology has brought many benefits for both businesses and their employees; job satisfaction and improved productivity to name just a couple. However, as employees use a diverse range of devices to access work information, it can present a host of security issues with businesses exposed to sensitive data leaks.

Organisations need to ensure that they have the right IT infrastructure and security controls in place so they can give their workforce flexibility but also protecting corporate data at the same time. Businesses are taking steps to address this, but there's still a long way to go in order to keep up with the times.

IT departments and CIOs need to be aware of what their employees needs are and should they prefer to have more flexible access to technology, ensure they can do safely.

TRP: Do you think businesses have progressed in terms of securing the workplace from a management and security perspective? Are IT and management as aligned as they should be?

GL: Although the use of mobile devices in the workplace is common, recent research by Samsung reveals mobile device security still isn?t being taken as seriously as it should be. Almost a third (30 per cent) of CTOs do not know how many mobile handsets were lost or stolen last year, and over a third (34 per cent) do not know how many mobile security incidents in general their business suffered.

There are huge implications for businesses who have data leaks, in terms of brand and reputation, customer churn, and monetary impact.

At Samsung, our aim is to impress the importance of security to businesses; everyone should be aware of the implications of devices not being secured properly, from the IT department to the employee to the management board.

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.