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Almost half of employees work from home or on holidays: VMware

Working during a holiday seems like an unpleasant prospect, yet that is what 42 per cent of Australian employees are doing.

The result comes the way of VMware's New Way of Life 2013 study, which also found that 44 per cent of people work from home, which unsurprisingly contributing towards the second-top cause of workplace stress for Australians.

These results do not surprise VMWare A/NZ computing end user product marketing manager, Asanga Wanigatunga, who himself has seen personal technology eliminating the boundary between work and personal life.

"Looking at the way I normally work, I like to work from home," he said.

"Sometimes I pick up my kids and drop them off, work during the day but then to make up for the loss of travel time, I make it up by working at home."

Despite the negative connotation that working outside of the office may contain, Wanigatunga is finding employees in Australia like that level of flexibility.

"For them, that it is attractive aspect of the organisation where they want to work at," he said.

Backing up this notion is that 41 per cent of employees preferred working for companies that offer more technological freedom, while 20 per cent would consider leaving a job due to poor IT policies.

When it comes to working on holidays, Wanigatunga said that people had a tendency to look at their phone to check emails and data from work while on the move.

"It is a natural behaviour that people are used to doing," he said.

Additionally, people realise that they are likely to have a backlog of work waiting for them when they return to the office, so they try to fit it some work while holidaying to mitigate that situation.

On your own

Another key finding in the survey was that consumers are bringing more and more personal devices, such as smartphones and tablets, into work, yet companies are not keeping up with the demand,

Even though employees are accessing the company's networks for work, 77 per cent of companies do not provide any support for personal portable devices.

Wanigatunga said that organisations are currently trying to work out how to build a platform that allows for flexibility.

"Traditionally, IT management has been about managing a device," he said.

"You always had a laptop with an operating system with applications and data tied to it, but now we have to manage that same experience with a multitude of devices."

In today's market, Wanigatunga said customers are lookin for ways of building architecture that will allow them to do exactly that.

VMware itself is active in that space, having recently announced its Horizon suite. One of the key deliverables in that is how the vendor addresses it.

"What the market is looking for is a solution to do it, as the consumer push into the enterprise is quite heavy," Wanigatunga said.

Other key findings in the report included 57 per cent of employees attempting to independently solve their IT problems, while 49 per cent used Google to find answers to their tech questions.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


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