Jan 24, 2018 | Berlin
The digital revolution is taking place only slowly in German society. It is therefore now more important than ever that companies take steps to ensure that they and their employees are ready for the future. This was one of the findings of the D21 digital index for 2017/2018 (http://initiatived21.de/publikationen/d21-digital-index-2017-2018/), which was presented in Berlin on Tuesday. The study also found that the smartphone has established itself as by far the most popular end device throughout the population. However, this trend is finding its way into mobile forms of digital working (‘remote working’) at a slow pace. “Companies and public authorities have to play a bigger part in helping their employees make use of digital technologies. Employees in companies are still mainly teaching themselves digital skills outside of work. Employers now have to focus on unlocking this potential,” says Oliver Schorer, member of the Board of Management and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at CHG-MERIDIAN, a non-captive provider of technology management and financial services.
As the digital index proves, people are indeed aware of the ‘digital workspace’, i.e. the ability to work from anywhere using connected devices. For example, one in five of the respondents now works in a virtual team that is not based at a specific location. Mobile forms of working are also becoming more appealing, and only 20 percent said that they’re not interested in them. Fears that mobile working could result in a greater overall workload are also declining (drop of 5 percentage points). On the whole, those surveyed regard digitalization as a definite plus for their career and, in particular, for new job opportunities in their sector.
Despite employees’ interest in mobile working, relatively few have the option to do so at the moment. Only 16 percent of those surveyed currently have access to mobile workplaces; even the figure for purely office roles is still less than a third. “It is in companies’ own interests to step up here,” explains Schorer. “They have to play a larger part in helping their employees embrace digitalization. Otherwise, they will lag behind their competitors in the long term. We have to champion a combination of digital skills obtained at home and at work. Employers can support this with their digital infrastructure. A customized business concept for mobile devices along the lines of ‘corporate-owned, personally enabled’ plays a crucial role in this context.”
The D21 Initiative is Germany’s largest nonprofit network for digital society, consisting of representatives from trade and industry, politics, academia and civil society organizations. CHG-MERIDIAN is again a partner of the D21 digital index study.