Employees today demand the freedom to work when, where and how they want. Give them the tools they need to perform at their best — at a time when they’re needed most — and watch them thrive

As we kick off 2021, organizations are accelerating digitization and embracing flexible and hybrid work models. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that by 2025, some 70 percent of the workforce will work remotely at least five days a month. And as revealed by the Citrix Talent Accelerator, 76 percent of US knowledge workers will prioritize remote and flexible work opportunities, even if it means taking a pay cut.

Yet, despite these trends, work today remains complex. Remote employees struggle with unreliable and often insecure access to the resources they need to do their job. And the work environment is cluttered with a heterogeneous array of applications, communication channels and devices that are disrupting employees and getting in the way of efficient and meaningful work.

During a typical workday, employees:

· Use more than 35 critical apps to get their work done — often four or more just to complete a single business process.

· Spend 28 percent of their time managing e-mail and nearly 20 percent looking for information across a disparate array of apps and collaboration channels or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.

· Are interrupted by a text, chat, or application alert and forced to switch context between these work channels 373 times per day or around every 40 seconds. And once interrupted by a text, chat, email or other notification, it can take about 23 minutes to get back to the task at hand.

In the face of this disruptive and frustrating work environment, the typical employee averages only one hour and 12 minutes of uninterrupted work time each day. This is creating a huge productivity gap and turning top talent into task rabbits.

When it comes to the future of work, advantage will go to companies that remove this friction and provide a simple, secure and reliable experience that enables employees to do their best work, wherever work needs to get done. And companies that leverage the powerful combination of digital workspaces and collaborative work management solutions can gain it.

With a true digital workspace solution, companies can securely deliver all the work resources (apps, content, business services) an employee needs to be productive in one unified, consumer-like experience.

With the right SaaS collaborative work management solutions, they can provide the tools to structure, track, report, and collaborate across a range of work scenarios.

And in combining them, they can provide a cloud-delivered digital workspace experience that empowers all employees to securely access, collaborate, and execute all work types — from structured and unstructured to team-collaboration and document-based workflows — in the most efficient and effective way possible, anywhere, anytime from any device or location.

The need to deliver a secure and simplified work experience for employees has never been more critical. And companies that embrace this approach can deliver a modern digital workspace complete with everything employees need to collaborate, innovate and create value.

Tim Minahan is the executive vice president, business strategy and chief marketing officer at Citrix, a leading provider of digital workspace solutions.

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