Human Capital & Careers

Desk Be Not Proud

One big change coming to the desktop: workers are less likely to be at one.
CFO StaffMarch 17, 2003

It’s telling that corporate employees, lauded as “stakeholders,” “clients,” “team members,” or what have you in certain contexts, are simply — one might say disparagingly — labeled “users” by IT folks. But, to paraphrase George Bailey, these rabble that pester the help desks do most of the working and adding and producing and thinking around here: Is it too much to ask that they get a decent upgrade once in a while?

Meta Group analyst Jack Gold doesn’t think so. He cautions companies against the current make-do approach, arguing that recent and forthcoming advances in operating systems, tablets and notebooks, and other technologies will soon boost the productivity of users — er, employees. (British Telecom’s “BT Reel Office” project, an effort to study how employees use technology, has found that workers often feel overwhelmed by it: the volumes of information generated exceed what they can cope with, and the pervasiveness intrudes on work/life balance.) One big change coming to the desktop: workers are less likely to be at one. Gold says companies should prepare for a larger reliance on mobile workers by revamping help desks to provide 24/7 support, modifying software-license agreements to address mobile deployment, and updating security policies and internal systems to accommodate remote workers.