Gartner has revealed new research that suggests very few global organisations - a mere 7 to 18% - have the ‘digital dexterity’ to adopt new ways of work (NWOW) solutions, such as virtual collaboration and mobile work.
The analyst says such solutions are an important pillar for organisations who want to support mobile, team-oriented and nonroutine ways of work, with an increasing number of them looking for assistance in adopting digital workplace technology.
According to Garner, organisations with high digital dexterity have employees who have the cognitive ability and social practice to leverage and manipulate media, information and technology in unique and highly innovative ways.
By country, organisations exhibiting the highest digital dexterity were those in the U.S. (18.2% of respondents), followed by those in Germany (17.6%) and then the U.K. (17.1%).
Gartner research vice president Craig Roth says, "Solutions targeting new ways of work are tapping into a high-growth area, but finding the right organisations ready to exploit these technologies is challenging. In parallel, the survey found that workers in the U.S., Germany and U.K. have, on average, higher digital dexterity than those in France, Singapore and Japan. Workers in the top three countries were much more open to working from anywhere, in a non-office fashion and they had a desire to use consumer (or consumer-like) software and websites at work.
Some of the difference in workers' digital dexterity is driven by cultural factors, as shown by large differences between countries.
For example, population density impacts the ability to work outside the office, and countries with more adherence to organisational hierarchy had decreased affinity for social media tools that drive social engagement.
As expected, Gartner says the youngest workers (18-24) are the most inclined of all age groups to adopt digital-workplace-driven products and services.
They have a positive view of tech in the workplace and a strong affinity for working in non-office environments.
Nevertheless, they reported the lowest levels of agreement with the statement that work is best accomplished in teams.
Interestingly, the survey also showed that the oldest workers (55-74) are the second most likely adopters of NWOW.
This age group also have the highest opinion of teamwork, have progressed to a position where there is little routine work, and have the most favourable view of all age groups of internal social networking technology. Workers aged 35 to 44 were at the low point of the adoption dip, with Gartner suggesting they are potentially feeling fatigued with the routines of life as middle age approaches.
They were most likely to report that their jobs are routine, have the dimmest view of how technology can help their work, and are the least interested in mobile work.
Larger organisations on average also had higher digital dexterity than smaller ones.
Roth adds, "Embracing dynamic work styles, devices, work locations and team structures can transform a business and its relationship to its staff. But digital dexterity doesn't come cheap,"
"It takes investment in workplace design, mobile devices and software, and larger organizations find it easier to make this investment."