Wired Workplace Wired WorkplaceWired Workplace
How information technology is changing the landscape for federal employees.

Six Desks for Every 10 Workers of the Future?


A desk for every federal employee might soon become a relic of the past.

By 2020, U.S. organizations are projected to reduce office space by almost one-fifth and will provide just six desks for every ten office workers, with each of those workers accessing the corporate IT network from an average of six different computing devices, according to the new “Workplace of the Future” report by Citrix.

The report, which surveyed 1,900 senior IT decision makers across 19 countries, found that by 2020, one-third of employees will no longer work from their traditional office, instead basing themselves in other locations such as their homes (64 percent), field and project sites (60 percent) and customer or partner premises (50 percent).

Globally, one-quarter of organizations already have fully adopted the mobile workforce environment. By 2014, respondents projected that 83 percent of organizations will have fully adopted mobile work, Citrix found.

Meanwhile, most organizations also are looking to new programs -- such as bring-your-own-device policies -- to help expand their mobility options. For example, 83 percent of organizations said they will use BYOD initiatives to manage the growing number of devices workers use to access the corporate network. Most employees will choose and purchase these devices on their own, with 76 percent of organizations reimbursing the employee in part or fully, according to the study.

The mobile workplace also is providing a number of benefits to organizations and employees, the study found. For organizations, mobility is creating a more flexible, agile workplace (73 percent), lower employee-related costs (53 percent) and reduced real estate costs (48 percent), and it is attracting (47 percent) and retaining (44 percent) top talent. Employees are enjoying more flexibility (65 percent), increased personal productivity (62 percent), less commuting time (61 percent) and a better work-life balance (55 percent), as a result of mobility options, Citrix found.

In September, I visited some top companies -- incluidng Facebook and IDEO in Silicon Valley -- that have already fully embraced the concept of mobility. While most of these workers still commute into the office nearly every day, the flexibility they have regarding when and where they want to work is key. In fact, most employees at these companies do not have their own desk space, opting instead to work with mobile devices in the open, collaborative workspaces at these companies.

Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com

Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.