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Work the World

The workplace has already transformed. Isn't it time you caught up?

Redefined Workplaces

Rapid digital innovation and a millennial mindset have reshaped the workplace dynamic and environment forever: work is no longer somewhere we go, but something we do. And we can do it (aka remote working or telecommuting) anywhere we like.

Mobile technology is the driving force behind all of this. Smartphones are now the on-the-move, all-hours business communicators of choice, with almost 3 billion users predicted worldwide by 2020. The death of the desktop computer continues unabated - global shipments now in their eight consecutive quarter decline in the face of lightweight, ultra-slim, super-connected laptops and tablets that turn any conceivable location into a place for productivity.

Bold startups lead the charge in this new flexible working dynamic. In October 2015, social media startup Buffer abandoned its central office in San Francisco. The company's entire staff CEO included now work remotely supported by instant messaging, video chat and cloud-based collaborative document tools, cross multiple time zones stretching from the West Coast to Shanghai. Amazon, Adobe, LEGO and General Electric are just some of the more familiar names also embracing such a flexible and remote working culture.

Digital nomads, meanwhile, skip the entire country and travel the world, funding their adventures through skilled, remote work projects off sites like WorkingNomads, WeWorkRemotely and FlexJobs. The latter currently offers more than 30,000 telecommuting listings from more than 4,800 companies. The gig economy is alive, well and globetrotting right alongside you.

BUT WITH MOBILITY COMES RISK

Public WiFi hotspots offer open doors to connected devices and potentially any company network that a device is logged on to. And there's a new threat. In 2015, security researchers in the US exposed a hack on a mega-brand smart fridge that exposed the owners' Gmail account, and thus, all Google associated sign-ins.

One risk report from 2016 identified as much as 60% of these Internet of Things (IoT) devices as being vulnerable, while estimates place the total number of IoT devices in existence by 2020 totaling 200 billion.

A death knell for remote working? The booming cybersecurity industry suggests not, raking in $80billion from safeguarding forward-thinking, security-aware businesses and their workers in 2016. This is an industry that's expected to rise cumulatively to $1 trillion by 2021.

Following its much-publicised hack in 2014, Sony Pictures spent $15m fortifying itself against future attacks. In 2016, US bank JP Morgan Chase revealed it had doubled its cybersecurity budget to $500m. But remote workers will always be a vulnerability for businesses.

THE SIMPLEST PROTECTION?

Common sense. Effective, application-unique passwords and pass-phrases never shared, even with colleagues are an effective lock down. And both businesses and consumers alike are supported by expertise and innovation in the devices we choose to work on. More than a decade ago in 2006, Fujitsu unveiled its acclaimed PalmSecure technology to the world, delivering authorisation through the user's own unique vein patterns, no touch required. To date, it remains the most secure authorisation system, ranking above even facial recognition or an iris scan.

Fast forward to today and that technology made in Japan leads the global order in biometrics, with applications in retail, healthcare, finance and even Fujitsu's own laptops. Equipped with this, the company's latest 2017 LIFEBOOK family of enterprise notebooks stand out in the new digital nomad-ready world: the LIFEBOOK U937 is not only the lightest 13.3-inch notebook on Earth, weighing just 799 grams (1.76 pounds), it's also ultra-thin, perfect for a working life on the move. And when you get where you need to be, simply let Windows 10 power the work.

By fulfilling workers' desires to expand their horizons, businesses can only benefit. Remote work promotes greater trust, enables skills to be focused at optimal times and gives employees a more balanced life. Give the work, and let them find the somewhere to go and do it.

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