Antiquated IT Systems Hinders Mobile Working for US Government Employees
Government employees in the USA could boost their productivity by around $14,000 per year by increased of mobility tools, but but outdated infrastructure hinders mobile potential and productivity gains. That is according to a report commissioned by MeriTalk, a public-private partnership.
Eighty-one percent of employees surveyed connect to work remotely at least once a week, while 54 percent connect at least once a day, and 45 percent connect several times a day. Federal workers estimate that in addition to their full-time work schedule, they spend another nine hours each week checking their mobile devices for inbound communications to stay connected. Federal workers achieve this constant connectivity through a variety of devices including laptops (88%), smartphones (53%), and tablets (19%).
As a result of mobile access, 45 percent of Federal workers say they work more efficiently, 34 percent say they feel more available to their team, 28 percent say they feel more "tuned in," and 28 percent say they collaborate with colleagues more frequently.
While the benefits realized from mobile connectivity are great, there is more to gain. Federal workers estimate they would gain an average of seven hours of additional productivity per week by having seamless remote connectivity and mobile access to their agency. This equates to 364 additional hours of productivity or nearly $14,000 in productivity gains per Federal employee per year.
Achieving these additional productivity gains is not without challenges as outpaced infrastructure is limiting Federal workers' mobility and connection options. Four out of five Feds (82%) are frustrated with their agency's current connectivity and mobile access offerings. The top frustrations include slow connection (65%), cumbersome security procedures (57%), and limited network access (43%). Additionally, limited infrastructure is hindering Federal workers - 70 percent say they cannot access all of the information they need remotely.
"Federal employees are increasingly unplugging from their desktops and using mobile devices to connect to work," said Anthony Robbins, vice president Federal, Brocade. "Not only is mobile connectivity what Federal workers want, it can provide substantial productivity gains to Federal agencies. Just as large commercial companies have been doing for years, agencies should enable mobile connectivity. They need to embrace the growth in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend by investing in and deploying modern infrastructure improvements that deliver seamless connectivity, improved access, and increased speed of service."
Technology hurdles are not the only challenges Federal workers must overcome to embrace mobility. The continued emphasis on traditional work environments may also impact Feds' productivity level. Although just 56 percent of Federal workers say they feel most productive while physically at a desk, 82 percent spend the bulk of their day there.
To become more efficient, 54 percent of Federal workers recommend seamless connectivity to work regardless of location, 51 percent recommend improved network access, and 51 percent recommend fast service.
The report concluded that mobile connectivity is important to Federal workers - more than half would be willing to trade their desktop computer, happy hour, and/or dessert for seamless remote connectivity and mobile access.