An Emerging Breed of Mobile Worker is Eroding Traditional Work Patterns
Published on: 21st Jan 2014
An increasingly mobile generation of workers are being defined by their preference for mobility both in terms of the devices they use and their approach to work.
According to an Aruba Networks survey, they have a tendency for non-traditional work hours, demand flexible work locations over higher salaries and request reliable internet, asking for Wi-Fi versus 4G, 3G or wired connections.
The majority of mobile workers are in the early stages of their career and feel most productive when working from home.
The report reveals that, rather than acting as an aide to the workday, these people are shaping their working lives around their mobile devices. With the ability to work effectively any time, any place and on any device, they expect employers to make the policy and structural changes necessary to enable their preferred form of working.
Over four in ten (45%) of the 5,000 people surveyed actually believe they work most efficiently before 9am or after 6pm, and over half (53%) would prefer to work from home two to three days a week than receive a 10% higher salary.
However, there remains space for human interaction in life. Nearly two thirds indicated that they still value the time when they can disconnect their devices, suggesting that companies must be able to provide effective downtime when it is needed.
"We've seen flexible working, BYOD and always-on connectivity growing for some time, but this report shows that it's now become a way of life for those in the modern workforce," said Ben Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer for Aruba Networks. "What this report suggests is that #GenMobile won't have patience with companies who do not accommodate their mobile lives. In order to attract and keep the best employees, businesses need to start looking for solutions to ensure levels of empowerment and productivity in this emerging working world. Ultimately, many will have to totally redefine traditional work environments."
The increasing demand for flexible work styles is best illustrated in the US, where 79% of respondents declared that they feel most efficient when working at home.
Respondents in the UK are also above average in this regard, with 72% stating that the home office is where they can be most productive.
The blend between work and personal device usage is best illustrated in South Africa, where 54% of respondents use their smartphone or tablet to check work emails and 46% use the same device to carry out mobile shopping. At 80%, this region also has the highest percentage of smartphone owners.
The importance of personal devices for work is best illustrated in Germany, where 83% of respondents reported using their smartphone or tablet to check their emails.
In Sweden, 76% of respondents reported using their personal device for banking, illustrating how central mobile products have now become to fulfill an activity that was previously carried out in person.
The importance of personal devices to everyday life is best illustrated in France, where 62% of respondents declared that the devices make it easier for them to manage their personal and professional lives.
The purchasing of new, connected devices has shown strong recent growth in Spain, where 63% have acquired a smartphone in the past year. Over a quarter of the respondents here (27%) already own a tablet.
Finally in the Middle East, the ownership of mobile products in general is higher than any other region - 84% of respondents in the UAE own three or more connected devices (82% in Saudi Arabia), and they also display the highest ownership of tablets in the survey (42% in UAE, 31% in Saudi Arabia)
Tags: aruba networks