Mobile technology is now working the workforce into a state they never anticipated finding themselves in. With the huge increase in mobile working very much affecting the majority of employees in any given company, it seems there is a growing trend to flexible working hours. In addition to these flexible hours, some people are even working longer hours than they did previously. There are two ways of looking at this. The first focuses on the negatives. If people are working a lot harder this is a bad thing. Their quality of life is bound to suffer and their relationships will take a battering too. A good few media pundits, who feel that mobile devices and mobile working in general are aspects of modern life, share this point of view that things are becoming unmanageable.
Then you have the other side of the coin. Here, people feel that the ‘always on’ culture created by widespread adoption of mobile working can only make people more productive and more employable. The fact that work can be done all hours of the day, and potentially anywhere, makes for a much more flexible workforce, as well as a workforce that will simply get more done.
A new report by a company called Forrester Research has brought up some interesting findings on the topic of mobile working, and it shows just how prevalent the practice of mobile working has become. Currently, the report states, the percentage of workers in the United States who can legitimately call themselves ‘anytime, anywhere’ workers stands at 29%. This is a huge figure, especially when compared to the situation just five years ago, when there was hardly any evidence of a mobile workforce, no matter how small. That means nearly one in three workers surveyed felt they were truly mobile and could carry out their work tasks and duties on a flexible, mobile basis.
Death of the desktop
Analysts have found that, even if workers have a desktop that they are supposed to be working at in the office, this does not mean they ever use it. More and more workers are understanding the benefits of having a tablet and smartphone setup, whereby they can have their tablet for documents and so on, and the smartphone for easy access to email and other communication platforms. There has not been a big uptake on using phones for document management due to small screen sizes.
The sheer fact that people are using this connectivity to take work home with them and then work even harder makes it clear that companies and organisations have to now work out how to best harness a new development. The workforce is changing so rapidly, and its approach is changing. Surely this means that the ‘office job’ of the past is now going to change beyond recognition? With nearly a third of Americans using mobile devices to help them work more productively, this seems to be the start of a new kind of working that can only be transformed again within the next three to five years.