Mobile workers are often misunderstood. This is mainly because people see them as being something they are not. Perceived as being a little lazy, and perhaps not as committed as regular office workers, mobile workers can be even resented by their colleagues back in the cubicle. However, the majority of mobile workers are nothing like the perception that some people have of them. In fact, many mobile workers actually get a lot more done than people think.
We have proof of the increased productivity and the savings in money and time that mobile working brings. Working from home is what we are going to focus on, and in particular a recent experiment by communications giant O2. This company underwent a trial, last year, as part of its preparation for the 2012 Olympics, when it anticipated that there would be large-scale disruption to travel. Seeing a possible situation where the employees would find it difficult to get into work, the company encouraged the majority of it’s workers to stay at home. The results in increased productivity and other savings were significant, and have proven that mobile working, or working from home, are a definite way forward for the majority of businesses.
Majority of employees went home
At their offices in Slough, O2 sent the majority of employees home. There were 3,000 employees in total, and only 125 were kept in the office as ‘mission critical’ workers. This was an attempt to see how the organisation would cope with the majority of staff working from home. The company has said that it saved £9,000 across the employees from commuting costs.
A huge 36% of the workers said that the felt they were more productive as part of the experiment. This shows that one of the most popular misconceptions about mobile working, namely that people don’t get enough done, is wrong. People who are mobile workers plainly get a lot done, and this experiment proved that. Many of the respondents stated that they spent more time with their family too, which shows that the overall quality of life for mobile workers can be vastly improved.
What is perhaps most interesting about the experiment is that an additional 1,000 hours was spent working across the group, hours that would otherwise have been spent commuting. This makes it even more vital for a company to consider having at least part of its workforce as mobile workers. The saving in time and the increase in productivity is obviously significant, and this can add to the revenue a company brings in.
So any talk about mobile working being easy or unproductive is obviously proven to be false by this experiment. It is interesting to see, also, that the state itself could save money (on a large scale) if more people worked remotely. The events at O2 show that there is a lot more to mobile working than sceptics may previously have thought.