Bengaluru: Mobile phones are tools of convenience and workplaces that embrace mobile and mobility not only give rise to a productive workforce but also an engaged and loyal one, finds a global study.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis arm of The Economist, in its study Mobility, Performance and Engagement, surveyed 1,865 employees globally, and found that executives can drive increased business performance through well-developed and executed mobile strategies.
The study showed that companies rated as pioneers in how they support mobile technology saw a rise in productivity by 16%, creativity 18%, satisfaction 23%, and loyalty 21%, when compared to organizations that were poorly rated on supporting mobile technology.
“Today, most companies and employees understand that a mobile-first approach can be good for business, but if you can tell a CEO of a Fortune 500 company that their organization can achieve a 16% increase in employee output, or tell HR directors that they can increase loyalty by over one-in-five, we believe they would make mobility an even greater investment priority,” said Chris Kozup, vice president, marketing at the networking solution provider, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, which commissioned the study.
As the demand for working from anywhere is on the rise, the survey found that 60% of employees said mobile technology makes them more productive, as it allows better collaboration. And mobile messaging apps, such as Whatsapp, are becoming a preferred medium of communication as it is used for work by 31% of organisations, found the survey.
“The rise in mobile collaboration tools presents new ways for businesses to keep teams together and working effectively, even if they are physically apart. It’s clear that companies who are able to do this are in a better place to attract and retain the best employees,” said Kozup.
The better productivity comes from the ease of information access; 42% of employees say that the ability to access information quickly and easily has the greatest impact on their productivity levels.
Currently, 54% of companies are providing access to the company network from any mobile device to support working anywhere in the office or remotely, found the survey.
As a result many companies are also offering a hot-desking environment (where multiple employees use a single workstation at different times) with mobile connectivity at any location, showing that more collaborative work environments are on the rise.
The UK offers the highest level of hot-desking (54%) followed by Australia and Germany (both 53%).
In India too, hot-desking and companies letting employees to work from home is becoming widely prevalent.
“A few trends have been driving the growth of mobile workforce. The cost of infrastructure and commute times in mega cities are a key reason. Also, as new models of employment such as talent exchanges, flexible workforce and free-lancing are becoming more prevalent, mobile workforce will be on the increase,” said Padmaja Alaganandan, Partner, PwC Consulting.
And while the popular notion is that it is the millennials for whom a mobile-first approach is important, the study says a respondent’s age is not a factor in how mobile technology impacts performance and engagement.