A survey of the use of personal communication devices in the workplace in small and medium sized businesses reveals a growing demand to introduce more flexible and mobile work practices. The survey findings have a message for public services.
The Citrix-commissioned YouGov survey of businesses across the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia revealed the growing demand to introduce more flexible practices with the drive for mobile work policies being led more than ever by employees looking to improve their work/life balance. Pressure is no longer coming primarily from staff who operate away from their base, but from all departments and at all levels across the business, as staff across every discipline recognise the benefits mobility can bring to both their professional and personal lives.
As people’s private and professional lives converge, the consumerisation of IT reflects a trend in which employees in businesses of all sizes expect to be able to use their personal mobile devices to connect to corporate networks, in order to do their jobs more easily and effectively. As a result, corporate IT departments are having to establish strategies which allow secure access to corporate data from a wider range of devices in a way which benefits both the business and its staff.
Compared to two years ago, a growing number of staff are already using their personal communications devices for business purposes, whether or not there is a corporate policy in place. This is most evident in the U.S and Canada, but less so in the UK, where only 47 per cent operate in this way.
As for individual departments, there has been a major shift in which staff want to use personal communications devices such as their iPhone, iPad or tablet computer for business purposes Compared to two years ago, a growing number of staff are already using their personal communications devices for business purposes, whether or not there is a corporate policy in place.
The survey findings show that the use of personal communication devices bring benefits not only in the form of improved responsiveness to customers, business continuity and staff satisfaction, but greater mobility is also proving the catalyst for significantly improved efficiencies. Many survey respondents estimated substantial productivity gains of 30 per cent and more. Properly managed, all stakeholders benefit from flexible work plans.
The survey findings also underline the fact that the real value of social collaboration lies in enabling greater creativity and innovation, by allowing those inside and outside the company to work better together, serving customers, creating value and improving the quality of life.
Despite the cultural and other differences between the private and public sectors the common denominator is people working in a corporate environment. For this reason it is possible to read across the findings to the public sector.