Remote Workers

Survey Finds Mobile Devices Lure Us Into Working Longer, But No One Objects Much

Survey Finds Mobile Devices Lure Us Into Working Longer, But No One Objects Much
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For many professionals, the past few years have seen work and personal time become more intricately intertwined. Bedtime has become the final "email-check-time." Saturday and Sunday could be renamed "week-never-ends" and the good vibrations on vacation may very likely be coming courtesy of your boss via Apple and Samsung.

Technologies like virtual desktops, unified communications and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs have forced a new day with regards to work rules. Coupled with powerful tablets and smartphones, increased Internet connection speeds and the proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots, the entire world has arguably become a virtual office.

Related: Forget This Work-Life Balance Blah, Blah, Blah

So it would seem that the days of being available to the boss anytime from anywhere are here to stay and according to our survey of 566 business professionals, this is not a bad thing.

In fact, the overwhelming majority (80 percent) of respondents feel that being tethered to the office via mobile device is positive and nearly three in 10 defined being available anywhere/anytime as “great.”

Why? Associates feel they can do their job better and, as you would expect, a quid pro quo exists. Eight out of 10 surveyed also feel that mobile access creates a better work-life balance. In simple terms, since they can work remotely, professionals aren’t stressed about having to stay home with a sick child or taking half a day off for a dental appointment.

Not surprisingly, with numbers like this, a significant amount of work is being completed outside of the office. On average, those surveyed indicated that they were spending about 10.5 hours per week working remotely.

And they aren’t just working from the home office. Sixty seven percent of the professionals surveyed indicated that they worked an average 24.5 minutes per day during their commute, either by handling phone calls while driving or responding to emails and working on documents during a train, bus or carpool ride.

The result of all this out of office work time? Greater productivity for employers. Using just the added time used for working during the commute, an organization with 100 employees, adding an average 24.5 minutes to their day, will clock an extra 41 hours of work for the company every day. That’s essentially adding five professional level associates working for free.

And according to the survey, most are not complaining.

This is proven by the 95 percent of respondents who noted job improvements due to their mobile phone or tablet device, saying they are more productive today than they were five years ago.

Related: A Healthy Work/Life Balance Is No Unicorn

Other interesting findings include:

  • Eighty nine percent feel that mobility increases their efficiency and ability to complete their work. Not a single person feels that their device decreases their efficiency.

  • Six in 10 of those surveyed say their mobile device helps them get critical business information in nearly real time.

  • One in four respondents estimate that they are about 21 percent to 30 percent more productive than they were five years ago.

While these findings are fairly stark, there is still room for improvement. A majority of people (65 percent) feel that they could be even more productive if they had access to additional work applications. Specifically, 44 percent want virtual / mobile delivery of services like CRM, billing and ERP. Thirty five percent also wish their organization would deliver Microsoft applications on their mobile devices.

While professionals bring work home on their mobile devices they also carry their personal lives into the office. Nearly everyone (95 percent of respondents) who brings their own device admits to using it for personal use. This is compared to 88 percent of those with company-owned devices and 91 percent of those whose personal device is company administered / secured.

The leading non-work related functions that the respondents use their mobile devices for during work hours are personal phone calls (80 percent), personal text messaging (74 percent), and checking personal email (60 percent).

About the survey: The Evolve IP 2014 Mobility and BYOD survey examined adoption and productivity trends of mobility-enabling technologies and BYOD programs in North American organizations. The survey was taken by manager, director and executive-level professionals working in a variety of departmental organizations. A total of 566 respondents participated in the web-based survey. Fifty seven percent of the respondents were from organizations with between 100-1,999 employees; 27 percent from organizations with less than 100 employees; and 16 percent from organizations with more than 2,000 employees.

Related: Always Working? How to Pull Back Before It Hurts You.