Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wi-Fi and BYOD two key factors shaping future of mobile workforce

USA:  iPass Inc. published its quarterly Mobile Workforce Report, which shows a relationship between Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, smartphone use by region and worker productivity.

This report shows that mobile workers are using connectivity to be more productive and work longer hours, and most of this work is being done over Wi-Fi -- this has been a remarkably consistent finding in this, the 14th quarterly iPass Mobile Workforce Report. However, poor connectivity and expensive Wi-Fi still impedes them, as well as overly strict BYOD policies.

The report reveals an interesting correlation between hours worked and BYOD and how it varies by region. North American workers work longer hours (50) each week, on average, than their peers in Asia Pacific (48) and Europe (47). More than half (51 percent) of mobile workers work 50 or more hours per week.

Sixteen percent work 60 or more hours per week. It appears that North Americans aren't just working more than other mobile workers, they view smartphones as a key productivity tool (according to the Q4 2012 iPass Mobile Workforce Report). BYOD policies can add to that productivity because they give workers freedom of device choice so they can work wherever and whenever they choose.

Re-inforcing the value of BYOD to mobile workers, 70 percent of all mobile workers now utilize company BYOD policies. Of all respondents, North American workers are the most likely to be employed at companies that allow BYOD. These policies are becoming so important that 35 percent of all respondents said a company's BYOD policy can sway their employment choices.

Most mobile workers spend the majority of their business days within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot but 41 percent of workers said lack of wireless coverage renders them unproductive at least 10 percent of their workday, which equates to 251 lost hours, or more than one month of lost productivity, per year per worker.

In fact, the productivity drain is likely to be even higher with 18 percent of mobile workers saying they are unproductive due to a lack of Wi-Fi for at least 25 percent of their day. A majority of respondents felt "more productive" rather than "less productive" working remotely at home and in remote offices.

Other highlights from the Q2 2013 iPass Mobile Workforce Report include:

* Fifty-nine percent of mobile workers have paid more than $20 for one-time use of Wi-Fi. Twenty-four percent of workers have paid $30 or more for one-time access to Wi-Fi.

* Seventy percent of mobile workers are allowed to use their personal mobile devices for work (BYOD). North American workers were most likely to work for a company with a BYOD policy, followed by Asia Pacific workers and then European workers. Of workers who do BYOD, the majority said they currently do or would expense Wi-Fi costs from their personal mobile devices.

* Mobile workers spend their remote work time in a range of places. The most likely locations are their homes or some type of office but 75 percent also work remotely from hotels; 40 percent report working from airplanes and coffee shops; and 29 percent report working on public transportation, such as trains, buses and subways.

* Nearly three out of four (71 percent) mobile workers research Wi-Fi hotspot availability before they travel. Asia Pacific workers are most likely to do this type of research, followed by European workers and North American workers.

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