In the past, mobile working was an expensive luxury. Now, however, most workers can make a business case for using the technology, and huge numbers are reaping the benefits of working remotely without wires - with businesses seeing significant return on investment from improved employee productivity.
There are now more than 6,500 wireless hotspots in the UK where business users and consumers can check their e-mails, work in between meetings and browse the internet at their leisure.
Productivity among business users is also on the up, as more employees incorporate mobile working into their daily routine, largely due to the infrastructure and hotspots being in place.
Research conducted for Intel by the Economic Business Unit earlier this year across European workers found that the average worker spends 33% of their time out of the office.
The same study also found that almost 70% of those questioned believed they were more or as productive working outside the office as in it.
Essentially, the uptake of mobility means that work is a thing you do, not a place you go. The home, train and coffee shop all become an office when you want, if you want. This has considerable lifestyle rewards, and enables organisations to reap productivity benefits as they have a more switched-on workforce.
Andy Greenhalgh is director of mobile solutions marketing at Intel EMEA
This was first published in July 2004