A third of employees will seek employment elsewhere if employers fail to support flexible working via mobile devices.
Research from iPass, the Mobile Workforce Report, shows 95% of employers allow employees to work remotely via laptops and mobile devices. However, 40% of the 3,100 employees surveyed worldwide wanted employers to provide more flexible working conditions. A total of 33% would consider looking for employment elsewhere in search of better mobile working benefits.
Barbara Nelson, CTO at iPass, said companies need to support mobile working to avoid high employee turnover and recruitment costs.
Download the full report from Computer Weekly (requires registration) >>
Barbara Nelson said: "Enterprises should note, if they don't provide the flexibility today's mobile employees feel entitled to, their employees will seek out those companies who do allow them the freedom to work when and where they choose."
She added: "Employee turnover is a significant expense for any company. The cost to rehire a third of your workforce would clearly cause most companies to fail. This is an important finding that enterprises should consider when making their strategic mobility decisions."
A total of 72% said they used a mobile device on a daily basis in the office for work purposes. The report also showed tablet usage grew from 34% in 2010 to 41% in 2011.
Compared to last year, employees are more likely to turn mobile and laptop devices off more regularly. In iPass's 2010 survey, only 47% of employees completely disconnected from technology on a regular basis. This year, the number increased to 68%.
"The top reason given for disconnecting was to spend more time with their families. It appears that the mobile workforce is finally getting a better grip on their work/life balance," said Nelson.
"If your enterprise can successfully embrace workshifting, your employees will reward you many times over with deeper loyalty, improved productivity and - let's not forget - greater profitability," she said.
iPass's seven recommendations for IT departments to support mobile working
- Consider a volume discount on employee access to hotspots at nearby coffee shops, restaurants and other popular working spots outside the office.
- Provide hands-free smartphone kits and issue safety manuals on commuting practices for employees using mobile devices to work when travelling.
- Create a usage policy on using personal and organisation-deployed mobile devices for work purposes covering data security. Get all employees to sign it.
- Send connectivity bills to employees and managers to make mobile workers aware of their data usage.
- Define data roaming in company usage policies so employees know when they will incur roaming chargers and how to avoid them.
- Discuss company-wide billing with senior management of mobile carriers to discuss how billing is handled.
- Consider deploying a Wi-Fi roaming service to provide employees with an internet connection wherever they travel.