Is mobile technology affecting how you and your employees work? From your smartphone to your tablet, smart small business owners rely on mobile tools to get the job done. How is this changing the workplace?
Aruba Networks recently conducted a global study of mobile-using employees and discovered 5 ways mobile is transforming the workplace.
- It’s eliminating traditional working hours. Flextime has been around for a while, but rather than a perk, it’s becoming an expectation and even a demand. Some 70 percent of employees say they’d rather have flexible hours than work 9 to 5, even if the 9 to 5 job gets out early on Fridays.
- It’s saving small business owners money. The simple perk of being able to work remotely can save your business a lot of money—not just on electricity or office space that’s not being used, but also on wages. More than half of survey respondents say they’d rather work remotely two to three days a week than get a 10 percent raise.
- It’s making employees more productive. Forty-five percent of workers globally and 55 percent of workers in the U.S. say they work most efficiently before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. I used to have a great employee who couldn’t manage to get herself into the office before 11 a.m. most days. Back then (the ‘90s) this was a huge issue that led to a lot of discipline. Today, that wouldn’t be necessary. Mobile technology is enabling employees to work at their most productive time—whether that’s midnight, 5 a.m. or 2 in the afternoon.
- It’s enabling work-life balance. Whether by checking work email at home or using personal apps at work, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents say mobile devices help them balance their lives better. When your employees have better work-life balance, they’re happier and more loyal.
- It’s causing burnout. On the flip side, mobile technology has the potential to lead to job burnout if expectations are that employees will be responsive to work issues 24/7. While respondents in the survey were overwhelmingly huge fans of mobile devices, nearly two-thirds admit they need to disengage from their devices on a regular basis to rest and recharge their own “batteries.”
If mobility hasn’t hit your business yet, get ready. If it has, get ready for it to grow. Mobility isn’t going anywhere—37 percent of respondents, and nearly 50 percent of those aged 18 to 34, say they’ll be working remotely more often in 2014 than ever before.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.