Mobile will play a more prominent role in the future workplace as a more smartphone savvy generation holds a more influential role in the office.
A Deloitte report, commissioned by EE, predicted a ‘mobility watershed’ is on the way as those under 33 years of age gradually increase their influence within organisations. The Upwardly Mobile document shows 78% of ‘Generation Y’ would prefer greater use of mobile technology at work. They use six apps per day on average and spend over two hours using their smartphones for pleasure. Mobile activity is expected to move into the office as this demographic will ‘take up half the workforce’ by the end of the decade.
The report questioned employees from more than 1,000 organisations, and revealed Generation Y prefers ‘casual, frequent interactions’, increasing the scope for communication over several different devices. More than half of Generation Y participants in the study (56%) said that mobile working improves productivity. This may lead to a significant shift in workplace practices. Although 61% of British adults own a smartphone, less than a fifth of organisations provide mobile apps to employees. Only 3% use apps to complete admin tasks and around 5% access company information via their mobile device. Just over a quarter used apps for work compared to 64% who use them for pleasure. Almost half of respondents (45%) said more access to mobile apps in the workplace would be beneficial.
However, stats do show that mobile technology has already changed our working patterns. Mobile devices make it easier to work away from the traditional desk, with half of respondents revealing they had completed work on their device while in a meeting; 17% work while queuing; 8% take work to the beach, while nine respondents took time out from their honeymoon to finish a task. Almost half of the respondents (45%) said that being constantly connected had an effect on their personal lives.The document also suggested that apps can increase productivity in the workplace, citing student accommodation operator UNITE as an example. According to figures, apps boosted the number of jobs it completed by 30%.
Chief marketing officer for business at EE, Gerry McQuade, said: ‘It’s essential that we constantly adapt our work culture, our processes and the technology that enable our employees to work more productively and efficiently.‘The most important asset any business has is its people – and using the latest technology at work can help attract the best talent. That’s why we’ve funded this report and set up a Generation Y panel to challenge our working practices, and start to identify ways we can improve. We’ve asked six of EE’s brightest young stars to meet regularly with EE directors to help us devise a vision for Gen Y company working practices.’
Author: Matthew Campelli