Mobile Work: The New Executive Mindset and What it Means for Your Business
A blur is occurring between work and personal time.
Time that used to be free, such as the time spent in the evenings and weekends, is now becoming time to check email, monitor social media or make a quick business call. Even time that I used to cherish as my sacred time—time on the airplane—has been invaded! Look at how many flights actually have WiFi available on them! I mean, come on people, I am all about being connected, but losing my airplane time is killing me!
Because of this, business professionals find themselves “plugged in” at all times. And, as business thoughts occur during personal time, likewise personal decisions occur during business hours.
With these advancements, businesses see employees utilizing more flextime, multiple locations and preferred devices to complete tasks. While this could appear to be counterproductive, it has been found that when workers are able to choose how they work, it can actually make them more productive.
The @ Work State of Mind Study
Forbes Insights, in conjunction with Gyro, recently published a market research and development study—The @ Work State of Mind—to see the true impact of these newfound capabilities.
The report was based on both survey and interview results from more than 543 executives holding a myriad of positions and from a variety of companies.
- Respondents mostly came from the United States, but executives from the United Kingdom and Continental Europe were also included.
- 47% worked for companies taking in annual revenues of more than $1 billion, while 31% of those questioned worked for companies with revenues less than $100 million.
- The top three industries represented were banking / financial services / insurance, manufacturing and professional services industries.
Key Report Statistics & Findings
Following are some of the statistics we found most interesting, particularly in their regard to executives’ anywhere, anytime access to company data.
- 41% of executives surveyed step away from dinner or other family gatherings to deal with business calls or other work issues.
- 63% send and receive work-related email and have business discussions during vacations; only 3% said the never do.
- 55% make at least 20% of their work decisions at home.
- 98% check and send work email from home.
- 52% receive business information around the clock, including weekends.
Though it may seem as though this would lead to higher levels of stress and work dissatisfaction, in fact the study found the opposite to be true—at least in the United States. While only 19% of U.S. respondents feel irritated by the blending of their work and personal lives, 30% of European respondents said so. As I read through the list of findings, it was pretty much me checking off the list as I went down it. And, I agree with the findings in that I do not feel irritated by the blending of work and personal time...except on the plane!
Shift in Employee Demand Requires Shift in Business
So, how can organizations take advantage of the promise of the @ Work State of mind, while keeping employees satisfied with their work? The answer is a blend of two crucial elements:
- Corporate culture and organizational change that encourages and empowers employees to work on their terms.
- Solid IT infrastructure that supports the shift in end-user demands.
Though the culture element is something best executed internally, we have an answer for the IT side of the equation—the anyplace workspace.
Anyplace Workspace and the @ Work State of Mind
The anyplace workspace answers the call of the @ Work State of Mind by helping organizations provide employees with the devices, networks, data and support they need, wherever and whenever they need them.
And, it includes the backend systems needed to maintain IT insight, management and data security.
Are you living in an @ Work State of Mind? Are your organization’s employees and leaders? Is your infrastructure ready to support the anyplace workspace?
Darin Haines, Chief Technology Officer, leads MCPc's technology consulting practice and spends much of his time speaking to business and IT leaders about effectively using collaboration and other advanced technologies. Connect with Darin on LinkedIn.
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image credit: mikecogh