Mobile Workers Use Connectivity to Work Longer Hours

A new report from mobility-services provider iPass shows interesting relationships arising from bring your own device (BYOD) policies, smartphone use by region and worker productivity.

iPass’ Mobile Workforce Report shows that mobile workers are using connectivity to be more productive and work longer hours, and most of this work is being done over Wi-Fi; however, poor connectivity and expensive Wi-Fi still impedes them, as well as overly strict BYOD policies.

The report reveals a correlation between hours worked and BYOD, and how it varies by region. North American workers work longer hours (50) each week, on average, than their peers in Asia Pacific (48) and Europe (47). More than half (51 percent) of mobile workers work 50 or more hours per week. Sixteen percent work 60 or more.

North Americans view smartphones as key productivity tools. BYOD policies can add to that productivity because they give workers freedom of device choice so they can work wherever and whenever they choose.

Reinforcing the value of BYOD to mobile workers, 70 percent of all mobile workers now utilize company BYOD policies. Of all respondents, North American workers are the most likely to be employed at companies that allow BYOD. Thirty-five percent of all respondents said a company’s BYOD policy can sway their employment choices.

“It’s increasingly clear that forward-thinking IT departments are capable of dramatically enhancing employee productivity by arming workers with smartphones, tablets and connectivity plans when traveling or working remotely,” said Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass. “Although BYOD and Wi-Fi aren’t everywhere, this survey indicates that mobile workers want access to reliable, cost-effective connectivity whenever and wherever they need to work.”

Most mobile workers spend the majority of their business days within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, but 41 percent said lack of wireless coverage renders them unproductive at least 10 percent of their workday, which equates to 251 lost hours, or more than one month of lost productivity, per year, per worker.

The productivity drain is likely to be even higher, with 18 percent of mobile workers saying they are unproductive due to a lack of Wi-Fi for at least 25 percent of their day. A majority of respondents felt “more productive” rather than “less productive” working remotely at home and in remote offices.

The iPass Mobile Workforce Report, published quarterly, is based on a survey of 1,150 mobile enterprise employees worldwide conducted between March 28 and April 19.

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