Last year at this time, we looked at how mobility and wireless technology was transforming business. One year later, it is amazing how much (yet how little) has changed. Here is a fresh look at the 2011 modern mobile, enterprise workforce.
What surprised me most was the happiness factor – the mobile workforce is indeed happier, more satisfied, and productive, says the just released Mobile Workforce Report Q3 2011. Interestingly, it is not necessarily the technology itself that is making us happier (although the cool factor is very high with new technology); the happiness factor is higher because we are figuring out how technology best fits into our lives, and getting good at managing our work/life boundaries. So although our homes and work lives are filled with more devices than ever before, we are not particularly overwhelmed by them. We are harnessing the power of technology where it makes sense for us, rather than letting the technology and devices be the master of our lives
Here are a few of the most interesting highlights from the quarterly report by iPass. The whole report is an excellent read.
• A better work/life balance. Sixty-eight percent of mobile workers occasionally disconnected completely from technology, up from just 47 percent last year.
• The disappearing age gap for technology adoption. The twenty-somethings are not the only technically savvy ones. Ninety-six percent of mobile workers under the age of 45 have a smartphone; 91 percent of mobile workers over the age of 55 have a smartphone.
• The 2011 enterprise wonder device is the tablet. One year ago, we were wondering if the iPad or tablet would take off in the enterprise. It seems the enterprise mobile workforce cannot live without it. According to one study, one in four enterprise device activations are tablets.
And that percentage is small compared to future projections. One of the fastest products to penetrate the enterprise market, the expected 2011 growth rate for the tablet versus the pc market is 224 percent versus six percent, respectively. Remarkable given the first tablet sold was in April 2010.
If there is a downside in the study, maybe this is it: 75 percent of mobile workers actually worked more hours because of the increased flexibility in when and where they could work; 55 percent worked at least 10 or more hours each week. Perhaps the additional hours could also be attributed to the economy and added job responsibilities, yet it is clear mobile technology enables us to work more, simply because we can
The silver lining, and worth its weight in gold, is that:
• 64 percent felt they were better able to balance their work load with personal commitments
• 51 percent were more relaxed as a result of this improved balanc
So although we may work a few more hours each week, the mobile work force is more productive and happier this Labor Day 2011.