Employees Increasingly Demand Mobile Workplaces

Business leaders recognize the benefits of a mobile approach include employee retention, productivity and cost savings, Aruba's survey found.

BYOD and mobile workforce

Seven in 10 (70 percent) IT professionals are under increasing pressure to deliver and support an all-wireless workplace from their top executives and employees from the mobile generation who are demanding greater flexibility and better collaboration, according to a global survey from Aruba Networks.

Just more than half (51 percent) of global organizations saw a rise in mobile or remote working last year and 77 percent noted an increase in employees of the mobile generation using mobile devices for work during the past year.

The results suggest the debate about how to support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies is becoming a thing of the past as 58.7 percent of IT professionals said their company has already fully embraced employee BYOD or implemented new policies to support it.

"New technologies and new ways of doing business are irreversibly transforming the way we design offices as well as the way we fundamentally think of work spaces," Chris Sanderson, The Future Laboratory co-founder, said in a statement. "Cloud-based technologies and the increased use of mobile devices as our work tools of choice are ushering in a new social, cultural and corporate paradigm where workplaces are more federated and collaborative, less hierarchical and increasingly less location-specific, as more of generation mobile employees clock in by logging on."

To support top executives and the mobility demands of the current generation, 71.1 percent of IT departments increased their investment in WiFi, while another 46 percent were granted increased budgets for future mobility projects.

In addition to a significant competitive advantage, business leaders now recognize that the benefits of this approach include employee retention, productivity and cost savings, the report concluded.

However, the results highlight that today just 14 percent of employees enjoy the flexibility and freedom of such a workplace, suggesting that global businesses still have a lot of work to do.

"Technology should be an enabler for our staff. Across our council, employees are now actively choosing a ‘mobile-first’ working model, because it makes them more efficient," Aruba customer Russell Hookway, a network and telecommunications manager at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, said in a statement. Creating an environment that supports this model makes good business sense. "Our new message to workers is work where you want, when you want and how you want. No questions asked."

The survey revealed 55.5 percent of companies globally actually encourage or have no policy banning the use of personal devices at work, and only 12.4 percent discourage the use of personal devices for work.

When IT professionals were asked about security concerns as they relate to mobility, 73.5 percent assessed mobility security requirements based on the devices’ security features or the employees’ mobile work requirements.

Just 13.3 percent responded that security concerns have stopped them from allowing mobile work capabilities for employees of the mobile generation.