Mobility creating 'desk- independent' workforce in the region: experts
Almost 50% of Aruba Networks survey respondents say would choose flexible hours over salary increase
Increased mobile technology usage at work is revolutionizing the Middle East workforce, creating a generation of more efficient ‘Desk-Independent’ employees, according to industry experts.
Figures from the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) study on the growing mobile workforce across Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) show that mobile workers will reach 244.6 million this year in the region, as a result of the corporate shift towards the BYOD model. IDC also forecasted that smart connected devices will reach 513 million in the same region, and that the global mobile worker population will reach over 37% of the total workforce, representing a 30 percent increase from 2010.
“Today’s workforce is increasingly on the move, and mobile technology has become a necessity for both employees, and employers, with smartphones in prominent demand,” said Nitin Sood, Managing Director, Fly MEA.
“More corporations, across a growing number of industries, in the Middle East are recognizing the benefits of the BYOD model, allowing for mobile working, and continuous accessibility, and as a result, are encouraging employees to utilize their chosen mobile device. This trend is accelerated by the constant developments in mobile technology, such as 4G and LTE data networks, which are allowing professionals access to information quickly, and on-the-move.”
Fly has also observed a recent growth towards the phablet as a device of choice among workers in the Middle East, as they provide a sufficient balance between the performance of tablets, and the convenience of smartphones.
With mobile technology, employees and employers are now able to access emails and important working documents while commuting, at remote work destinations, and even at home. The introduction of high-speed 4G LTE devices will further increase productivity levels across industries by allowing workers to manage their time more efficiently, and will improve the quality of life for workers in the region, as they are able to reduce the time spent at work.
A recent study by Google’s Our Mobile Planet Survey revealed that the Middle East has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world. The survey further revealed that the smartphone penetration rates in the region were highest in the UAE at 73.8 percent, and KSA at 72.8 percent. With an ever-expanding portfolio of mobile devices, Fly constantly strives to meet the diverse demands of the market with high-end technology at affordable prices.
Aruba Networks have reported that the increase in mobile working demand has resulted in a new generation, dubbed #GenMobile, whose lives now revolve around mobile devices, especially in work settings. This new generation, identified in the UAE and KSA, as well as in Europe, the US and South Africa, are strong believers in the notion of mobile working, in any location, at any time.
The 2014 report revealed that 86 percent of survey respondents owned at least two mobile devices that are able to connect to the internet, and that 45 percent work most efficiently outside of typical working hours. The report further suggested that almost 50 percent of the respondents would opt for more flexible working hours over a 10 percent increase in salary.
“While security is a top priority for many workers in the region, the ability to switch seamlessly between devices, and access important documents is equally important,” said Sood. “There are countless apps emerging on the market to ensure both demands are met. In addition to the Google Drive app that securely backs up user documents, the 1U security app, for example, allows users to access private information and websites by simply requesting authorized users to glance at their device, while Evernote synchronizes data across various devices allowing users to work effortlessly anywhere at any time.”
The utility of mobile devices at work has been proven to benefit workers across all industries in many ways. Engineers can access important technical information when involved in fieldwork, salespeople can incorporate innovated and interactive sales material when pitching to potential clients, teachers can increase student engagement and retention level with the use of dedicated apps, healthcare professionals can access records across hospital departments, and employees across industries will have constant access to their emails and important documents wherever they are.