Mobile employees work around the clock

iPass, a provider of mobility services for enterprises and service providers, has published its quarterly Mobile Workforce Report, which examined workshifting in today’s flexible work schedules that enable employees to work wherever and whenever they want. The report found that 38 percent of mobile workers work before their commute, 25 percent work during their commute, 37 percent work during lunch, and 37 percent work at night, each and every day.

The report, which drew from the experiences of more than 3,100 mobile employees at 1,100 enterprises worldwide, also revealed that 75 percent of mobile workers work more hours due to workshifting. More than half (55 percent) were working at least 10 or more additional hours each week as a result of their more flexible schedules and 12 percent were working 20 or more additional hours.

Overwhelmingly, mobile workers reported that workshifting allows them to be more productive and efficient, with 79 percent reporting increased productivity and 78 percent reporting increased efficiency. Significantly, 64 percent of mobile workers also reported improved work/life balance and more than half (51 percent) felt more relaxed because of flexible work.

“Even though mobile workers are putting in more hours, we are starting to see the pendulum swing back to the center on disconnecting, with 68 percent of mobile workers disengaging from technology occasionally to spend time with their families,” said Barbara Nelson, chief technology officer at iPass. “It appears that the mobile workforce is getting a better hold on their work-life balance.”

The survey also uncovered: 47 percent of mobile employees work from home daily, 99 percent at least occasionally. 88 percent of mobile workers report working from the road, 84 percent from a coffee shop, and 77 percent outside using a city-mesh Wi-Fi at least on an occasional basis; 40 percent would like a more flexible work environment—even with 95 percent of employees stating that their employers currently either encourage or tolerate workshifting.

Also, the report showed: If mobile employees do not get enough flexibility at work, 33 percent stated they would seek employment elsewhere, 57 percent would be less satisfied with their job, and 45 percent would feel less productive; During vacation 97 percent of mobile workers stay connected to technology (up from 93 percent in 2010). Nearly all (94 percent) did so at least partly for work; On vacation, 69 percent checked into work at least daily, while 93 percent checked in at least weekly. 41 percent checked in multiple times per day; 52 percent connected during vacation to make sure they didn’t fall behind on work, weren’t overwhelmed upon return to work, or to ensure completion of a work project.

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