The option to have flexible and mobile working can be a deal breaker when choosing a new job according to 70 per cent of respondents to a commuter survey carried out by THUS plc. An encouraging 72 per cent of employees said that their employers actively promote this style of working within their corporate cultures which demonstrates how UK companies are embracing flexible and mobile working. However, this still means that 28 per cent of companies are not currently offering flexible and mobile working and risk losing out on the best candidates.
The THUS survey indicates that commuters are travelling for longer than they were five years ago, with 55 per cent of workers travelling on average between five – 10 hours a week. Of these, 35 per cent of commuters carry out work using a BlackBerry or PDA, 22 per cent use a laptop, with the remaining 26 per cent using traditional paper based working.
The role of the office is also in decline, with 50 per cent stating that it is no longer essential for day-to-day productivity as people increasingly work wherever the technology is available. Furthermore, recent predictions by analyst house, IDC, indicate that the number of mobile workers is set to reach one billion by 2011. As the physical office becomes less important and workers become more mobile, the need for virtual enterprises, underpinned by robust unified communications comprising the latest voice, internet, video and mobile solutions, is an area businesses need to address now.
Dan Cole, Head of Product Management at THUS commented: “It is encouraging to see so many companies supporting flexible and mobile working and reassuring to see there is a genuine thirst for the technology to facilitate this. However, as technology is further integrated into our daily lives, it is now vital that companies adopt remote working policies and implement the right technology to make the most of this opportunity.”
He continued: “Today’s workforce is constantly changing and we are now dealing with a tech-savvy generation embracing a whole package of technologies. Competition is fierce and in order to attract some of the best graduates, companies need to seriously think about the working options they are able to offer.”