Analyst IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Worker 2007-2011 Forecast and Analysis (released 15.01.08) forecasts a dramatic rise in the number of mobile workers, with global figures estimated to reach one billion over the next four years.
The number of flexible workers in the UK today stands at approximately 14 million however, the current generation of workers is increasingly demanding more flexibility and mobility in their schedules. A previous survey commissioned by networking company Thus indicated a 45 per cent increase in demand for remote working among the UK’s SMBs.
Thus say that mobile working can have a positive affect on all aspects of a business, from improved work/life balance and increased productivity to the reduction of ongoing costs due to ‘hot desking’ and sharing facilities among part-time staff. In addition, mobile working solutions allow employees to maintain competitive advantage in terms of staying in constant contact with clients and customers.
The company adds that today, solutions can be tailored to suit almost any need whether laptops or handheld devices, that deliver flexible, secure access to the corporate network using VPNs or firewalls. 3G Broadband Data Cards also allow laptop users to connect wirelessly and one-stop communication solutions, connecting mobile and remote workers to the office, are also available. By working with a service provider who is able to go beyond simple ‘off-the-shelf’ packages, businesses can offer office-level productivity for flexible and remote workers, wherever they are based.
With the cost of replacing lost staff estimated to stand at between £5,000 and £10,000 those businesses who do not start preparing now could risk losing their most valuable asset, as employees increasingly look for more flexible working options.