Everyone knows expectations for on-demand information have forever changed the way we approach life and work. Emails and IMs no longer pile up because people answer them on the go. Productivity bottlenecks are relieved because work teams receive timely inputs. And so on.
What’s less well established is the extent of mobility’s benefits. We’re often asked questions seeking to quantify these improvements: How much more productive is my workforce? What’s the impact of mobility on hiring and retention? Are mobility benefits distributed equally across workers of all ages?
Now, we have answers. In partnership with the respected Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), we recently conducted a global workforce mobility study. It provided actionable insights into the benefits of investing in mobile-optimization technologies that improve employee engagement and drive business outcomes.
GenMobile is an Ageless Demographic
First, our study debunked the common misconception that Millennials benefit the most by being mobility-enabled. It’s simply not true.
Instead, the research shows workers across the age spectrum – from 18-65 – have exceptionally similar perspectives around the importance of mobility and mobile-optimized workplaces.
Among the findings: 100% of employees own a smartphone, use an employer-issued smartphone or both.
In other words, all of your employees are now GenMobile, which is an ageless demographic best described by an affinity for mobile devices rather than birth year.
For decision-makers considering which technologies impact their business, the implications of this GenMobile finding can’t be overstated. Make no mistake: every one of your employees is mobility-enabled, whether you’re taking advantage of this capability or not.
Clearly, our findings indicate that optimizing workplace mobility is now a strategic imperative for corporate success.
Mobile-optimized Goes Beyond Wi-Fi
Next, it’s critical to understand that optimizing workplace mobility goes beyond providing a high-performance Wi-Fi. It’s about taking the tools that empower the creative and collaborative spirit found everywhere on university campuses, which is a fundamental requirement for any enterprise to be innovative, and making them widely available at your organization.
For example, our study showed leading-edge mobilizers are twice as good at delivering work flexibility and collaboration tools, such as Skype for Business, which allow for seamlessly turning a hallway conversation into a productive group activity.
Also, mobility leaders are three times better at supporting anywhere, anytime workspace designs, like hot desking. Such workspaces provide employees with options to interact with whoever is appropriate on a given day or for a given project.
Plus, mobile-optimized companies demonstrate other competitive advantages, some of which include:
- 1.5 times better at work/life balance.
- 2.5 times better at fostering innovation and creativity.
- More than twice as good at getting the most from their employees.
Recovering 320 Hours, Per Person, Annually
So what does our survey say about the productivity gains companies can expect from a robust mobile environment? Quite a lot.
At mobility-optimized companies, projects that typically take an individual eight hours to complete are done in about seven. That’s a net gain of approximately an hour per person, or 16%, regardless of organization size, type or region.
To put this in perspective, 16% of productivity regained per eight-hour workday adds up to about 320 hours per year, taking standard holidays into consideration. That’s like realizing over eight extra weeks of output, per employee.
At scale, this benefit is tremendous. For a global organization with 10,000 employees, that’s 3.2 million hours of productivity recovered annually or 80,000 weeks.
Effects on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
Beyond productivity, when we speak to employers we commonly hear about the importance of attracting and retaining the right talent to drive innovation. In primary markets, competition is particularly fierce. Some businesses tell us they chronically struggle to compete for the best employees.
Insights from our study show why. Overall, companies at the mobility forefront are three times better at attracting workers. They also enjoy higher retention rates, reporting 21% greater employee loyalty.
From an employee perspective, a quarter of all workers (25%) say robust mobility is the primary factor for accepting a job. Regionally, the impact can be even higher. For instance, over a third of employees say mobility is their top decision-making factor in Germany (36%) and Japan (38%).
This means engaging the best talent requires optimizing mobility. Equally, limiting mobility means you’re constraining – or even alienating – the workers you’ve already hired.
The Bottom Line
Despite the emphasis on creating “mobile-first” workplaces, our research suggests only about 11 percent of all companies are mobile-optimized. Further, a whopping 50% of organizations were rated as mobility laggards.
For mobility leaders, this means ongoing investments are needed to stay ahead of the pack. Adopting new innovations and maximizing existing systems are equally important.
All other companies stand to gain considerable advantage by changing course. With careful and strategic mobility-enhancing investments, you can improve your position relative to others in your market. And, the sooner you get started, the more quickly you’ll win.
To find out how to become a mobile-optimized leader, or stay ahead of the rest, click here to access our Network Blueprint to Architect the Digital Workplace.
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