Are your ready for the #GenMobile workforce?
Dubai, January 22, 2014
A new breed of employees is changing the workplace as we know it with the ability to work effectively any time, anywhere and on any device, says a report.
The characteristics of the #GenMobile, a group of employees defined by their preference for mobility both in terms of the devices they use and their approach to work, include a tendency for non-traditional work hours, preference for flexible work locations over higher salaries and reliable internet.
The report by Aruba Networks, which surveyed more than 5,000 respondents worldwide, including the two biggest IT markets in the Middle East -- Saudi Arabia and the UAE, reveals that the majority of #GenMobile are in the early stages of their career, owns three or more connected devices (62pc), and feels most productive when working from home (57pc).
#GenMobile are so attached to their mobile devices that they are 15 times more likely to give up coffee and seven times more likely to say goodbye to their televisions than their beloved smartphones.
The report reveals that #GenMobile are shaping their working lives around their mobile devices. They expect employers to make the policy and structural changes necessary to enable their preferred form of working.
Global trends driving #GenMobile into the workforce
• Wi-Fi matters: Nearly 58pc prefer Wi-Fi at the expense of other connections (4G, 3G or wired), while 51pc say that their mobile devices help them to manage their lives.
• Money isn’t everything: Over half (53pc) would prefer to work from home two to three days a week than receive a 10pc higher salary and nearly a third (32pc) would rather have their employer pay for the smartphone of their choice than a 5pc higher salary.
• A new workday is emerging: Over four in ten (45pc) believe they work most efficiently before 9 am or after 6 pm.
• All things connected: It’s no surprise that almost half (45pc) want their cars connected but it is interesting to see that a fifth (20pc) want their clothes or shoes to be connected in the next five years.
• Tech at work is essential: 38pc would rather be able to bring their own device to work than have an office with a window, and 53pc would rather their company paid for their choice of device than provided them with lunch.
• Mobile at every pause: The average consumer spends 21 hours per week on their mobile devices doing errands like banking, or viewing movies for entertainment, and 37pc expect their number of remote work hours to increase in the next 12 months.
The findings in the UAE and Saudi Arabia reflect the global trend above, the report said.
In the Middle East, the ownership of mobile products in general is higher than any other region – 84pc of respondents in the UAE own three or more connected devices (82pc in Saudi Arabia), and they also display the highest ownership of tablets in the survey (42pc in UAE, 31pc in Saudi Arabia).
“We’ve seen flexible working, BYOD and always-on connectivity growing for some time in the Middle East, but this report shows that it’s now become a way of life for those in the modern workforce,” said Ammar Enaya, regional director at Aruba Networks Middle East & Turkey.
“What this report suggests is that #GenMobile won’t have patience with companies who do not accommodate their mobile lives. In order to attract and keep the best employees, regional businesses need to start looking for solutions to ensure levels of empowerment and productivity in this emerging working world. Ultimately, many will have to totally redefine traditional work environments.”
Alongside the demand for increased mobility, the report calls for companies to take heed of #GenMobile associated technology requirements. For example, while the majority (70pc) of the typical #GenMobile demands Wi-Fi or mobile broadband connectivity (12pc more than average), operator-run technologies such as 3G and 4G are only preferred by 7pc and 5pc of respondents respectively.
“Making the necessary workplace changes needs to be supplemented with solid technology choices; employers will only succeed in motivating #GenMobile workers if they have the security and connections available to facilitate this shift,” added Enaya.
The increasing demand for flexible work styles is best illustrated in the US, where 79pc of respondents declared that they feel most efficient when working at home.
Respondents in the UK are also above average in this regard, with 72pc stating that the home office is where they can be most productive. – TradeArabia News Service