Top Five Mobile Workforce Trends 2010


iPass provides enterprise mobility services such as WiFi and mobile virtual network to a customer-base of 3,500 companies. In February, iPass started to ask its clients to participate in surveys, and this time, they managed to get between 1000 and 2000 participants at all different hierarchy levels, most working for large companies across the world: 45% are from the US, 40% are from Europe and 15 % are from Asia-pacific.

We write all year long about mobile devices and what we can do with them, for once, we would like to look more closely at the use of mobile technology and share some of the iPass' survey results:

Trend #1 - The data security, cost and employee productivity imbalance

Within companies there is a balance between data security, cost and employee productivity
66 % of mobile employees who are not provisioned a smartphone by their companies will use their private smartphone for work.
The major enterprise's security risk is the theft or the loss of smartphones with business data on them, it is even worse when companies allow the use of personally owned smartphones without any set-up policies (i.e. remote wipe if a pass code is entered incorrectly five times)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the average employee workday at 8.8 hours in 2008. According to iPass' survey the average workday for mobile is one hour longer, closer to 10 hours a day, the equivalent of six more weeks of work a year.

Trend #2 – Hyper-connected
  • 88 % of mobile employees are checking their smartphones during downtime;
  • 55 % do it usually
  • 6 % admitted to checking their smartphones obsessively
On vacation:
  • 6 % of employees surveyed completely disconnected,
  • 36 % said that they were always connected,
  • the majority of mobile employees who connected while on vacation did so for work.

Among the 6% who disconnected, most of them did so because the network connection was not available for a reason or another. Some significant answers to the question " Do you ever completely disconnect from technology, if so where, when and why?" :
  • "... when I am sleeping" (frequent answer)
  • " 1 year ago, Italy. No internet access"
  • " Areas such as mountains where no connectivity"
  • "no coverage!!!" (frequent answer)
  • "Airplanes, remote locations" (frequent answer)
  • "at the beach with the kids where my attention is truly needed" (beach: frequent answer)
  • "Camping" (frequent answer)
  • "I would love too!" > Editor's note: :)
  • "Out of UK as connection charges are too high"
  • "In sauna, every weekend, for relaxation"
  • "When fishing"
  • "When Im offshore sailing No signal a long way offshore!"

For most mobile workers, mobility is good for work/life balance:
  • Only 11% saw mobile technology as a detriment to their work/life balance
  • 35 %t thought it gave them more work/life balance.

Trend #3 – The Post PC Era has begun
  • 43% people did leave their laptops at work at least occasionally (nearly half)
  • 37% thought that another mobile device would replace the laptop for general business purpose
  • 27% thought that the iPad or another tablet would replace the laptop for general business purpose

Trend #4 – It’s multi-generational and global
Contrary to common belief, the so-called "cross-generational divide" – between those who grew-up with technology and those that didn’t – does not reflect reality.

The average age of a Facebook user is 38 and 39 for Twitter (older than a millennia) In fact, iPass puts the median age of a mobile worker today nearly a decade older, somewhere around 46 years old

And this is a worldwide phenomenon, and not just confined to one region of the world.

Trend #5 – Multiple devices rule the day

97% carry two or more mobile devices 50% carry three or more mobile devices

Most popular mobile device ranking:
1. laptop
2. smartphone
3. cell phone
80% of employees carrying only one device carry a smartphone or a cellphone