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Incorporating smartphones into the workplace

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Incorporating smartphones into the workplace

Amongst employers, the attitudes towards using smart phones in the workplace are not positive. This is despite figures that suggest in the month up to December 2016, there will be 42.4 million smartphone users in the UK. With that in mind, in January 2017, the Labour Force Survey found that there were 31.85 million people in employment. With more smartphones per user than employees in the UK, what does that meant for working practices? Should be expect a change for the better, or for the worse?

The younger generations of today have grown up with smart technologies around them. They don’t know a world without them – they’ve became an intrinsic part of their life and could be the key to incorporating smartphones into the workplace. United Carlton, providers of management software explain why it might be a good idea for employers to allow smartphone usage in the workplace.

Less than positive attitudes

Despite owning them themselves, employers have a less than positive attitude toward smartphones in the workplace. In fact, research conducted by the University of Surrey has suggested that 11% believed that it was unacceptable for a mobile phone to be turned on during a meeting, and a further 80% believed that it was inappropriate to read or send text messages whilst in the company of other colleagues or their boss. This is down to the fact that most employers simply view the smartphone as a distraction that reduces an employee’s ability to complete a task by up to 20 minutes at a time. And why is that? This view comes from most employers admitting they feel distracted or preoccupied by their smartphone too.

Whilst most employers feel strongly about this, they also feel like they can’t implement a mobile phone policy into the company, as one small business expert claimed that business owners are ‘worried staff will spit the dummy at a mobile phone policy,’. However, to counteract this, they suggested that employers ‘should simply show them the math and staff are likely to co-operate because they don’t want to see the company go under or lose their job.’

How can smart technologies improve time efficiencies?

If employees aren’t willing to change their attitudes towards the use of smartphones within the workplace, they might actually be missing an opportunity to boost productivity and save their staff time. Incorporating a BYOD culture within the workplace, means employees are connected to a wireless internet network, and they are able to complete tasks in ways that do not limit them to sitting at a desk or having to be in the office.

In fact, a study conducted by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group revealed that ‘the average BYOD user across countries saves 37 minutes per week thanks to using their own device.’ This is because these users are working on-the-go and between ‘dead-times’ in the office when they aren’t stationed at a computer.

Whilst the BYOD culture benefits are spread globally, the figures differ country by country. For instance, users in the United States saved a total of 81 minutes per week by using smart technologies at work, whereas those in Germany saved four minutes per week. Contrary to popular belief, this suggests that globally, smart devices can aid rather than detract from productivity saving efficiencies.

Furthermore, this could encourage more engagement and commitment from your staff. If smart device users are able to implement their own technologies into their working practices, then they are more likely to take work home with them – as these employees are working an extra two hours every day and sending 20 more emails every day. For example, many members of staff are now able to use their smartphone as a mobile printing device; when there is a compatible printer in range connected to the network, users can print from their device without the need to install software to do so. This frees up time during the day as users can print from anywhere in the office, without having to be stationed at their desk and printing from a desktop computer. Cloud storage and printing documents that aren’t saved to hardware are also freeing up the flexibility of working practices and allowing employees to work in ways that weren’t previously possible.

With all of this in mind, maybe it is time for employers to put their negative attitudes to one side and give the BYOD culture a go. For companies that are willing to incorporate a BYOD culture, then they may see that there could be a 16% boost in productivity over a 40-hour week, a 23% rise in job satisfaction and a 21% rise in company loyalty. If businesses aren’t willing to incorporate change into outdated processes, then perhaps these operational efficiencies may not be experienced by many for years to come – and they could miss out on a great opportunity to boost productivity amongst their staff.

 

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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