How #GenMobile can boost productivity and competition in business

Knowledge workers and industries including financial and professional services are leading the way in this transition. Industries like healthcare and retail will still require more traditional work places, for obvious reasons.

TRP: How do you see technology enabling the future of the workplace; where do you see the trends of #GenMobile taking us?

CK: Aruba Networks envisions the workplace of the future being one in which employees have complete flexibility to access information and collaborate and where business processes become increasingly automated by technology.

The biggest trend highlighted by the #GenMobile research is that this new generation will place a higher value on flexibility in the workplace than ever before. Employers will need to shift their thinking on the concept of the workplace to not only meet the needs of existing #GenMobile employees, but also to be sure they can attract and retain new talent.

TRP: Are there any regional differences to be considered here?

CK: While there are some regional variances in the findings, the overall conclusions that #GenMobile has emerged as a new generation of employees remains consistent. However, some European regional highlights include:

• Germany looks to be leading the way in mobile working models. Already 14% of respondents here indicate that they spend more than 8 hours per day (56 hours per week) on their mobile devices.
• The Spanish are the most entertainment gadget-friendly; with 68% having bought a connected TV, speakers or games console in the past twelve months.
• The UK continues to be a nation obsessed with mobile shopping – 56% of respondents here are already avid users.
• The French are the least trusting of mobile banking - 51% do not use it – but 76% of respondents in Sweden do make use of this service.

What can businesses do now to accommodate #GenMobile workers without harming their own productivity?

Employees increasingly expect connected mobile devices to infiltrate their working lives. Most of them prefer Wi-Fi over any other form of connectivity. Employers need to set aside ample budget for making their workplace fully connected for employees – with the security and connections available to facilitate this shift.

Additionally, flexible and remote working is a top priority for #GenMobile. With the traditional 'productive' working hours slipping away, many people would preference working remotely over a higher salary. Employers need to put measures in place to cater to this growing need to work outside traditional office hours, or risk frustrating #GenMobile.

Finally, by taking into consideration #GenMobile's demands and priorities, companies will be able
to position themselves competitively and consequently, attract and retain #GenMobile talent. Their ability to provide flexibility and mobility will become differentiating factors in the market.

TRP: How prepared would you say UK businesses and infrastructure are for this new generation of worker?

GM: Compared to a number of European countries, the UK is relatively ahead of the game in terms of catering for #GenMobile. We have seen a large majority of educational institutions deploy Wi-Fi pervasively and embrace mobile computing and applications in a big way.

This is obviously building the appetite for mobility in the workplace as graduates transition into the workforce. However, the penetration of Wi-Fi within the typical UK company has increased consistently over the past 5 years with Wi-Fi becoming the network of choice for 63% of UK employees (compared with 57% globally).

To remain at the head of the curve, UK businesses must take further steps to understand how to attract and retain #GenMobile employees. Although efforts cannot stop there. It's critical that employers not only understand how their technology strategies can improve talent retention, but also how their technology strategies can transform their business processes.

TRP: Are you yourself #GenMobile?

GM: Absolutely. #GenMobiles are characterised as keeping flexible work hours, owning 3 or more mobile devices and as having a strong preference for Wi-Fi as their primary network connection.

My work day is consistently blurred with my personal life as I am often working later in the evening or from locations other than my office. As a true #GenMobile, I value the ability to access both business and personal content on all of my devices.

This flexibility defines how I choose to live – with neither location nor time restricting my productivity.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.