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Put the phone down: working smarter on the move

BYOD is creating a generation of workaholics
Mobile working doesn't always equate to greater productivity
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The mobile device boom and subsequent rise of trends like BYOD means many of us have one eye on our work right around the clock.

Naturally, this increased connectivity can enhance productivity, but is constantly logging in to our company network a healthy work situation?

Paul Thomas, VP of Aspect Software, is sceptical, and believes remote working needs to be managed carefully for truly beneficial results. Here's what he told us in our QA.

TechRadar Pro: Why is the increase in smart devices making workers feel under more pressure to be productive?

Paul Thomas: Thanks to smart devices, workers are becoming increasingly connected to their jobs. Whether they are at home or on the go, employees can now access information and data wherever they are, thanks to advances in virtual private networks and the cloud.

This can create added pressure on employees to be constantly aware of what is happening with regards to their job, as they now have the ability to get hold of that information at any time.

TRP: How should workers manage the increased pressure they feel when mobile working?

PT: When trying to manage the pressures of mobile working, it's crucial that workers create a divide between their home-lives and work-lives.

Constantly worrying about work, even outside of so-called 'office hours', can make workers feel more stressed and under pressure, especially when it is so easy to access that information wherever they are.

Putting your job to one side when you have finished your working day can make all the difference and help you manage the feeling of added pressure.

Constantly working does not result in you delivering better work and spending time away from your responsibilities goes a long way to helping you perform optimally.

TRP: How can workers maximise personal productivity when using smart devices?

PT: Making sure we fully understand the capabilities of smart devices goes a long way to improving productivity.

Some workers may be unaware of how their smart devices can aid them with work, whether it is through the use of job role specific applications, virtual private networks, collaboration tools, and learning how to make to most of these tools can allow workers to feel more comfortable and prepared when asked to perform a task.

TRP: What are the reasons why workers feel more productive in the office rather than at home or on the move, how can this change?

PT: Being in an office environment can have a positive effect on workers because it offers a sense of routine. Some people feel that the office is dedicated to work and is separate from their personal lives, meaning they may feel more productive there rather than home.

When working at home, the conflict of private and working life can be distracting for some, such as the temptation of home comforts like television and the added difficulty of establishing when work life ends and home life begins.

TRP: Why are businesses adapting to working with smart devices so slowly and how can they improve this?

PT: Some businesses may not fully understand how smart devices can benefit their organisation. This could mean that they are reluctant to accept smart devices as they do not understand how to best use the technology, making them unable to provide sufficient information and training to employees.

Developing a greater understanding of smart devices and how best to apply them within a business can go a long way to improving worker confidence and productivity, the confidence that a business has in smart devices can be passed on to its employees, helping to maximise businesses and employees smart device potential.

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.