We’ve heard all about Millennials for years now, their lifestyles, tech friendliness, and radical collaboration methods. Many experts have been urging companies to start accommodating their lifestyle in the workplace to attract the best, young talent. The real driver behind the need to rethink the workplace, however, is not just generational — it’s really about the elephant in the “room” — mobility. We’re all on the move more than ever before, and we have escalated our use of not one, but several, connected mobile devices throughout our normal day. The idea of working 9-5 in a stuffy cubicle farm with a tethered computer on a desk is seeming more and more like an out-of-date relic.
To get past generational labels, and create another broader label (researchers love labels), there’s a new one out there now: #GenMobile: the people for whom mobile connected devices go beyond personal use — these folks shape their entire lives around mobility and the devices that support their mobility.
In November 2013, Shape the Future and Aruba Networks conducted research to find out how widespread the use of mobile devices have become. They found some interesting trends that back up the idea of rethinking the traditional workplace model:
– 70% of respondents prefer flexible working than working 9 to 5 with an early finish on Fridays.
– Over half of those surveyed said they’d prefer to work from home or remotely two to three days a week than receive a 10% higher salary.
– 37% expect an increase of remote working – just 4.5% foresee a decrease.
– 49% expect to increase the time they spend working remotely in 2014.
– Almost half (45%) bought tablets in the past 12 months.
– And 64% believe in BYOD, and believe their devices make them more productive at work.
– Many employees believe it’s the company’s responsibility to provide mobile devices along with Wi-Fi connections.
These stats may leave a lot of HR Directors shaking their heads, but instead, they should be seeing the opportunities, including:
– Rethink traditional work hours (consider the increased productivity of happier, “always-on” employees)
– Rethink traditional cubicle farm office environments (consider the cost savings inherent in fewer non-eco-friendly offices)