Employees see mobile working as more important than a company car

Two thirds of UK office workers say mobile working is more important than a company car, and half now carry most of what they need to do their job in their bag, according to a study.

However, despite their employees’ appetite for mobile working, organisations are still struggling with technology and budget limitations to make it a reality, finds research by BT.

The survey of 1,500 office workers in large organisations in France, Germany, Spain and the UK, reveals a new era, where mobile working is no longer a perk but a staple requirement.

Results show workers are keen to break away from the static office: Today’s office workers put flexible working top of a benefits package from the ideal employer, with 76 per cent including it in their top three priorities.

However, effective communication with colleagues is still an issue. Employees report that they often waste time trying to get hold of people while working remotely, which delays decisions (54 per cent), and find it difficult to access documents and files (43 per cent).

A need for better communication

As such, there’s a need for better technology, with two thirds of office workers saying better communication would really help their organisation succeed. In particular, workers want technology upgrades to use with their smartphones including screen sharing (69 per cent), instant messaging (62 per cent) and video conferencing (48 per cent).

Andrew Small, vice president of the unified communications, mobile and contact centre portfolio arm of BT says, ‘Businesses are keen to support their employees’ desire for a more flexible way of working, but the reality still falls short of the ambition. The technology in place often still lags behind, causing delays and frustration.

‘It’s important for companies to future-proof their business by investing in mobile collaboration technology to support a flexible working model.’

Adrian Lewis, director of Activ Absence adds, ‘It’s great to hear BT making advances in tech, but I’ve rarely heard that as a reason why a flexible working request has been denied.

‘People want to work in new ways and to take their offices with them, that’s great – but it has to work for their employers too. Employers need to establish trust, colleagues need visibility to know who is working, where and when, and above all else, attitudes need to change.’

Further reading on office practices

Ben Lobel

Delphine Hintz

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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