How the post-digital generation is transforming the workplace

Did you know that there were 10.55 more smartphones per user than there were employees across the UK when 2017 began? That statistic is based on the Labour Force Survey outlining that there were 31.85 million people in employment throughout the country as of January 2017, coupled with the fact that separate estimates underlined that there were 42.4 million smartphone users in the country in the month up to December 2016.

Factor in another study which has suggested that seven out of ten 18-24 year olds will check their mobile devices in the middle night, and it’s not clear whether smartphones have transformed our day-to-day working lives for the better or the worse.

Putting all of this together, photocopier solutions specialist, United Carlton, has called on employers to allow the post-digital generation to make use of their smartphones in the workplace, instead of sticking by the stance that doing so will cause an insecure, unproductive and inefficient working environment to be created. The following guide explains their reasoning:

The views held by employers about mobile phone use in the workplace

The negative view held among many employers when it comes to allowing employees to use their mobile phones in the workplace is understandable. 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.

Business owners can also feel compromised when it comes to their abilities to draft up a company policy that sets out mobile phone usage because of concerns that, as one small business expert puts it, leaves them ‘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.’

There are various statistics which suggest that a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture can be a good thing for business if an employer was to introduce it to their workplace though. If companies were willing to incorporate a BYOD culture, then they may see what some research validates as being a 16% boost in productivity over a 40-hour week, a 23% rise in job satisfaction and a 21% rise in company loyalty.

How smart technology could boost productivity

So, how does productivity improve in a workplace that has a BYOD in place? When employees are connected to a wireless internet network, 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.

This benefit has been further highlighted by research conducted by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, which concluded 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.

There’s even more interesting figures to be realised when shining the spotlight on specific countries. 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.

It can also be argued that employees are more likely to take work home with them where they are able to implement working practices into their mobile devices. In fact, research suggests that 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.

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Ive been blogging now for 5 years on various sites for the love of knowledge share. I decided to start my own blog a few years back to share everything from tech to business news. Follow me on twitter for more.