Younger Staff Drive Mobile Use At Work

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Younger people are driving a change in attitude towards the use of mobile phones and their convergence in the workplace, a new survey has found.

Independent research released today suggests younger people are the dominant driving force behind changing attitudes towards mobile phone use in the office.

The survey of over 1,000 UK workers overall found differences in perceived levels of productivity, etiquette and work/life balance associated with the use of work mobile phones varied by age, region and sector.

Forty percent of those surveyed online by market researcher, Tickbox.net believed a work mobile phone give staff flexible working options and one third (33 percent) said it made them more efficient.

The proportion of those who cited efficiency gains increased to 54 percent among respondents already using a company mobile and 57 percent, who felt it facilitates more flexible working.

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) said being given a mobile phone for work gives them a high level of responsibility. But when analysed according to age, this proportion rises to 41 percent of 16-24 year olds compared with 15 percent of over-55s.

Enthusiasm for company mobile phones increased when used as a single, converged device, where over three in five (64 percent) said they would rather have one mobile device than managing multiple devices, including a landline.

Moreover, people across all age ranges said they would rather use a mobile than a landline because people could reach them wherever they were, with more than half of 16-24 year olds (65 percent) and nearly half of over-55s (45 percent) agreeing.

“We’ve not yet crossed the barriers of perception within the enterprise that a fixed phone is for calls and voicemails, a mobile is for mobile working and texting, and the laptop is for the likes of IM [instant messaging] and email,” said Phil Grannum, enterprise director for Cable & Wireless (C&W) and the survey’s sponsor.

But Grannum told eWEEK Europe the survey demonstrated widespread confidence in corporate mobile phone usage to deliver better employee engagement, greater flexibility and increased productivity.

And he explained that C&W commissioned the research as part of moving its workforce onto mobile phones based on its own Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) offering, which means mobile calls made in the office are free.

“We want to help organisations understand the behavioural benefits of FMC, alongside the financial ones,” he added.