iPass Report on Mobile Workers.jpg

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workers in many regions are more productive and work longer hours. That argument in favor of BYOD is found in the current iPass Mobile Workforce Report. 

The report, issued quarterly for the past 14 quarters by this Wi-Fi provider, also finds that North American BYOD workers work more hours weekly, about 50 on average, than their counterparts in the Asia Pacific -- where the average is 48 hours -- or the 47 for Europe. Overall, however, 51 percent of mobile workers work over 50 hours weekly, while 16 percent put in 60 hours or more.

North American companies are more BYOD-friendly than elsewhere, and workers on that continent are more likely to work for a BYOD company than those in Asia Pacific or Europe. Overall, 70 percent of workers use their personal mobile devices for work purposes.

In fact, as a previous iPass quarterly report found, North Americans think of smartphones as a key productivity tool. This iPass survey also noted that, although smartphones could be employee-purchased or issued by a company, BYOD policies give workers freedom of device choice.

Homes, Hotels, Airports

When BYOD is implemented, it is popular. The report found that 70 percent of all mobile workers now take advantage of BYOD policies, and 35 percent of all respondents said whether a company has BYOD can affect their choices about where to work.

iPass CEO Evan Kaplan noted in a statement that “forward-thinking IT departments are capable of dramatically enhancing employee productivity by arming workers with smartphones, tablets and connectivity plans when traveling or working remotely.” He added that the company’s survey shows mobile workers want “access to reliable, cost-effective connectivity” wherever they work.

And where are these mobile workers working? The report said that homes or some kind of office were the most likely locations, but three-quarters of respondents have also worked from hotels, 40 percent from airplanes and coffee shops, and 29 percent on such other public transportation as trains, buses or subways.

Of course, there’s the issue of connectivity, especially Wi-Fi, which is not yet available everywhere. The report found that 41 percent said lack of wireless coverage prevents them from being productive at least a tenth of their workday, resulting in about one month of lost productivity per year per worker.

Access to Connectivity

For mobile workers, 18 percent said they were unproductive because of insufficient connectivity for at least one-quarter of their day. Most respondents said they were more rather than less productive when they worked remotely, but 71 percent said they look for Wi-Fi hotspot availability before they hit the road.

Access to Wi-Fi on a one-time basis, iPass said, was more than US$ 20 for 59 percent of mobile workers, and over US$ 30 for 24 percent. Most workers said they are able to charge their Wi-Fi costs back to their company.

A key factor to keep in mind in reading this report is that iPass is a Wi-Fi company. They report that their survey shows workers often prefer Wi-Fi to cellular because of price, availability or, sometimes, speed. They also note that “telcos that can’t keep pace with the snowballing demand for mobile data are developing technologies and signing deals to offload that traffic to Wi-Fi.” In the end, the report says, “all mobile technologies rely on Wi-Fi.”

One question, though, is if the momentum shifts toward 4G/5G, will iPass ask the questions that reflect that shift?

The survey is based on 1150 mobile employees, and was taken in March and April.

Image courtesy of ollyy (Shutterstock)