Mobility

Why 51% of employees check email and take work calls on their commute to the office

The rise of mobile enterprise applications has enabled on-the-go employees to spend less time in the office, according to an Intermedia report.

The traditional workplace is undergoing massive changes due to technology and employee expectations, according to a Thursday report from Intermedia. Millennials now represent the largest generation in the US labor force, and nearly 43% of the nation's workforce will take gig economy jobs by 2020—radically changing the definitions of "workplace" and "workday," the report noted.

Enterprise mobile applications for email, calls, chats, video conferencing, and file sharing in particular have redefined the daily work experience for many employees, the report found. Some 71% of the 1,000 US knowledge workers surveyed said mobile apps give them peace of mind by providing timely updates on work projects, and 66% said these apps make them feel more efficient, the report found.

Mobile apps have also radically changed how workers view their commute, the report found. Instead of waiting to get to the office, 51% of professionals said they regularly begin their workday by checking emails and taking calls on their commute.

SEE: Remote access policy (Tech Pro Research)

While this might sound like it's only adding hours to the workday, 19% said that it allows them to get their day started on the right foot, and 39% said the work completed on their commute lets them spend less time in the office. This was especially the case for organizational leaders, 54% of whom reported that working during the commute led to feweer office-based work hours, the report found.

Technology has also become a necessity for attracting and retaining talent, the report found: More than one in four professionals surveyed said they would not take a position at a company that did not offer tools for communicating, including cell phones (30%), video and conferencing services (28%), and instant messaging (27%).

The rise of video conferencing in recent years has also helped companies save money and reduce employee travel time, the report found: 75% of company leaders said their work travel has been reduced due to expanded video conferencing abilities, and 59% of workers said they always prefer using video conferencing over work travel. One in five respondents said they use video conferencing at work every day.

However, email still dominates the workplace communication landscape, the report noted: 87% of professionals said email is the primary mode of communication employees use within their organization.

"As technology continues to facilitate the future of work, it's time for organizations to recognize the future of employee expectations as well," Costin Tuculescu, vice president of collaboration product at Intermedia, said in a press release. "From mobile applications to video conferencing to email and voice assistance, employees want technology that works for them, not the other way around."

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 71% of professionals said enterprise mobile apps give them peace of mind by providing timely updates on work projects. — Intermedia, 2018
  • 51% of professionals said they regularly begin their workday by checking emails and taking calls on their commute. — Intermedia, 2018

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Image: iStockphoto/Halfpoint

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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