iPass has published its quarterly Mobile Workforce Report which shows that the flexible working schedules permitted through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the workplace has resulted in many employees working up to 20 additional hours per week, with a third never fully disconnecting from technology, even during personal time.
Surprisingly, while on holiday only 8 percent disconnect completely from work. The report also revealed that 92 percent of mobile workers enjoy their job flexibility and are content with working longer hours; in fact, 42 percent would like even greater flexibility for their working practices.
"BYOD is effectively turning us into a generation of productive workaholics, with many workers seemingly happy to work during their downtime in exchange for flexibility in how and where they work," said Rene Hendrikse, VP EMEA, iPass.
"Mobile workers want to help their companies stay competitive in a fast-paced and challenging business environment and for this reason nearly half of all businesses are now actively encouraging flexible working. However, employees run the risk of literally paying the price for this flexibility, with 18 percent shouldering their own data bills.
"Prohibitively high mobile data roaming charges are curtailing employees from being able to carry out basic online tasks, impacting their ability to be productive. With this in mind, the payoff for the channel in helping businesses to solve the data roaming challenge is potentially great.
"Over 85 percent of employees polled want their firms to pay for a global Wi-Fi plan to help them to work more flexibly, and so in today's climate of long working hours and little personal time, resellers will find significant opportunities in helping companies to provide their employees with the right resources and to do their jobs."
These findings come as 70 percent of mobile workers admit that data roaming costs is an issue of great importance to them. 82 percent feel that some mobile operators charge 10 times more for data roaming ($20 per MB) than the value that they consider to be fair ($1-2 per MB). The resulting fear of bill shock means that workers are cautious to use even basic but work critical applications such as web-browsing and email when abroad.
Meanwhile, the research also looked at the growth of video communications. Two-thirds (67 percent) of mobile workers are using video conferencing and/or video chat applications more than they did in 2011. Skype was the most popular video communications technology, with 70 percent of mobile workers using it as their first preference. 36 percent used Cisco, followed by 29 percent who preferred to use Apple's FaceTime. 13 percent chose Google's Gmail video chat. Workers overwhelmingly use these applications over Wi-Fi, highlighting due to better capacity and performance.
Other report findings include:
• Corporate security measures have not kept pace with BYOD, with 25 percent of businesses still failing to demand security features on their employees' devices
• Security is being further compromised as 48 percent of mobile workers admit to bypassing IT restrictions to enable them to access corporate data
• The average data roaming bill shock for a mobile worker is $1,089.14
• 19 percent of mobile workers' companies do not require security on smartphones or tablets to access work data
• 80 percent of mobile workers prefer Wi-Fi over mobile networks to access applications
• 17 percent of mobile workers don't know if they are being over charged by mobile operators for roaming charges because their company pays the bill
• 78 percent of mobile workers believe mobile operators are over charging for roaming
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Steve Harris, Managing Director, VCOMM