EIU study finds under half of employees view their employers' approach to mobile technology as "positive"
Written by: Laurence Doe | Published:

​A new global study, ‘Mobility, Performance and Engagement’ by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has revealed that of the 1,865 employees questioned about their employers’ approach to mobile technology, just under half (48 per cent) are “positive”.

This breaks down as 11 per cent regarding their employer as “a pioneer” and 37 per cent saying that they make “good use” of mobile technology. The largest group (42 per cent) viewed it as “adequate” and eight per cent as bad. The study reveals that there are a number of policies and practices that are “significantly more common among highly rated organisations”. This includes technical support for employee-owned mobile devices if technical issues are affecting their ability to work.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of organisations which are rated highly offer this support, compared with just 17 per cent of those which are not. Statistics from the report also show that IT leaders who are concerned with the employee experience should consider the extra investment required to provide first-line support for employee-owned devices. The report found that just under a third (31 per cent) of employers provide IT support for employee-owned mobile devices if technical issues are affecting their ability to work in any location and at any time.

“You need to make sure people have the right technology and are using it in the right working environment, and that they have the support needed to work that way,” explains Mark Williamson, a partner at business advisory firm KPMG.

To improve on such issues the report has provided the following points of improvement:

  • Offering employees IT support for the mobile devices they own is a defining characteristic of highly rated employers and should therefore be included in mobile strategies aimed at improving overall engagement;
  • The most effective way to support productivity through mobile technology is to implement policies and practices that allow employees to work wherever and whenever they wish;
  • Employees see collaboration as the key to creativity and company loyalty, so CIOs seeking to boost these attributes should pursue strategies that establish mobile technology as a platform for collaboration; and
  • CIOs should address the concerns of early adopters, such as privacy and work-life balance, as they are desirable employees and their views may well be mainstream opinion in future.

Pete Swabey, senior editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit concluded: “This report proves that CIOs have the opportunity to use their mobile technology strategies to influence the employee experience – and therefore the productivity, creativity, loyalty, and satisfaction of their workers. This is a departure from the usual target outcomes of efficiency and cost optimisation, and allows IT to make a more meaningful contribution, both to the strategic ambitions of the organization and to the lives of its workers.”

Image: the report was sponsored by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

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