Here’s something that won’t (or at least shouldn’t) come as any sort of shocker: mobile devices are important in the workforce. They allow for constant connection, enabling people to do their jobs from wherever they want at whatever time they feel like it. But the importance of mobility is about much more than just working remotely, making companies without such policies–we’re looking at you, Yahoo! and Best Buy–no exception to the rule.
The explanation is simple: both the nature of work and work styles are evolving right alongside the technological advancements that enable them, making mobility a key element inside office walls. We know that altogether these developments are causing a massive behavioral shift, but more specific than that is how they’re resulting in a culture of movement. These days we’re on the go no matter where we are, and if we’re expected to reach our efficiency potential, the tools we use need to support that.
The In-Office Mobile Worker
Meet the in-office mobile worker, a constituent IT departments can begrudgingly assure us is growing with or without devices provided by corporate overlords. In fact, A recent infographic from Aternity estimates 200 million people will be taking part in BYOD by 2015.
In addition to heightened collaboration and communication, there are other key drivers assisting this growth pattern:
Office Culture: From open office designs to other trendy work space hacks, these revamps push for mobility. I love that my office has a comfortable lounge I can retreat to if the open work environment proves to be too distracting, but why would I want to go there if I couldn’t take my work with me? Or how could anyone truly enjoy any of these perks–a tree house, giant hammock, game room, peaceful bamboo garden–if they were constantly rushing back to their desks to check their in-boxes?
Multi-tasking: Remember when we all thought Bluetooth headsets were for douche-y people? Well, now it’s more like they’re for effective people. I’m not a 100% believer in the multi-tasking concept, but the other day I saw a sales guy chatting with a customer WHILE he was making a sandwich. If that’s not work-life integration, I’m not sure what is.
Lifestyle: You know, we don’t say this a lot in the corporate setting, but compact devices are just cooler. And it might sound strange, but I think they’re more organic to our lives as well. Laptops can get pretty heavy and desktops are akin to a ball and chain, but outfitted with the right productivity apps, phones and tablets are golden on the job. They enhance the way we’re already programmed to function, and the more we experience this augmentation rather than a detraction from our natural way of doing things, the more necessary it will become.
Work: Something We Do, Not Somewhere We Go
Be ye not confused: regardless of whatever is motivating big bosses like Marissa Mayer to throw remote working to the wayside, our mobile requirements aren’t going anywhere but up and through whatever ceiling we’ve imagined. And in typical Mindjet fashion (visual) here’s a great collection of infographics on BYOD just to push the point.