Did you know the global mobile workforce is on track to grow from 1.52 billion or 39.3% of the worldwide workforce to 1.88 billion or 43.3% by 2023? Australia is not immune to the mobile workplace swing, with a study reporting that 50% of Aussie employees work remotely for at least half the week and two-thirds work from home at least one day per week.
A key driver of this upswing in mobile working is the younger generations joining the workforce. In a few short years, millennials will represent 42% of the Australian workforce, and half of them would choose workplace flexibility over increased pay.
So what trends are going to make an impact on the mobile workplace of the future? In this post, we will be exploring three critical trends which will reshape the mobile workforce and, in turn, influence the workplace at large.
The growing take up of 5G
While there are patches of 5G coverage already available in some Australian cities, we aren’t even close to feeling the full effects of this technology just yet. Over the next several years, as the networks broaden and 5G devices become more prevalent, the impact of 5G will come to the fore.
What is 5G? It’s a step up from the 4G network. We’re talking faster speeds and the ability to transmit even more data. 5G also promises a reduction in mobile latency, commonly known as ‘lag’.
With an expanding Australian population and more and more ‘things’ coming online, 5G networks will be vital in handling more than ever before – whether it’s users, data or devices.
How does this affect the mobile workplace? Aside from the obvious benefits of a faster connection no matter if you’re in the office, at home or in transit, as ultra-fast connectivity becomes available, so do speedy new applications and technologies. When 4G launched, we saw a steep rise in video streaming (Instagram Live) or sharing (Snapchat). We don’t know exactly what 5G will bring with it, but we do know it will make a splash!
Keep in mind that when 4G launched in Australia, data usage on mobile devices skyrocketed. We expect the same to happen when 5G is rolled out. Keep a close eye on your data usage to ensure employees have connected to the right services for their needs and the business isn’t being stung for heavy excess data usage.
An increase in flexible work arrangements
It feels like only a few years ago that companies were using flexible working arrangements as ‘sweeteners’ to stand out to job seekers and attract the best talent. Fast forward to now, and NOT having flexible working arrangement options is making companies stand out for the WRONG reasons. In fact, the 2019 LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends report says that work flexibility is “the perk that is no longer a perk”.
So as flexible work arrangements become the norm, the mobile workplace expands further, with businesses benefiting from more diverse, satisfied and productive staff and employees able to benefit from better work/life balance.
As more employees take on flexible work arrangements, make sure their mobile devices and services are keeping up with their needs. Generally, more mobile data is being used as employees aren’t necessarily working from the office or even on a home wifi network – cafes, airport lounges, and in transit, on the train, bus or tram, are all possibilities. Also, watch out for wifi ‘dongles’ being paid for but not used as more employees use their phones to hot spot an internet connection to their laptops.
Adoption of sophisticated Mobility Management Services
Thanks to trends like 5G, the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the rise in remote working opportunities, the mobile workplace is seeing a shift in how mobility is managed.
Knowledge is power and having visibility across mobile analytics helps companies to explore new possibilities and opportunities. But with lots of data, comes the prospect of being snowed under and not knowing how to make effective use of it.
It’s only when a business can make meaning of their mobile data, that they can understand (and optimise!) their mobility management efforts in a valuable way. Right now, the Bluewater platform closes the gap by helping to maximise mobility business functions and telecom expense management by improving workflows, increasing visibility and improving governance and control of assets. In the future, we’re excited to see how machine-based learning will assist in generating valuable insights related to analytics, all in real-time.
Interested in understanding exactly where hidden costs lie in the management of mobility and telecom expenses across your organisation? Check out our ‘7 signs your mobile management processes lose you money’ ebook to discover what to be on the lookout for.