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Mobile working ‘will become the norm’

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Mobile working is going to become an essential part of most businesses in the future.

This is according to Steve Hemsley, who noted that organisations will increasingly shy away from the physical workplace in favour of remote options. Writing in HR Magazine, he stated technological developments allow workers to “interact with colleagues and clients from anywhere in the world”.

Mr Hemsley pointed to statistics from the International Data Corporation, which show that 1.3 billion people are expected to be working remotely through mobile technology by 2015 – this equates to just over 37 per cent of the workforce.

As this practice becomes increasingly commonplace and its effectiveness is recognised, firms will become more comfortable letting their employees embrace flexible working, which should ultimately improve productivity.

The key to such strategies is to encourage a better work-life balance, as this will lead to the development of more motivated employees.

Axa managing director Darrell Sansom expects remote working to take off in the coming years. “If you look at how people communicate today, it is social media-led and employers must respond and use technology to help people think and work differently. Technology gives them the environment to do that at a relatively low cost.”

However, there still seems to be some reluctance to embrace remote working, as a recent survey of UK executives by BT discovered 50 per cent think cost is a barrier to exploring new working patterns, while 49 per cent do not think there is a viable business case for the technology.

Organisations need to make sure they think outside the box though, as embracing the bring your own device (BYOD) trend means they can drastically cut back on their hardware costs. Moreover, if firms do roll out a BYOD policy, their employees will be reachable at all times of the day.