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Flexibility and mobile working are more important to employees than a company car, finds new BT research

DC16-498 (10 November 2016)

Flexible working and great mobile devices top employees’ list of perks but businesses are struggling to make it a reality, according to BT’s mobile multiplier study

Two thirds (67 per cent) of UK office workers say mobile working is more important than a company car, and half now carry most of what they need to do their job in their bag, according to BT’s latest research. However, despite their employees appetite for new flexible ways of working, organisations are still struggling with technology and budget limitations to make it a reality.

 ‘The mobile multiplier’ research, which independently surveyed 1,500 office workers in large organisations in France, Germany, Spain and the UK, reveals a new era, where mobile working is no longer a perk but a staple requirement. Results show workers are keen to break away from the static office: Today’s office workers put flexible working top of a benefits package from the ideal employer, with 76 per cent including it in their top three priorities.

However, effective communication with colleagues is still an issue. Employees reported that they often waste time trying to get hold of people while working remotely, which delays decisions (54 per cent), and find it difficult to access documents and files (43 per cent).

As such, there’s a need for better technology, with two thirds of office workers saying better communication would really help their organisation succeed. In particular, workers want technology upgrades to use with their smartphones including screen sharing (69 per cent), instant messaging (62 per cent) and video conferencing (48 per cent).

Andrew Small, vice president of Unified Communications, Mobile and Contact Centre Portfolio at BT

Businesses are keen to support their employees’ desire for a more flexible way of working, but the reality still falls short of the ambition. The technology in place often still lags behind, causing delays and frustration. It’s important for companies to future-proof their business by investing in mobile collaboration technology to support a flexible working model. The more employees have a good experience of work on the go, the more benefits their organisations will see.”
- Andrew Small, vice president of Unified Communications, Mobile and Contact Centre Portfolio at BT.

The research also revealed that budgets are a major concern. Businesses pay for around 75 per cent of the bill for their employees’ work mobile devices, and employees are aware of the restrictions that this puts on their use. For example, a fifth of office workers say they often run out of mobile data, while 37 per cent say they don’t use their mobile devices much when overseas due to roaming charges.

Small continued: “Whilst budgets continue to be a major priority, limiting mobile use can be a false economy if it ultimately prevents office workers from being more productive. We want to offer businesses the opportunity to manage rising data roaming costs associated with working on the go, particularly internationally.”

To address these issues, BT is announcing the launch of BT One Mobile anywhere and BT One Cloud mobile, which support collaboration and cost saving in a mobile working business model.

BT One Mobile anywhere is a service to help organisations manage international data roaming costs incurred by their employees by offering organisations a single, fixed price tariff for global data roaming, which is shared across all travelling employees. This capability helps organisations to support seamless flexible working within their budgets.

To tackle communications issues between teams working remotely and in the office in the UK, BT One Cloud mobile brings together EE’s extensive 4G mobile network, and the BT fixed network to deliver cloud-based collaboration services.

For more on the research, please click here.

About the research

The research involved an independent survey of 1,528 office workers in large organisations in France, Germany, Spain and the UK, conducted by Davies Hickman Partners Ltd in September 2016. It covered the full range of office workers in terms of ages as well as a variety of sectors. Separate interviews were conducted with 10 IT Decision Makers to give an alternative perspective. The results of previous research on Digital Dislocation in the workplace earlier in 2016, sponsored by BT and Cisco, complemented the analysis.

For further information

Alan Ball, Head of Global PR.