i-gadgets making workers 30% more productive

But many firms yet to develop a plan for mobile comms technology


Business owners whose employees use iPads, iPhones and other personal communication tools are seeing increases in productivity of over 30%.

These are the findings of a survey undertaken by YouGov on behalf of Citrix Online, in which 700 senior executives of small businesses were polled.

Of the employers sampled by the survey, drawn from the UK, France and Germany, 33% said that the adoption of consumer-focused communications tools has improved productivity by more than 10%.

Furthermore, in 11% of businesses, productivity has soared by over 30%.

However, despite the obvious potential of tablets and touch-screen technology, many businesses have yet to establish any kind of strategy to harness them.

Indeed, 57% of the YouGov respondents said they have no policy, procedures or IT systems in place to manage the use of personal devices; furthermore, only half the firms surveyed said they are aware that their employees are using the technology for business purposes.

In 45% of cases, employees are purchasing the devices themselves as their bosses aren’t making them available. This is because a third of business owners are concerned about the security implications of allowing document downloads and remote access to the corporate network. A further 32% still carry long-established  concerns that staff will be distracted by using the technology for personal purposes during working hours.

Yet this may be set to change, as one in five British businesses are being put under pressure to increase workforce flexibility, and the main driver for improvement is coming from staff. At least half of all the employees surveyed say that new smart devices offer greater functionality or flexibility than the technology provided by their company.

Andrew Millard, a senior director for Citrix Online said: “By seizing the opportunities which a ‘work anywhere, with anyone’ approach offers – for example through the adoption of affordable, easy-to-use collaboration tools – the business can drive improvements in customer satisfaction, productivity, and staff satisfaction.

 “The good news is that these devices enable employees to take charge of their time, by self-prioritising in an effective and controlled way. This is a critical aspect of the broader shift towards a more flexible, agile workforce. Properly monitored and managed therefore, everybody wins.”

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