Employees in the Asia Pacific region are rapidly evolving to be mobile workers, as suggested by findings from Aruba Network's latest report.
The report revealed the characteristics of the newly dubbed #GenMobile, a group of employees who have a preference for mobility both in terms of the devices they use and their approach to work. Conducted in February and March 2014, the report is based on the opinions' of more than 5,500 respondents from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The survey found that the majority (92 percent) of #GenMobile in the region owned at least two mobile devices and a quarter of them are spending more than eight hours on their devices, be it for work or leisure.
As #GenMobile abides by the 'anywhere, anytime' principles of flexible working, they understand that office hours are no longer constrained to the traditional 9 to 5 workday. This is supported by the findings in which more than two thirds (69 percent) of the respondents preferred having more workplace flexibility such as telecommuting to receiving a five percent cash allowance at a rigid workplace.
#GenMobile was also found to be in favour of using their device of choice for work instead of company issued devices. Nearly three quarters of them (74 percent) would opt to receive a smartphone of their choice from employers than free lunches.
The importance of Wi-Fi in today's workplace
According to Aruba Networks, #GenMobile is the most productive members of the workforce as they are working on the go and at any time. Thirty-four percent of the respondents claimed that they always checked their emails on their mobile devices. A quarter of the respondents from Singapore even said that they do so once every 10 to 30 minutes.
To enable #GenMobile to be productive, enterprises need to take heed of the associated technology requirements, said Albert Tay, general manager for ASEAN at Aruba Networks, in an interview with Computerworld Singapore. For instance, 68 percent of the respondents in the Asia Pacific region preferred to connect to Wi-Fi as opposed to other forms of networks such as 3G, 4G and the Ethernet. Enterprises thus need to improve their Wi-Fi networks to support this increasing demand. "Most organisations do have WiFi in place but it may not have enough capacity to support #GenMobile due to the surge of mobile devices in the workplace," said Tay.
The majority of the businesses (94 percent) in Asia Pacific region interviewed were aware of the importance of mobility and Wi-Fi for #GenMobile. Seventy-one percent of them understood that increasing support in Wi-Fi within their organisations will help improve efficiency, and 44 percent of them believed that investing in Wi-Fi will eventually help to reduce cost.