Changing how we work and live, Wi-Fi has revolutionised our everyday lives. Without needing to be tied down to a computer, employees can use smart devices to complete everyday working tasks.
When combined to a reliable online network, the workplace has become flexible, susceptible to rapid change and quick to respond under pressure. This is because employees can work in more flexible ways by using their smart device anywhere in the office. Although this idea seems reasonable in theory, one question to ask is how has Wi-Fi connectivity improved employee productivity?
Wi-Fi and the BYOD culture
Bringing your own device to work, or BYOD as it is commonly known, is becoming increasingly popular within the workplace. Whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet or a laptop, employees are able to use these devices as part of their working practices on a day-to-day basis when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Alongside a mobile internet connection, the BYOD culture can help many businesses in different working circumstances when used correctly. As a result of always being connected to the internet, employees can attend to tasks in ways they couldn’t before. For example, workers can reply to emails on their way to a meeting or outside of the office, as well as also work on tasks during dead-time in the day; i.e. when they are not stationed at a computer.
Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group conducted a research survey, and according to the results: ‘the average BYOD user across countries saves 37 minutes per week thanks to using their own device.’ In addition to this, users in the United States saved a total of 81 minutes per week, whilst those in Germany saved four minutes per week. Although some countries are saving more time and are being more productive than others, what this suggests is that globally, Wi-Fi networks combined with a BYOD culture is leading to an accrued saving of time, as opposed to wasted time inside and outside of the working day.
An employee who is connected to a Wi-Fi server within a BYOD working environment is working an extra two hours every day, and sending 20 more emails every day. This is time that is not within the working day too but an impressive addition to the time employees are working outside of normal hours, benefitting employers and how much work they are gaining from their employees. This is likely to be because employees are more comfortable and more aware of how to use their own devices.
Based on these new practices, although many workers are benefitting businesses, they do come with an added cost. Such businesses have to spend more money than ever before on security measures that make sure businesses and employees are protected from malicious hacks into Wi-Fi servers, as well as anti-malware, encryption methods and passcodes to help keep information secure. Business Wi-Fi providers, such as KBR, are utilising methods that provide safe Wi-Fi solutions to businesses that need to stay connected.
Shifting priorities in the workplace
Many people are implementing BYOD cultures within workplaces around the world, but many from a managerial perspective are doubting the efficacy of these practices. The answer to this isn’t as straight-forward as corporations would like it to be. The answer is that although employees are more connected, they will spend more time during the day checking their own personal devices for updates.
Wi-Fi on a global scale
Disengaged employees account for a total cost of around $3,400 USD for every $10,000 within the United States. That means for every starting salary of £16,376 in the UK, this can cost an employer £5,569 worth of disengagement. As research suggests, what makes employees more engaged is a mobile device and a reliable Wi-Fi connection.
Another survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 1,865 employees connected to the internet on a smart device were contributing to a 16% boost in productivity for their workplace – which leads into a 18% boost in the actual creativity of employees when they are at work.
One employee that is contributing a 16% boost to productivity can account for an increased workload of 6.4 hours per week, which can make up an increased workload of 41 extra working days per year. If more employees every year adopt to this type of working culture, then the efficiency savings that can be made are endless.
Businesses which are willing to take the risk and implement a BYOD culture are more likely to succeed within a modern interconnected working environment, as opposed to those which do not take full advantage of the BYOD trend to increase productivity. Mobile devices are increasing the independence of people across the globe, so it is no surprise that this trend has integrated itself into the workplace. If employers want to get the most out of employees, then trusting them with mobile devices connected to a safe Wi-Fi network is arguably the best option to choose.