How is Wi-Fi Redefining The Workplace And Productivity?

Wi-Fi has no doubt changed the nature of the workplace – by remaining connected to the internet, employees can work on projects without the need to be tied down to a computer.Wi-Fi Redefining The Workplace

With a mobile device combined to a reliable online network, the workplace has become more flexible and more susceptible to rapid change. 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?

The BYOD culture and Wi-Fi

The BYOD — or bring your own device — culture is becoming popular amongst many workplaces. 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.

The BYOD culture and a mobile internet connection can help businesses in many 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.

According to a study conducted by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group: ‘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 connected to a Wi-Fi server that is invested in the BYOD culture 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.

An increase in productivity doesn’t always come free though, with businesses facing costs as a result of these new practices. 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.

How priorities have shifted in the workplace

Many businesses are still unsure as to whether smart devices in the workplace are a distraction though, limiting the benefits that can be gained from a BYOD culture. 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.

However, this works both ways. Any employer wants employees that are going to be around the business for a large majority of the working day and week; when something goes wrong in an employee’s personal life, they may be able to deal with the situation from the office – meaning that work can still be done and a worker doesn’t have to leave the office to deal with a situation.

Wi-Fi on a global scale

For every $10,000 USD worth of salary in the United States, disengaged employees account for a cost of $3,400. 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.

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 1,865 employees, with those who were connected to the internet on a smart device contributing to a 16% boost in productivity for their workplace, as well as a 18% boost in the actual creativity of employees when at work.

Over a total of 40 hours per week, one employee contributing a 16% boost to productivity can account for an increased workload of 6.4 hours per week, which makes up 41 extra working days a year. If more employees every year adopt to this type of working culture, then the efficiency savings that can be made are endless.

As well as productivity, it was established that job satisfaction increased by 23%, and loyalty to the company increased by 21%. This is probably down to the fact that employees can feel empowered when using their own smart-device. Therefore, workers are made to feel that they are trusted to work on their own tasks independently throughout the day.

Based on increased levels of productivity, businesses which adopt a BYOD culture are more likely to succeed within a culture that needs employees to be connected to Wi-Fi at all times during the day to make the most of their time. 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.


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