Work and Life in the Mobile Society/Work/Drivers

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What is driving mobile work?

Mobile work allows organizations to hire employees who will be working outside of the business’s usual office. These employees, instead of working in a formal office, work from home, on the road, or at meeting places. This allows the organizations to lower their real estate budget since the employees provide their own workplaces. Furthermore, organizations are driven to employ mobile workers because the companies feel that mobile work results in an “elimination or reduction of commute time, improvement of worker concentration, better control of workload, and better adherence to deadlines as key benefits” (Venezia, Allee). Employees are driven to engage in mobile work for different reasons than those of employers. Employees enjoy mobile work because of “a greater enthusiasm for work, increased commitment to the company, and better relationships with customers” (ibid). Moreover, as technology expands and the world becomes more mobilized, the efficiency of mobile workers is also increasing.

Costs[edit | edit source]

Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of hiring mobile workers to work for their company. One of the major resulting benefits to employers is the lower costs of real estate. As real estate prices are increasing, employers are looking towards mobile workers to increase the company’s profits. By creating a mobile organization, companies must change their infrastructure in order to meet the needs of those workers. Instead of providing office space for each worker, the company will require virtual workplaces where virtual meetings can be held. These workplaces require a lot less space and will save the company a lot of money.

Productivity[edit | edit source]

Furthermore, many employees feel that they are more productive while working outside of the company office. Results of the 2006 Knoll survey conducted by Camille Venezia showed that “most mobile workers are very enthusiastic about their work and often work long hours. (Hood)” For many people, it is easier as well as more motivating to work alone. Often times, mobile workers will perform more effectively because they are free from all the distractions present in a busy office workplace. When working from home the commute time is virtually eliminated and therefore, a larger percentage of an employer’s workday can actually be spent working. For example, someone who works in downtown Montréal may live in Sainte Therese due to cheaper home prices. This can result in three-hour round-trip commute.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Both of these issues have increased the popularity of mobility in the workforce. Both, employers and employees have recognized the benefits and have begun to make use of this opportunity. For the employer, it is a way to increase revenues and decrease costs and for the employee, it facilitates workdays and decreases stress. Employers and employees both want to become part of the globalized world. Working from home allows the employers to build better relationships with their clients (Venezia, Allee). This is because employees will spend time speaking on the phone with the client and will then; often times meet face-to-face in locations outside of the office such as coffee shops which allows for more informal conversations leading to better relationships.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

As the Knoll survey suggested, mobilizing the workforce has had many benefits over the past two decades (Hood). This demonstrates that as the world becomes flatter and globalization continues, companies will demand more and more mobile workers. This survey further showed that only 24 percent viewed it (“office as we know it”) as the "most productive location" (ibid). To improve efficiency, employees, in the future, will seek to work in the most productive environment which studies show is not the usually workplace.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Camille Venezia, Verna Allee. (2007). Supporting mobile worker networks: components for effective workplaces. Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 9(3), 168-182. Retrieved November 1, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1444326711).
  • Chris Hood (2007). Response to Venezia and Allee's article. Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 9(3), 183-186. Retrieved November 1, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1444302141).