PDAs drives productivity gains: Survey

Dividing line between work and home use disappears
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/08/2011

Nearly one-third of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Germany are encouraging staff across all departments to use personal communications devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices for business purposes, with a further 22 per cent supporting their use by relevant staff.

And 91 per cent of German firms agreed that, looking ahead, the dividing line between business and personal devices will become increasingly blurred, according to a survey of senior executives and managers in 700 companies across Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

· However, by integrating business and personal use effectively, more than two in five businesses have recorded productivity improvements of up to 20 per cent, with a further 17 per cent confirming even greater gains, found the survey released by Citrix Online, a provider of virtual computing solutions.

“This also seems strange, as security emerged as the number one concern in moving towards greater integration,” said Robert Gratzl, managing director, vice-president, and general manager at Citrix Online. “However, the really good news is that 33 per cent of companies who are using personal devices effectively in the workplace are seeing a significant increase in productivity levels of more than 10 per cent, delivering a rapid and substantial improvement in operational efficiencies.”

Yet, to date, 60 per cent of employers do not have any systems in place to manage or monitor the application of personal devices in a corporate environment, found the survey.

“This lack of management oversight is worrying,” said Gratzl. “Especially as the majority are also unaware of all the devices that are being used in this way.”

Among the survey’s top findings:
In 56 per cent of German firms, employees already use their own devices for business purposes.
• 59 per cent are not aware of all the personal devices being used by staff on behalf of the business.
• SMBs are most concerned over the security implications of allowing remote access to the corporate network (cited by 34 per cent) and application and document downloads (29 per cent).

The risk of employees being distracted by using their devices for personal purposes during working hours also remains a major concern (cited by 25 per cent of respondents).

“This is a good example of managers losing control of how staff spend their time,” said Gratzl. “As work-life balance is changing — enabled by such devices — so outdated management practices will also have to change.”

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