How Wi-Fi can boost productivity within the workplace

There’s no doubt about it, Wi-Fi has revolutionised the way that we work and live; during working hours, employees can remain connected to the internet, emails, and social media until they go home – without having to be tied down to a desktop computer.

As a result of this, the workplace has become more flexible and more susceptible to rapid changes, which has meant that it is now less dictated by time-scales and more so by what tasks can be completed most efficiently.

Here, we explore how internet connectivity and smart devices are changing the nature of the workplace, as well as how efficient and more productive the workplace is becoming as a result.

How BYOD culture and Wi-Fi are working together

The BYOD (bring your own device) culture is a growing trend within the workplace, which is helping businesses become more proactive when it comes to their working practices. Employees are able to bring their own smart device, such as a mobile phone, a tablet or a laptop, and they can then use this as part of their own working practices when they are connected to a Wi-Fi network. Business Wi-Fi providers KBR are making sure that businesses are remaining up to date and connected with the most sophisticated Wi-Fi solutions.

When used correctly, there are many instances when the BYOD culture and a reliable Wi-Fi network can boost productivity. 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, and can also work on tasks during dead-time in the day, i.e. when they are not stationed at a computer.

‘The average BYOD user across countries saves 37 minutes per week thanks to using their own device’, according to the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. In addition to this, users in the United States saved a total of 81 minutes per week, whilst Germany saved four minutes per week. Although some countries are saving more time and 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.

Outside of the working day, Wi-Fi and BYOD culture is also having an impact. It has been suggested that a fully connected employee is managing to work an extra two hours every day and sending 20 more emails every day. As a result, tshis is allowing a business to utilise their employees even when they’re outside the workplace. This is likely to be because employees are more comfortable and more aware of how to use their own devices.

It should be noted though that this type of working culture also comes with added costs; 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. Anti-malware, encryption methods and passcodes are all used to help keep information secure too.

Wi-Fi around the globe

Accounting for a cost of $3,400 for every $10,000 USD worth of salary in the United States, this is how much a disengaged employee costs within a typical business. 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.

Based on a study from the Economist Intelligence Unit surveying 1,865 employees, those who were connected to the internet on a mobile device contributed a 16% boost in productivity for that business, as well as a 18% boost in the actual creativity of employees when at work.

Based on a 40 hour working week, this means that one employee contributing a 16% productivity boost accounts 6.4 hours per week, which translates to 41 working days a year. If more employees than just one become motivated by mobile technologies, then the savings in productivity efficiencies can become abundant. 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.

Priorities are changing over time in the workplace

Many businesses are debating whether or not workers who are permanently connected to a Wi-Fi connection are benefitting their businesses. However, there is no simple answer to this burning question. The answer to this question isn’t as straight-forward as corporations would like it to be.

Even though employees are more connected, they do have the opportunity to check their own smart device for social media updates more often than not. 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.

What appears to be evident is that businesses who can adopt a BYOD culture alongside a interconnected Wi-Fi policy are able to succeed inside a competitive and digitally driven type of workplace – increasing productivity and employee engagement. Mobile devices are increasing the independence of people across the globe, and 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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