The nomadic work style is a growing trend with today’s workforce. IDC predicts that by 2015 the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion people, representing 37.2% of the total workforce.1 Millennials or the Hyper Connected Generation in particular embrace mobility with nearly a quarter owning a tablet, over half currently using a smart phone, and almost three quarters possessing a laptop. Life without a mobile device to provide anywhere, anytime connectivity is not imaginable. Some Millennials may even question why there is an office phone on their work desk since most have already “cut the cord” (or the land-line) at home or perhaps never even installed one. In fact, according to a recent federal study in the United States 44% of 18-30 year olds have only a wireless phone at home.2
With the proliferation of Wi-Fi, working from anywhere is a prerequisite when trying to attract Gen Y talent. Millennials just expect to be able to work anywhere at any time and on any device. Millennials are the “always connected” generation, which sleeps with their mobile devices at their bedside and checks them even before eating breakfast. State-of-the-art UC&C technology such as NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C solutionsupports their anytime, anywhere work style by enabling users to control which device rings and when based on profiles or schedules they establish; therefore, information is easily exchanged even when using their mobile devices, resulting in improved customer service and overall efficiency. Less time is spent listening to voicemails or playing phone tag.
The industry has observed consumerization before, but with Millennials owning powerful smart phones and preferring these devices for both business and personal use, along with other devices such as tablets, a trend in communications known as BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is growing. This trend is being pushed from the top down by executives as well as from the bottom up by Millennials. With the current BYOD trend the lines between work and personal devices are becoming blurred in the enterprise. Many corporations are already implementing BYOD policies and taking advantage of leveraging the devices owned by their employees. There are several reasons for this. First, it appeals to and helps attract a Millennial workforce. This young generation is very familiar with technology, and they want to use leading edge technology not only in their personal lives, but at work as well. Second, BYOD can help to increase employee productivity because these individuals are most familiar and comfortable using devices of their choice. In fact, if BYOD is implemented properly it can result in a 10% – 15% increase in end user productivity.3 The soft benefit of employee morale is bolstered by BYOD too. Employees feel more empowered. In the United States 77% of employees feel that technology in general makes their working life better.4
Unified communications is a critical component when considering a BYOD policy. It actually can enhance a user’s device and thus their collaboration capabilities within the company while protecting a company’s confidential information. It is important that a unified communications and collaboration solution enhances these different devices by offering mobile clients that provide a user experience that is not only powerful and rich, but also functions consistently across different operating systems, from iOS and MAC to Microsoft Windows and Android, to provide an intuitive, easy to use experience. UNIVERGE 3C is a UC&C solution that is architected for infrastructure supporting all types of different devices or equipment – mobile or stationary. With UC&C no matter which device is being used an employee is still able to access key contact lists, join a conference bridge, or access other collaboration applications using a common set of login credentials, resulting in a more valuable device and a more productive employee.
1IDC Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast doc# 232073 December 2011
2CBS Interactive “Percentage of Cell Phone Only U.S. Homes Doubles” April 23, 2011
3Developing a BYOD Policywebinar J. Gold Associates June 2012
4Jumping the Boundaries of Corporate IT – Accenture Global Research on Millennials’ Use of Technology Accenture 2010