Improvements in mobile technology have allowed for an increase in telecommuters and communication outside of the traditional workplace. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 26% of human resource professionals believed that telecommuting for at least part of a week was provided by their organization (Gurchiek, 2006). Additionally, in 2007 there may be some additional 60 million telecommuters operating from home (Processor, 2004). Telecommuters extend to many positions in the workplace, including sales-persons and executives, and also many office workers looking to increase work done at home.
Traditional wired devices have been overtaken by wireless devices such as 3G mobiles phones and portable computers. These devices emulate working from the office, as they are able to use the same enterprise applications, communicate through the internet, and download large amounts of data. Being able to communicate anywhere at any time is key to mobile technologies. While there are limitations such as geographic factors that can block signals or limited access to a required hot spot, mobile workers still hold a significant advantage in freedom of mobility overall.
Competitive pressure and consumer demand necessitates that companies expand the use of employees utilizing mobile technology. Not only can they meet these rising demands, but also be more productive in their work as travel becomes increasingly difficult and expensive.
Increased use of mobile technology is not without its drawbacks, as in addition to physical limitations like geographic factors, security issues specific to these technologies are arising. The ever-complex issues of work life balance is present as well, particularly when an employee is now seemingly always accessible by his/her company.
Thanks to Mason Ward, Graduate Assistant, Boise State University, for writing this original abstract/summary of the paper.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gundars_kaupins/33/