Half of US information workers now split their time between the office, home, and other remote locations, according to Forrester’s Q2 2011 US Workforce Technology And Engagement Online Survey of 4,985 US information workers. The study, which sheds new light on today’s increasingly mobile and distributed workforce, was published today in conjunction with the first day of Forrester’s Content & Collaboration Forum.
The report also reveals that workers are untethered from the office as they rise in rank. Fifty-three percent of individual workers are office-bound, but that number drops to 35 percent among managers and supervisors, and plummets to just 10 percent among directors and executives.
“Looking out five years, Forrester sees three technology ‘trains’ impacting the future of workforce productivity, innovation, and advocacy. All three of these trains have left the station: enterprise mobility, enterprise social, and cloud services for business,” Matt Brown, vice president and practice leader at Forrester Research, said during his opening remarks at the Forum.
The Workforce Technology And Engagement Survey, which enables Forrester clients to make fact-based decisions about which technology to invest in and why, also revealed the following:
- BlackBerry still has the largest installed base of smartphones for work — but Android and Apple devices combined lead the workplace. While 42 percent of workers use RIM BlackBerry, IT departments are supporting more devices, and Apple and Android are starting to cut into RIM’s enterprise dominance: 26 percent of workers now use Android smartphones, and 22 percent use iPhones. “We expect a tsunami of mobile user demand for access to portals, productivity tools, and back-end transactional and reporting systems as these devices make it into the hands of the broader workforce,” Brown said.
- Gen Y (age 18-31) is almost twice as likely as boomers (age 56-66) to use social tools — but adoption of enterprise 2.0 technologies is still nascent. Only one in six Gen Y professionals uses social tools. Despite significant and ongoing investment in enterprise social technologies, their roughly seven-year lifespan within enterprises has yielded a maximum of 12 percent adoption within the overall workforce. This market has failed to displace traditional collaboration technologies like email as a preferred way to communicate at work.
- The use of tablets in the enterprise is exploding. Eleven percent of information workers are using tablets to do their jobs. “Despite a tablet market that’s barely a year old, this is astounding growth,” Brown said.
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