ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its new report, “Feds on the Go: Network Needs for Maximum Mobility.” The study, underwritten by Brocade, reveals how Federal employees are connecting to work via mobile devices and the impact of mobility on IT infrastructure. According to the report, Federal agencies and taxpayers benefit from a mobile Federal workforce, but outdated infrastructure hinders mobile potential and productivity gains.
Federal employees are taking advantage of the flexibility mobility offers. Eighty-one percent of Feds surveyed connect to work remotely at least once a week, while 54 percent connect at least once a day, and 45 percent connect several times a day. Federal workers estimate that in addition to their full-time work schedule, they spend another nine hours each week checking their mobile devices for inbound communications to stay connected. Federal workers achieve this constant connectivity through a variety of devices including laptops (88 percent), smartphones (53 percent), and tablets (19 percent).
Federal workers report numerous mobile connectivity benefits. As a result of mobile access, 45 percent of Federal workers say they work more efficiently, 34 percent say they feel more available to their team, 28 percent say they feel more “tuned in,” and 28 percent say they collaborate with colleagues more frequently. While the benefits realized from mobile connectivity are great, there is more to gain. Federal workers estimate they would gain an average of seven hours of additional productivity per week by having seamless remote connectivity and mobile access to their agency. This equates to 364 additional hours of productivity or nearly $14,000 in productivity gains per Federal employee per year.
Achieving these additional productivity gains is not without challenges as outpaced infrastructure is limiting Federal workers’ mobility and connection options. Four out of five Feds (82 percent) are frustrated with their agency’s current connectivity and mobile access offerings. The top frustrations include slow connection (65 percent), cumbersome security procedures (57 percent), and limited network access (43 percent). Additionally, limited infrastructure is hindering Federal workers – 70 percent say they cannot access all of the information they need remotely.
“Federal employees are increasingly unplugging from their desktops and using mobile devices to connect to work,” said Anthony Robbins, vice president Federal, Brocade. “Not only is mobile connectivity what Federal workers want, it can provide substantial productivity gains to Federal agencies. Just as large commercial companies have been doing for years, agencies should enable mobile connectivity. They need to embrace the growth in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend by investing in and deploying modern infrastructure improvements that deliver seamless connectivity, improved access, and increased speed of service.”
Technology hurdles are not the only challenges Federal workers must overcome to embrace mobility. The continued emphasis on traditional work environments may also impact Feds’ productivity level. Although just 56 percent of Federal workers say they feel most productive while physically at a desk, 82 percent spend the bulk of their day there.
To become more efficient, 54 percent of Federal workers recommend seamless connectivity to work regardless of location, 51 percent recommend improved network access, and 51 percent recommend fast service. Mobile connectivity is important to Federal workers – more than half would be willing to trade their desktop computer, happy hour, and/or dessert for seamless remote connectivity and mobile access.
Every mobile employee is not the same. Work styles and habits play a role in the preferences and needs of each Federal employee. Taking this into consideration, the “Feds on the Go: Network Needs for Maximum Mobility” report includes a guide for IT executives to better understand the mobile work styles and infrastructure needs of today’s Federal workers. Mobile work styles include:
- The Curmudgeons: Spend most of their time in the office and are not likely to use a smartphone or tablet. Added productivity with a seamless connection: Four hours per week
- The Moderately Mobile: Connect remotely daily. Added productivity with a seamless connection: Eight hours per week
- The Have Nots: Feel most productive working from home. Added productivity with a seamless connection: Six hours per week
- The Office Wanderers: Collaborate remotely several times a day. Added productivity with a seamless connection: 10 hours per week
“Feds on the Go: Network Needs for Maximum Mobility” is based on an online survey of 209 Federal managers (GS-13 and above) in June 2013. The report has a margin of error of +/- 6.74 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit http://www.meritalk.com/fedsonthego.
The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Cloud Computing Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange and Data Center Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit www.meritalk.com or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.