33.5 million people make up the UK workforce, of which about 32 million are in work. We found just over half of all respondents that were currently in employment used their smartphones for at least one work related business activity: arguably the proportion could and should be much higher.
As of mid-2017, the most common usages of smartphones among workers were: email (44 per cent), voice calls (34 per cent) and calendar management (23 per cent).
There are also unofficial smartphone applications which are widely used in the enterprise such as instant messaging, mobile browsers, navigation and the photo application. 43 per cent of workers use WhatsApp at least once a day. All of these have been optimised for smartphone usage.
However, adoption of work flow applications, which tend to be difficult to use within the confines of a smartphone is a lot smaller: only five per cent of workers using their smartphones to submit a timesheet, four per cent did so to submit expenses, and six per cent did so to access an intranet.
The UK workforce includes millions of people for whom the smartphone may well be the ideal device to receive information on, and for which the PC and often the tablet would be overkill.
Workers whose job requires them to walk a lot, or do not require them to be tethered to a desk – from retail sales staff to traffic wardens – would not need a PC or tablet. Many millions of workers do not need to process or analyse information, but they do need to receive contextual information on a timely basis, so that they can respond to it rapidly, based on better information – the smartphone is the ideal device for this.
The smartphone’s success as a business tool across multiple processes requires mobile-optimised design – just as with consumer apps. Existing PC-based applications that are dragged and dropped into a smartphone environment are likely to fail, as they will be too hard to use.
In the past five years, smartphones have redefined how people live and interact with each other—all day, every day: the consumer revolution is well advanced.
It is now enterprise’s time to use mobile to transform the way work gets done, from retail store operations, healthcare, restaurants, sales, field maintenance, to dozens of other services and processes.
Just over half of all respondents used their smartphones for at least one work related business activity.
19% of respondents use their phone often for business purposes outside of working hours.