Mobile communication technologies have dramatically changed both the way we work and the workplace itself. In fact, even the idea of being at work has become a rather imprecise concept — that smartphone in your pocket means you can be “in the office” even if you’re physically at the bank, in your car or on the golf course.

Untethered from traditional company-owned PCs, today’s workers can get things done from just about any location at any time. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones have fundamentally changed business processes over the past few years by providing unprecedented connectivity and driving new levels of productivity, efficiency and job satisfaction.

Without question, more work is getting done on mobile devices. In a new survey of U.S. executives conducted by Oxford Economics, nearly 80 percent said their employees can’t do their jobs effectively without a mobile phone. Three-quarters said mobile devices are now essential to their business workflows.

One of the chief ways mobility impacts the workplace is simply through availability. Several surveys find that most people are rarely without their smartphone. This means we are effectively in a state of constant connection with colleagues and customers.

While this immediacy of communication is powerful, the remote computing capabilities of mobile devices may be the most important feature. With exponentially more processing power than the NASA computers that guided the Apollo moon missions, today’s smartphones can run a multitude of applications that allow them to access real-time business data, automate key processes and gain compelling insights.

For years, mobile devices have helped us be more productive by enabling us to check email, track appointments and deadlines, and view and edit documents. However, the continued emergence of cloud-based apps is significantly expanding the possibilities. Because the cloud allows the bulk of data processing and storage to take place outside the device, mobile workers can use their phones and tablets to conduct many compute-intensive tasks such as data analysis and photo editing.

From a user perspective, these capabilities are extremely empowering. They give people more flexibility over their work schedule by reducing the need to be parked at a desk at the office. With the ability to work early or late, they aren’t trapped by a rigid 9-to-5 schedule. More than one-third of respondents to a Frost & Sullivan survey said mobile computing has had a positive effect on their work-life balance.

Additionally, those surveyed estimated that their mobile devices boost their productivity by 34 percent and save them nearly an hour of work time each day. They also reported that mobility has increased their speed of innovation, given them greater flexibility, enhanced collaboration with colleagues and improved the quality of their work.

Improved productivity, efficiency and quality create obvious value for any organization. However, organizations experience other quantifiable benefits when employees are happy and engaged. One is a reduction in workforce turnover rates. The Human Capital Institute reports that when employee engagement increases, there is a corresponding increase in employee retention by up to 87 percent.

Mobile technologies have profoundly changed how organizations conduct business, share information and interact with customers, employees and partners. Supporting an always-connected workforce is no small task, however. IPC specializes in the design, implementation and management of fast, secure and reliable networks that empower organizations. Give us a call to discuss your workplace mobility requirements.