smb-tech-trendsIf you want more productive employees – and who doesn’t – let them work whenever, wherever and however they choose. Research conducted among 1250 small businesses across the globe by cloud solutions provider Citrix indicated that almost one in five (18 percent)  are achieving over 30 percent productivity gains by adopting mobile workstyles.

Furthermore, the trend toward flexible working shows no sign of slowing down with 34 percent of respondents indicating they are under more pressure today than five years ago to introduce or increase flexible work practices, largely due to employees asking for them. Nearly 30 percent indicated employee pressure outweighed other considerations – budget, productivity or competitive advantages.

BYOD in demand

Not only do employees want flexibility to work wherever and whenever, they want to use their personal mobile devices to do so. And it’s not only remote workers or even customer-facing staff that want to use the same devices for both business and personal use – all departments are requesting it, according to 42 percent of survey respondents.

Bring your own device (BYOD) is in demand among employees, respondents say, because individuals are seeking ways to make their lives easier. As the lines blur between their personal and professional lives, employees want the efficiency that comes from using one device.  As it now stands, 59 percent of survey decision makers reported their staff already use personal communication devices for business purposes. Among device use, respondents say they rely on smartphones the most at 65 percent, followed by PCs at 58 percent and tablets at 25 percent.

Greater use of collaboration tools

Group_Collab_Blog_image_RGB_LR.resizedThe use of social collaboration tools also is gaining momentum among small business owners. They (35 percent) attribute widespread availability to quality technology — such as video conferencing with high definition video and audio – as the driving force. Another 32 percent say the ability of these tools to connect remote workers with each other and with customers also is important.  About the adoption of video conferencing specifically, 52 percent use it for work and 45 believe it makes meetings more productive.

If you haven’t adopted a mobile strategy yet for your small business, now may be a perfect time. That’s because nearly one third – 32 percent – of survey respondents report a drop in productivity during the summer. As a solution, 41 percent believe that offering a mobile strategy would reduce the impact this has on the business.