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Half of U.S. 'Information Workers' Split Time Between Home and Office

home-office-11092602 Credit: Dreamstime.com

Half of U.S. "information workers" now divide their time between the office, home and other remote locations, according to new research.

The result, according to Forrester Research, which conducted the survey, will be the increasing demand for remote technology solutions for businesses to manage their mobile work force.

"Looking out five years, Forrester sees three technology 'trains' impacting the future of work force productivity, innovation, and advocacy," said Matt Brown, vice president and practice leader at Forrester Research. "All three of these trains have left the station: enterprise mobility, enterprise social and cloud services for business."

The survey's findings were released as part of Forrester's "Work Force Technology And Engagement Survey," which enables Forrester clients to make fact-based decisions about which technology to invest in and why, according to the research firm.

IT embraces mobile

The survey also found that 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 work force,” Brown said.

Social platforms lag

Generation Y (ages 18 to 31) is almost twice as likely as boomers (ages 56 to 66) to use social tools designed for workplace collaboration — but adoption of enterprise 2.0 technologies is still in its early stages, according to the research. 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 work force, according to Forrester. This market has failed to displace traditional collaboration technologies such as email as a preferred way to communicate at work.

Tablets on the rise

The use of tablets in the enterprise is exploding, according to the research. Eleven percent of information workers use tablets to do their jobs.

"Despite a tablet market that’s barely a year old, this is astounding growth," Brown said. Top 5 Flexible Careers Revealed