Is the PC dead? Mobile working has come of age

Mobile working is growing at a staggering rate, with a massive 357 per cent more businesses racing to offer remote working options, according to new research. In a poll of 5,000 companies, 64 per cent of businesses claimed that they are now equipping employees to work out of the office, compared to only 14 per cent of businesses in 2010.

The jump of 357 per cent suggests a significant step-change in UK working practices towards a more mobile workforce. As mobile internet usage looks set to outstrip desktop use by 2014, many UK businesses are heralding the “death of the PC” as a way to save costs – such as reducing the price of rent by opting for smaller offices, or by letting all of their staff work from home.

However, whilst many employers are embracing mobile technologies, many still have a way to go before they can claim they have a full remote working model that lets workers access any business information, regardless of their location. For example, according to the research, 98 per cent of businesses are not benefitting from VPN remote access, which enables employees to securely connect to the whole corporate network.

It’s easy to see why businesses across the UK are embracing mobile working – not only is there evidence that home working options make for happier workers, it can also help organisations comply with flexible working legislation. Coupled with huge advances in handsets and netbooks, working on the move is becoming even easier, and more pleasurable than ever before.

Whilst it’s great to see UK businesses embracing these benefits few are realising the full potential. A dongle or a smartphone may enable remote email, but without access to the company server, many workers will be held back from being truly productive on the move.

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As Executive Director, Commercial and member of the Virgin Media Business senior management team, Andrew is responsible for strategy, product development and marketing. Andrew previously spent 12 years at Cable & Wireless, most recently as President of their Service Provider global division. At Verizon he was Vice President of Marketing and Strategy functions for EMEA, while his early career includes positions at both Olivetti Systems & Networks and the Oracle Corporation. In addition to an Engineering degree from Surrey University, Andrew has an MBA from London Business School.