Until the 21st century, only a very few professionals " doctors, firefighters, police officers " were "on call" when they weren't actually at work. They carried pagers, or had a regular "check-in" time with an answering service.
As mobile devices have become part of everyday life, however, the dividing line between work and personal time has become nearly non-existent, especially in the U.S. Entrepreneur Magazine contributor Don Mennig wrote recently, "Bedtime has become the final email-check-time. Saturday and Sunday could be renamed week-never-ends and the good vibrations on vacation may very likely be coming courtesy of your boss via Apple and Samsung.
"Technologies like virtual desktops, unified communications and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs have forced a new day with regards to work rules. Coupled with powerful tablets and smartphones, increased Internet connection speeds and the proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots, the entire world has arguably become a virtual office."
The article goes on to cite the results of a survey that found 80 percent of professionals surveyed think that being tethered to the office via mobile device is positive and nearly three in 10 called it "great." Those results don't surprise Prat Agarwal, director of business development at secure mobile printing leader Breezy. "Today's professionals are focused on getting their job done, and they realize that giving up a few minutes each day to check email or take a business call when they are out of the office means that they ultimately have more time to spend with their family, not less," he said.
"Mobile devices allow us to work anytime, anywhere " whether that's attending a family wedding halfway around the globe, staying home to wait for a repairman, or taking the train to work later than usual so you can attend a parent/teacher conference."
Employees who use their mobile devices for business average about 10 hours per week working outside normal business hours, but most aren't complaining. In fact, the survey says that employees like feeling more productive and want even more access to business applications they can use remotely.
"A majority of people (65 percent) feel that they could be even more productive if they had access to additional work applications. Specifically, 44 percent want virtual / mobile delivery of services like CRM, billing and ERP. Thirty five percent also wish their organization would deliver Microsoft applications on their mobile devices," Mennig wrote in his Entrepreneur article.
Other findings in the survey include:
The result of all this out of office work time" Mennig says it delivers greater productivity for employers. "Using just the added time used for working during the commute, an organization with 100 employees, adding an average 24.5 minutes to their day, will clock an extra 41 hours of work for the company every day. That's essentially adding five professional level associates working for free."
Agarwal doesn't disagree that mobile devices make employees more productive, but he points out that employees who are willing to put in the extra time tend to be the kind of employees who are driven to get the job done in spite of obstacles. "One of the things I hear over and over from our customers is that employees who want to get the job done are finding creative ways to print from their mobile devices," Agarwal says.
"Unfortunately, of the hundreds of mobile printing apps in the Apple and Google app stores, most have the potential to pose a serious security problem for businesses. The employee who is focused on getting the job done doesn't mean to cause a security problem, but it's all too easy to do so."
When businesses first began to formulate policies to integrate mobile devices into corporate IT, printing was, as a rule, completely neglected " either forgotten about altogether, or treated as a mere "nice to have" " but not essential " function. However, Agarwal says that more and more businesses have realized that data that isn't encrypted on the mobile device where it is stored is subject to man-in-the-middle attacks when it is "in transit" between the mobile device and the printer. And while nearly every vendor uses some form of encryption, many use only "transport layer" encryption, rather than performing full encryption on the mobile device.
"Breezy's on-device encryption is the best protection companies can have when it comes to secure mobile printing," he says. "It allows employees to be creative in finding places to print documents when they're on the go, without running the risk of a costly data breach."
For more information on mobile device security and secure mobile printing, watch this video from Breezy, download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook, or click here to schedule a demo now.
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