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During the holiday season work slows down, employees leave for vacation, and communication often infoworker-100345982-origcomes to a grinding halt. While this is a bit dramatized, the issue has become common enough for research to be undertaken on mobile employee communication and collaboration habits.

In fact, West Unified Communication Services recently conducted a study on the mobile workforce and found some interesting statistics about how employees communicate over the holidays:

  • 17% of employees say they work from vacation spots, meaning they’re extending trips and taking advantage of work-from-home policies OR they’re finding it difficult to disconnect while on vacations.
  • More than a quarter of mobile workers feel their remote work can lead to misinterpreted communication with colleagues – a serious implication when so many U.S. employees work remotely around the holidays.

Here are some additional key findings from this study:

 What are employees’ leading reasons for working remotely?

* Sick child (35%)

* Transportation issues (34%)

* To avoid a long commute (30%)

* Improve productivity (30%)

* To avoid distractions of working in office (28%)


the-mobile-office-and-the-knowledge-worker-4-638What types of communication do employees use to work remotely?

 * Email (76%)

* Phone (74%)

* Instant messaging (31%)

* Video conferencing (30%)

* Web conferencing (28%)

* Audio conferencing (26%)

* Collaboration apps (19%)

 By 2020, the mobile workforce is projected to comprise roughly three-quarters of our country’s employees, according to an IDC forecast. As 2020 approaches, businesses of all types are preparing to meet the challenges and transformative benefits of a decentralized workforce.

Will the rise of remote work lead to a future without offices? Not necessarily. Employees enjoy the flexibility and benefits of working remotely, but they also don’t want mobile work to come at the expense of traditional workplace staples like office culture, relationships with co-workers, and career advancement. Employers must keep these concerns in mind when designing a telecommuting policy. Having a clear policy in place also assures that work still gets done on time, especially during a busy time like the holiday season!