Survey: No need to be in the office to work

Reflecting trend of more people going mobile, three out of five international workers questioned in Cisco survey say they don't need to be in office to be productive.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

"Honey, I'm going to the office," is a remark we may not hear as much if more people have their way.

Three out of five workers around the world said they don't need to be in the office to be productive, according to a study out yesterday from Cisco. The "Cisco Connected World Report" collected the results of two surveys that questioned both IT and non-IT professionals about mobile work habits.

The belief that people can work just fine from home or on the road was especially pervasive in Asia and Latin America. Around 93 percent of those in India echoed this sentiment, along with 81 percent in China and 76 percent in Brazil.

Half of those already able to work outside the office admitted to putting in two or three extra hours a day. Those people said they don't want to be on call all the time, but would like the flexibility to better manage the demands of home and work, according to the study.

The desire to be mobile and flexible was strong enough that 66 percent of those polled said they would take a lower-paying position if they could access the information they need to do their jobs outside the office. Some also said that the ability to work anywhere would affect their company loyalty, choice of jobs, and morale.

Mobile workers also expect IT to let them use any device, both personal and business, to access corporate networks and data. But that may pose a problem. Almost half of the IT people surveyed said they're not ready to support a more mobile workforce, citing security as the biggest concern.

Each of the two surveys elicited responses from 100 people in each of 13 different countries, adding up to feedback from 2,600 different workers.

Or course, like many survey sponsors, Cisco does have a vested interest in these results. The networking giant has for several years been designing products and partnering with other companies to target the mobile workforce. Cisco has also been trying to drum up interest in its growing telepresence and video conferencing products, especially those geared for the home.