Over 90% leave their work mobile on out of hours, study finds

Only 6.2 per cent of people ever switch off their company phone out of hours, a new study shows.

The survey by Business Travel Market and the Association of Travel Executives found that 30 per cent of respondents said they made themselves available because they wanted to and 40 per cent because their client or employee expected them to be.

The poll of representatives from large multi-national companies aimed to discover how developments in mobile technology were being adopted by the business travel community. 

Of the companies surveyed, 96 per cent provide Blackberries and smart phones at their business, indicating a desire for additional functionality beyond SMS and voice calls.

And 85 per cent said that mobile technology was helpful in an emergency, with almost half of those polled using it to source alternative travel options, 66 per cent keeping abreast of general news updates and 73 per cent who used email and web applications to keep in contact with their family and company.

More than 70 per cent use mobile applications to check the times of flights and trains whole over 40 per cent use mobile technology to check in for flights before they get to the airport.

However, only 11 per cent have booked a train or flight through mobile apps.

Barcodes and tickets on mobile phones are popular, with more than 45 per cent having used one – the majority of these (69 per cent) for a flight.

Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) use their mobile device to research their new location.

The high usage of Skype whilst travelling on business (32.6 per cent) could be to stay in touch with both colleagues, and also loved ones back home.

More than 70 per cent use conference call facilities on their mobile device such as Skype, Webex and other VOIP services.

Social networking sites seem ever popular with nearly 90 per cent using LinkedIn to stay in touch with business colleagues.

Business Travel Market event director Paul Robin said:  ‘The growth of mobile technology has empowered the end user to find out information from almost any location.

“Travellers can now be more informed and therefore more decisive at the touch of button or slide of a screen. Smart phones and Blackberries have proven to be indispensable to the business traveller and recent situations have really highlighted they can be in an emergency.

“It would be good to see more companies take note of their versatile uses.”

ACTE regional director Caroline Allen added: “It’s very encouraging to see from the survey that 68 per cent of businesses have guidelines for mobile technology, whilst many of those that don’t are looking into one for the future.

“The survey results affirm our belief that there is a fundamental shift occurring in how corporates align their mobile and travel phone policies.

“Mobile cost control is essential for modern business and, increasingly important, is the extent of mobile functionality and guidelines on how smart phones should be utilised for business. 

“Whether it’s HR, IT or the travel department that have responsibility for mobile usage, companies need to align and update their policies, so they can enhance the end user’s capabilities – especially when the user is regularly out of office; travelling or in the field.

“Today we are at the tipping point in the way technology is used to deliver company travel policy compliance and therefore there is a greater need for collaboration between the end user and those responsible for procuring, setting and managing setting the travel and mobile policies.”

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