Mobile Workforce Trends in 2021
- Sep 15, 2021 5:23 pm GMT
We are seeing many indications that mobile workforces are expanding, and this is going to continue in future. The pandemic has accelerated the process, and shown that many jobs can be done from somewhere other than the office, but it was already happening before COVID.
Utilities are in the vanguard of this phenomenon. It stands to reason that many of their jobs are mobile, particularly maintenance, but also inspection, testing and of course construction. The mobile workforce in North America is projected to reach 93.5M 2024, according to research company IDC. It expects businesses to invest heavily in mobile devices and 60 per cent of the workforce could be mobile within four years.
Two Types of Mobile Workers
The research firm identifies two specific categories of mobile workers – 'information' and 'front line' workers. Information workers represent knowledge or office employees that use mobile devices as part of their job, including accountants, programmers, managers or call center staff, and can now often work from home.
Front line workers are employees in more direct roles, such as maintenance, construction or retail. They often do not have as much access to digital tools, although that is changing. According to IDC, only 49 per cent of front line workers in the U.S. are equipped with mobile devices, compared with 55 per cent of information workers.
The New Generation
According to an American Public Power Association (APPA) workforce survey, many electric utilities reported that at least 20 per cent of their workforce would be eligible to retire over the next twelve months. This provides both a challenge – as these are highly-experienced workers – but also an opportunity to bring along younger staff who will be more flexible and attuned to the methods of mobile working.
So utility management, particularly HR, will need to be looking for job seekers who will fit in with a different way of working, more mobile and less office oriented than previously.
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