Many businesses are in danger of bungling mobile working initiatives through poor management, a failure to communicate adequately and the recruitment of " inappropriate personalities", according to new research commissioned by Cisco.
Mobile workers will account for a quarter of the world's working population by 2009, analyst group IDC has predicted, and the challenges are becoming increasingly important.
The Cisco study was carried out by occupational psychology specialists at Pearn Kandola, and claims to reveal the dominant personality characteristics of effective mobile workers and the cultural influences on mobile working.
"As the mobile working phenomenon continues to grow, organisations must ensure that they have suitable leadership in place to manage teams of mobile workers," said Stuart Duff, author of the report.
"Managers must not fall into the trap of treating mobile workers in the same way as office-based employees.
"Organisations must also ensure that the right tools and resources are made available to mobile workers, giving them the same connectivity as office-based workers."
The study identified the best mobile workers as self-motivated, resilient, extrovert and independent, which it breaks down into the following personality profiles:
- Stimulation Seeker: extroverted, motivated by contact with people
- Tough Survivors: emotionally stable, low levels of neuroticism, resilient under pressure
- Curious Explorers: creative, open to new ideas, enjoys variety of experience
- Independent Decision Makers: maintains independent mindset, appreciates being trusted to work without supervision
- Disciplined Achievers: conscientious and self-motivated
Trust and communication are vital to ensuring that mobile teams remain motivated and productive, according to the study.
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