Improvements in mobile technology are resulting in European workers ditching the traditional nine till five and spending more time on the road, recent research has claimed.
According to an Economist Intelligence Unit study, conducted across more than 600 European employees in 10 countries, professionals are spending more hours away from their desks, from a quarter of their time spent on the road two years ago to an anticipated 42 per cent in two years' time.
But the research found that despite the trend towards mobile working, more respondents felt they were less efficient when away from their desks than the number claiming to be more efficient.
"For the most part, executives are adjusting to working on the move. Half of respondents indicate they are as productive outside the office as they are inside, and one-fifth believe they are more productive outside the office.
"But despite the increase in time spent working at home or on the road, 31 per cent say they are less productive there," said the Economist Intelligence Unit report.
Some work habits are less adaptable than others, the research found. While business professionals claim to be comfortable operating outside of their offices and juggling a less structured schedule, a majority still prefer meeting with business contacts and colleagues in a face-to-face setting rather than virtually.
The Intel-commissioned study also found that an "overwhelming majority" of businesspeople believe that enlargement of the European Union will lead to an increase in mobile working: three-quarters of respondents stated that the 'nine to five' working routine is a thing of the past.
The overwhelming majority, 97 per cent of businesspeople, were found to use mobile phones, while 82 per cent use laptops and 37 per cent use PDAs.
Almost a third of survey's respondents said they use wireless hotspots, with 83 per cent of workers citing mobile and wireless working as creating a competitive advantage over rivals. Almost 90 per cent said mobile working improved client service.
'Virtual' workplaces were found to be increasingly catching on, as individuals often have no fixed desks or offices, working with colleagues in increasingly different offices and geographies.
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