Increased productivity in government sounds like a contradiction in terms. But a new article says that mobile devices may be fundamental to Federal efforts to increase productivity.
The Wired Workplace blog, which covers issues facing Federal IT workers, includes a recent post on the topic. Brittany Ballenstedt writes:
[A] study found that 49 percent of IT professionals doubt that federal agencies can be productive without PC alternatives such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Fifty-one percent of IT professionals said not having these mobile devices could impair the government’s ability to attract and retain top talent.
Whether you work in government or the private sector, we are all addicted to our mobile devices. It’s really no surprise that many experts believe that these gizmos increase productivity, because they let us do work when we aren’t at our desk.
However, the article also highlighted some concerns and opportunities:
Still, federal IT professionals said moving to mobile is not without challenges. Security risks (78 percent), IT staffing (43 percent), the diversity of devices and platforms (39 percent) and budget constraints (38 percent) were cited as the biggest challenges for federal mobile use.
The federal government can embrace other tools and technologies to help overcome these challenges, however, IT professionals noted. Identity management and access control were considered the most important tools to implement, followed by messaging and collaboration, mobile applications and desktop from the cloud.
Here at Slaughter Development, we have a bigger question about “going mobile.” Are these wireless devices just another way to try to pressure employees into working long hours? After all: you can’t increase productivity by expecting people to never take breaks.
The real advantage of portable electronics may be that we are not tied to the office to work. In fact: research shows telecommuting increases productivity because it helps people avoid interruptions and demonstrates who is truly effective at their jobs.
We’ll see what happens with regard to government productivity. But we’re hopeful that the trend toward mobile workers is one toward autonomy, independence and efficiency.