Employees in Thailand are increasingly choosing to work anytime, anywhere and on any device, according to the "New Way Of Life" study from VMware.
The global virtualisation and cloud infrastructure company's survey also showed a greater demand for work flexibility and revealed that more than half of Thai respondents spend time working on their holidays.
The study commissioned by VMware was conducted by Acorn Research in 12 Asia-Pacific countries/regions. A total of 2,100 people were surveyed, and 150 respondents were from Thailand.
The results showed 99% of Thais bring their own devices and use the technology of their choice at work, and 76% said it makes them more efficient, even when working outside of the office (78%).
The impact has also been profound on personal lives, with 65% of Thai respondents saying they spend time working during holidays. Of those, 92% use their own devices to get their job done.
VMware Thailand and IndoChina country manager Dr Chawapol Jariyawiroj said there had been a dramatic shift in the way employees operated in recent years.
"We have retitled last year's study from the 'New Way Of Work' to the 'New Way Of Life' to highlight the evolving workstyle and lifestyle demands of employees in a post-PC era. The results present a strong call to action for companies to adopt the technologies that enable a flexible IT policy, enhance employee productivity and attract talent _ all whilst maintaining the security of corporate data as well."
Barriers to going mobile
The study reveals that one in two Thai respondents (52%) value technological mobility in their role. The most common reason cited for using their own devices for work was because the employees have them set up just the way they like.
Employees say they are more efficient, even when out of the office, when empowered to use their devices. The penetration of personal smartphones (89%) has also surpassed laptops (62%), with 75% of respondents owning more than one device.
In spite of these preferences, 34% say they do not have access to IT support to use these devices effectively in the workplace. In fact, 87% say their companies have strict IT policies preventing them from connecting personal portable device to corporate networks.
"Thai workers are taking mobility matters into their own hands and using their own technology to increase work efficiency and job satisfaction levels," said Dr Chawapol. "From an IT point of view, there is more that can be done to support Thai workers and align IT projects with the business by giving them access to the systems that need to be flexible."
IT struggling to catch up
Respondents are aware of their employers' concerns, with most saying the key reasons for strict IT policies are for protection against computer viruses (73%) and to maintain the company's interest/security (70%).
However, 28% of Thai employees said dealing with IT issues in the workplace was stressful. Most find their own work-arounds (69%) or turn to Google for answers (57%) on how to better integrate their personal devices into the corporate IT infrastructure.
Flexibility delivers satisfaction
The study also identified a strong link between IT freedom and job satisfaction. In fact, 81% say they prefer to work for a company that is open to their choice of software and devices, and seven in 10 respondents deem such employers to be more progressive and dynamic.
"Today's millennial generation of mobile workers increasingly expect the flexibility to work in their own time, anywhere and from any device. We have also experienced instances when employees simply cannot get to the office, such as periods of flooding and unrest," said Dr Chawapol.
"If companies can enable employees to be more productive during this time by providing the applications they need to do their work on their choice of personal device, imagine the positive impact it could have on the bottom line as well as talent attraction and retention."
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