A survey on mobile working trends, conducted by Citrix Systems, has found that 73% of South African organisations have already adopted a mobile working policy, while a further 20% have mobile working under consideration.
Of the 132 respondents, more than 70% work away from the office at least once a week, with 44% working away from the office more regularly at two to three times per week.
An encouraging finding is that half of the respondents have exactly the same level of applications and information available as in the office, with the appropriate security measures.
However, mobile working still seems to be the exception to working practices rather than the rule, as 51% of the respondents only work from home after meetings or in exceptional circumstances.
"It is positive to see South African businesses' growing acceptance of flexible working as a means of encouraging greater productivity among employees," says Nick Keene, country manager of Citrix Southern Africa. "While we can always expect certain levels of concern with regards to security and bandwidth, the technologies are available to make meaningful mobile working a reality.
"The question business leaders need to tackle is whether they are ready to support the cultural and management style shifts required? As we can see from our research, the days of work being a place we go, rather than what we do, really are numbered and in my view, that can only be a good thing for the South African economy."
The device most used for mobile working is the laptop, with 82% of respondents citing this. While bandwidth restrictions and security still pose the greatest concerns, the adoption of mobile working has been encouraged by general cost savings, rising fuel and related costs, and the increasing traffic congestion on South Africa's roads.
An overwhelming 98% of respondents believe that South African companies will adopt mobile working policies in the future.