Published On: Thu, Aug 6th, 2015

The Rise of the Mobile Device in the Workplace: an Addiction or a Necessity?

Work environments are becoming increasingly flexible, with office borders steadily evaporating, as mobility becomes an integral feature of our current workforce. While this is true, it is equally the case that organizations are experiencing headaches when it comes to unified communication in the workplace, since there is a growing tendency for employees / employers to promote a “bring your own device” to the office policy. This movement is proving problematic for organizations as they try to balance flexibility while, simultaneously, maintaining control over security, employees and corporate policy administration.


The session border controller (SBC) has grown to become a vital component of an organization’s foundation with the increasing presence of mobile devices, as well as employees who are utilizing business assets across multiple locales and mobile networks. This is a trend that is not likely to disappear, especially with the abundance of interconnected devices and persisting reliance on smartphones.

In fact, and according to a recent poll by, 81% of those who use smartphones keep their devices close by “almost all the time during waking hours”. What is more is that 63% of Americans even keep their smartphones near by while sleeping at night. Understandably, having your device within arm’s reach, at all times, results in frequent usage. For example, approximately 41%, or half, of American smartphone users are checking their gadgets several times each hour. And, 11% have admitted to checking their smartphone every couple of minutes. At the same time, 20% of Americans have stated that they check their smartphone approximately once per hour, with only 28% checking them less often. Overall, though, the majority of those questioned claimed that their phone is the first thing that they check when they get up in the morning and the last before going to bed.

When it comes to demographics and one’s attachment to their smartphone, age has been found to be a demarcating factor, with a higher prevalence in younger age groups. Also discovered in the survey was that more than 7 out of 10 adolescent smartphone users are checking their device several times, sometimes more, in one hour, with 22% checking it every couple of minutes. On the contrary, of those aged 65 and older, only 21% check their smartphone a few times, or more, each hour, and a minute 3% browsing the contents of their phone every several minutes.

These are significant findings given that 80 million young adults (aged 18 – 31) are projected to comprise 50% of the workforce population in the United States, by the year 2020. The use of mobile phone system in a business capacity, whether it be downloading confidential company documents or responding to emails, will continue to play an increasingly important role as the millennial demographic infiltrates the workplace.

The revelation of these statistics further reinforces the need for the SBC’s continued support and awareness in the area of unified communication. For example, the SBC will play a crucial role in covering IT security policies and authentication for employees working remotely, fine-tuning the delivery of corporate SaaS applications and NAT traversal.

In Gallup’s study, it was noted that, “All of the consequences of this brave new world in which individuals essentially stay in constant touch with the world through their handheld devices are certainly not known at this point, but are being studied with increasing frequency. Certainly, the telephone and then radio and then television changed the way people relate to the world, and the smartphone, no doubt, is doing the same.”