Singapore workers turn to personal devices to get their jobs done

Aaron Tan
Singapore workers turn to personal devices to get their jobs done

An overwhelming majority of Singaporeans bring their personal devices to work, with half of them using the devices for work-related tasks, a new survey has found.

According to the VMware New Way of Work study released today, 88 percent of workers in Singapore remain tethered to their personal devices in the workplace. Those who use them in their jobs tend to enjoy greater job satisfaction, lower stress levels and increased productivity.

The study was conducted in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Japan and South Korea earlier this year. A total of 2,077 people between the ages of 18-64 years old were interviewed, including 200 people in Singapore. The respondents hail from organisations with over 1,000 staff, and work at least 15 hours a week.

While most respondents said their companies are aware that they are using personal devices for work, 76 per cent do not receive formal technical support for those devices. That said, 43 percent of respondents said they would continue to use their choice of device or applications despite the lack of support or consent from their IT departments.

Nicholas Tan, country manager at VMware Singapore noted that the growing impact of smartphones, tablets and social networking on our lives is significant, so it’s not surprising that workers are redefining the way they choose to perform their jobs.

“However, leaving employees to manage security and interoperability issues on their own can have major business implications, so it’s critical that companies take steps to ensure their proprietary information is protected without compromising employee effectiveness and efficiency,” he warned.

In addition, 56 percent of respondents said they were less efficient and slower to respond to change if restrictive corporate IT policies were in place. 40 percent of Singaporeans surveyed also said they were less effective at solving problems and achieving expected outcomes as a result of those policies.

Tan said companies need to examine the business benefits and psychological value of a work environment that supports employees’ use of personal devices for work.

“By modernizing their IT policies and taking full advantage of virtualization and cloud computing, companies in Singapore can create a seamless IT environment that benefits employees and employers alike,” he added.

Securing the corporate network is also key to ensure business information remains protected as they are accessed by employees using personal devices. Network Access Control (NAC), for example, can be used to provide secure guest networking services and management for these devices.

For more information, check out this Sans Institute white paper on building an NAC policy to address areas such as identifying users and devices, access levels and monitoring malicious activity.