Research carried out on behalf of microchip manufacturer, Intel, by the Economist Intelligence Unit has shown that workers in Europe and the Middle East are increasingly working away from the office. The survey covered 600 business workers in 10 countries. On average respondents said they currently spend 33 per cent of the day working away from the office and saw this figure rising to 42 per cent over the next two years.

The survey highlights an increasing trend towards flexible working practices, with nearly three quarters of workers claiming to be just as comfortable working remotely as they would be in the office. While 49 per cent said they were equally as productive away from the office, 19 per cent said they would be more productive. Increased competitiveness is seen as being a major driver behind mobile working, 83 per cent claimed that it gave them a competitive edge over their rivals and 88 per cent citing better client service as a key factor.

Mike Bonello, Intel’s mobile marketing manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said “The results of the study reflect the fundamental shift in the mindset of workers adapting to the changes in their working environment. For companies, one of the major new challenges will be how best to manage and increasingly fragmented workforce no longer tied to a single office location.”

The survey was timed to coincide with the launch of Intel’s latest range of mobile Pentium M processors and to highlight its Centrino mobile technology of which wireless networking is a key component. The results showed an increasing acceptance of wireless technology by businesses with 27 per cent of those questioned saying they already made use of wireless hotspots while working remotely and 44 per cent anticipating using the technology within two years.

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