Mobile frustration index shows growing stress
|Freeman Lightner in Mobile Tech Wednesday, September 25, 2019|
NetMotion publishes the Mobile Frustration Index, ranking the most frustrating work experience issues among remote workers.
NetMotion Software has published the Mobile Frustration Index, a ranking of the most frustrating issues that affect US mobile workers today. As our mobile workforce continues to grow, the results of this research identify the most significant pain points that businesses should remediate in order to improve the experience of their mobile employees.
Based on a survey of US mobile workers, this study found that connectivity issues are the most frustrating work element for mobile employees overall, with slow network speeds as the most frustrating individual issue. Legacy systems, restrictive security procedures while logging into accounts, and using mobile applications with limited functionality all ranked high on the Frustration Index.
It is also worth noting that very few respondents ranked a lack of collaboration tools as frustrating, but many said that they lack quality video conferencing options. This suggests that most businesses have good collaboration tools in place, but network connectivity or application performance issues are preventing remote workers from fully utilizing the video conferencing elements of those tools.
In total, survey respondents highlighted 16 frustration factors that impacted their mobile work experience. These factors could then be grouped into five general categories. Ranked from most to least frustrating, these include poor network connectivity; underperforming tools and software; slow and dated devices; restrictive security and compliance; and collaboration and communication issues.
The top ten frustration factors, from most to least frustrating, were:
- Slow network speeds
- False connectivity (a device appears to have a cellular or WiFi connection but with no throughput)
- Network disconnects
- Limited functionality on mobile applications
- Cumbersome authentication processes to log into apps and devices
- Work devices crashing or restarting
- Insufficient battery life
- Online sessions timing out
- Getting stuck on login pages or captive portals
- Difficulty accessing corporate systems
Mobile Frustration Index Results
The results of the Mobile Frustration Index are available below. Key findings include:
- More than 41% of respondents identified a variety of connectivity issues as their top frustration (due to captive portals, slow networks, frequent disconnects or devices showing false connectivity, etc.).
- 23% of mobile workers rate dealing with legacy systems as a top-five frustration
- 20% rate restrictive security practices as their biggest frustration in general
- 62% of mobile workers ranked battery issues as a top ten frustrating issues, indicating a widespread problem with mobile employees using sub-standard devices
- Just 3% of mobile workers rate a lack of quality collaboration tools as a top frustration, but 57% ranked video conferencing as a top ten frustration. This indicates that businesses have plenty of strong collaboration tools in place, but that network or application performance problems are causing these tools to unreliable for remote employees.
- Despite the maturity of mobile applications, the fourth most frustrating issue overall was the limited functionality of mobile applications compared to their desktop versions.
There is an obvious trend at play. More work is being done by more people using mobile devices on non-corporate networks. This isn't just white-collar employees working from home or salespeople out on the road. It also includes repair technicians requesting parts or reviewing notes while out in the field, and delivery drivers using connected devices to scan packages.
One of the key differences between remote workers and those who work in an office is the type of network connection they use. While workers in an office can rely on a fast, secure corporate network with full IT support, their remote counterparts often switch between private and public Wi-Fi and cellular data connections. NetMotion's Mobile Frustration Index sheds light on the technology issues these employees struggle with on a daily basis.
This increase in remote work also has greater, longer-term consequences that organizations are just beginning to understand. Creating a positive work experience for employees, a space called "Employee Experience" or "EX" by analyst firms like Forrester has incredible business benefits. Employees with positive work experience are happier, more engaged and more productive, which reduces employee churn and is good for business across the board. Technology plays a huge role in this; it can improve EX by making it easier for employees to accomplish tasks, or it can make it worse by interfering with productivity. Much of the existing research has examined how technology can improve EX within the office. Our goal with the Mobile Frustration Index is to determine where businesses can improve EX for mobile workers.
The findings in this report are based on anonymized survey responses from a pool of 285 US-based mobile workers. We define mobile employees as people who do a meaningful portion of their work away from a traditional desk environment. The survey was conducted in August 2019. The order of questions was randomized to prevent order bias, and relative rankings were weighted to give an overall score out of 10 for each issue identified.