Friday Chronicles #7: From Mobility to Mobile, the Jack Sparrow syndrome.

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In the 80’s and the 90’s we used to say that the most important thing in someone’s resume would be the fact he has mobility. This would mean that this person would be flexible enough to move geographically for a new job. Some people would even add “International mobility”, meaning: “if I get the job I am ready to live in any place around the world”. And that’s how international careers were built. Some people would not hesitate to change from one continent to another every 4 to 5 years. And then the internet arrived and the World Wide Web changed the way things were. Rather than people reallocating themselves to the best places in the world where they could find a job, now it is the job which “reallocates” to the places where the best people live. And this is possible because the world went from mobility to mobile, from a state of personal situation to wireframes and big bandwidth. So our “devices” from laptop to tablets and smartphones, became something as important as the compass of Pirate captain Jack Sparrow. He would be lost without it and would never find fortune. Welcome to the Caribbean of possibilities, welcome to a mobile world.

Your Smartphone, your smart treasure

When we know how essential your smartphone became, you wonder how did you manage certain things before. The smartphone allows you to connect to the world wide web and its endless possibilities. You can book your entire life on it. Your train tickets, flying tickets, hotels, taxis, laundry… Even your coffee machine can be connected.
connected Apps trainsUber taxis app

Swiss App
In the world there are every year 1.2 billion transactions done via a smartphone. And this number is increasing.
Another interesting topic is Apps. Remember the advertising saying “there is an app for almost everything” ? Well it is true. According to a study made by Flurry in April this year, people spend almost 3 hours every day on their smartphones. 86% of this time is spent on apps.
Mobile stats

mobile statistics
So apps became the new way of doing things. In average, every smartphone user downloaded 25 apps, which means that each one has a specific purpose. Some of them are about news, others entertainment and social media and some is about work (productivity apps). It is a new digital world that provided you better, quicker and efficient ways to communicate. It can be done from work, from a train or at home. Probably our Captain Jack Sparrow would have loved to have an app to find the Black Pearl.

Working at home, a big trend, a true luxury

If you are good enough and find the Boss who is flexible enough, you might be able to work from home. Basically companies today have the choice to hire anyone in this world to do a required job.
Despite what Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, might think, allowing people to work from home increases the potential of a great work situation. People are generally easy to find. If the best person to accomplish the task you need lives 2’000km away from your current location, why should you hire someone less good just because this other person would live just around the corner? It means you think lazy and not strategic. If the best person possible lives far away from your company’s location, you should find a responsible way to get the talents of this person at the service of your company. Of course if this person agrees to move, even better but geographic mobility should not be anymore an important criteria.
A study done last year by LeMonde.fr showed that Executives employees being able to partially work from home (1 or 2 days) are 35% happier and tend to be loyal to companies than others.
Of course we could see things only from the employee comfort point of view but from a company perspective, you might find some advantages as well. It can develop creativity. Being away from the office can often enlarge your horizon of thinking and allow you to see problems in a different way.
Another interesting point is the office space. No matter how often companies might get a new building and bigger offices, they are always lacking of space. Closed offices became open-spaces and some companies like Procter&Gamble do not even give you a nominated or personal office. When you arrive in the morning you just grab the first available desk you can find. Technilogies like Skype, Webex, Sharepoint, clouds, responsive design, wifi everywhere (even in planes) makes the job easier.
Mobile solutions

Commuting, a modern trend

One of the important facts in how people evolved in terms of work is their use of commuting. According to the US department of transportation, there are more than 123 million people in the USA who commute every day to go to work. Despite the fact 75% of them use their car alone, more than 15% take the train, the bus or the subway. It is almost 20 million people. And of course this number increases radically in certain countries in Europe. In Switzerland, the world “champion of trains”, each inhabitant travels in average 2422km per year. Many people work in one area, called canton, and live in another one. So people would commute from Geneva to Lausanne, or from Lausanne to Bern, or from Bern to Biel, from Zürich to Schwyz and so on. Trains in Switzerland are always on time, clean, with air conditioning in summer and heat in winter. There are electric plugs everywhere and even GSM networks amplifiers so you can have internet. And as Switzerland has a good 4G overall network (not everywhere naturally but frankly not bad at all) people can enjoy internet everywhere. So more and more people do their emails, finalize their powerpoint presentations and others would write their articles.

Mobile first? Cut the first, it is only mobile now

56% of total searches in Google is now done from a smartphone. If we add tablets, we get a nice 65% (source: Google). We also know that 25% of people watching TV, use a second screen to browse the web (source: Mashable). So mobile became the reference in terms of website development.
According to Business Insider, 22% of total world population owns a smartphone and 6% owns a tablet. We are talking about more than 1.5 billion smartphones in circulation. 36% are iPhones and 50% are Android. So yes your website better be mobile compatible.
In conclusion, mobility is not the challenge anymore. It is mobile. How would you expect to unveil hidden treasures, sail the safest road, get yourself out of trouble or even get a new tattoo without your mobile phone? Unless you are a pirate (I mean a real one) and your broken compass would be enough…

LA
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Info sourced at Business insider, Mashable, Tech Crunch, Bilan and wikipedia. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.

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