Mobile Device Failures Are Literally Making Your Workers Sick

Device Malfunctions Are Costing Billions Of Dollars Each Year In Employee Sick Leave

Steven Lerner

The increase of mobility in the enterprise means that employees are becoming more reliant on their devices to efficiently complete work. Mobile devices, like most technology, can experience some occasional periods of malfunction. The problem is that when mobile devices experience prolonged or reoccurring defects, this could be detrimental for mobile workers.

B2M solutions surveyed 200 mobile workers in 2018 to determine the effects of mobile device issues on the health and wellbeing of employees. A quarter of workers rated their device as three out of five or less for reliability, and 5% of workers said that their devices fail every day. The biggest device malfunction was with battery issues, with over 40% saying that this was an ongoing issue. Other reoccurring issues for mobile workers include Wi-Fi failure and applications crashing.

The Mental Health Effects Of Mobile Device Failures

The survey found that 40% of mobile workers experience stress or anxiety as a direct result of mobile device issues. To gain an understanding about the impact of mobile device malfunctions on mobile workers, Enterprise Mobility Exchange spoke to a mental health professional.

“The ability to be on call or use their device to communicate and complete tasks while on the go is critical for a mobile worker,” said Ginamarie Guarino, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). “When a work phone becomes unreliable, it causes stress, anxiety, miscommunication, and frustrations that can be taxing.”

The moment a mobile employee is cut off from their ability to work, their anxiety spikes as they contemplate when they will regain access again. Some of them fear that they will have to explain why their tasks are not completed on time.

“Mobile workers are very dependent on their work phones, and without the ability to communicate with their headquarters, office, employer or client, they are at risk of losing their job security,” Guarino said. “This alone causes a great deal of stress for a mobile worker.”

The Bottom Line For Enterprises

In addition to the detrimental impact of the health and wellbeing of mobile workers, businesses also suffer from malfunctioning devices. The survey found that 16% of mobile workers had to take off from work because of the added stress and anxiety. Among those employees, 31% said that they took off 10 or more days from work. This extended sick leave caused by device reliability issues costs both the U.S. and the U.K. economies $10.2 billion every year.

To complicate matters, 21% of mobile workers felt that their employers would ignore their concerns regarding device functionality. Enterprises must take these concerns from their mobile workers seriously. It is imperative that enterprises are vigilant to ensure that device reliability issues are addressed in a timely fashion. IT departments need to devote extra attention to solving device reliability issues. There should also be extensive and constant testing of mobile devices and apps so that enterprises can be proactive in preventing these issues from occurring the first place.