The working environment has changed significantly and can be expected to change much more! Increased accessibility to the internet and the ease with which we can communicate from everywhere and at every time has changed the way we do business. It is no longer needed to have a series of long boring meetings, having to sit around a table and only communicate eye to eye!
It appears that the vision and promise of having a “paperless” office is gaining momentum. The affordability and technological advances in smartphones, iPads and other tablets are allowing is to perform most of our duties from remote locations and even while commuting between destinations.
This is also known as telecommuting and the process of working and communicating on trains and buses. In South Africa the Gautrain is now allowing commuters to spend quality time working which they would have spent getting agitated in congested road traffic.
Many businesses are now online businesses and consultants work from home, hotels, coffee shops etc. Many restaurants are catering for this new mobile workforce and enabling the businessmen and women to perform at the highest levels of efficiency while having their cup of coffee!
The changing work environment also has an impact on our insurance portfolios. Why would this affect our insurance profile?
- Car Insurance – Less time is spent travelling inside our own vehicles as we are commuting on buses and trains. This provides an opportunity for insurance based on Pay AS You Drive.
- Home and Household Insurance. We will need to look at the insurance and specification of an increased number of technological devices such as smartphones, iPads, tablets, laptops and whether these are adequately insured during travel.
- Business Insurance. The office environment is changing and so too the number of appliances that we need to ensure. The office chair and desk are no longer the most important pieces of furniture – we need to carefully consider the insurance of our communication devices and the devices that connect us with the internet.
What is the Mobile Worforce?
I have come across a very insightful post on Mashable titled “Rise of the Mobile Workforce”. The best way to explain how the working environment has changed is to share a infographic on this new business trend from social contact manager Gist. This tells us where the mobile workforce prefers to work and the devices they use: