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Blog: Is Mobile Device Failure Making your Workers Sick?

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Blog: Is Mobile Device Failure Making your Workers Sick?

by | Aug 23, 2018 | Blogs

Are mobile workers are suffering because of issues with mobile devices?

You’ve probably read plenty of reports about mobile workers having to put in long hours or add extra shifts to cover their workloads, especially at peak trading times.

But from delivery drivers to field engineers, the reality is that the pressure to complete tasks and meet customer expectations has become a constant burden.

That’s why many mobile workers are now equipped with powerful devices to help them complete their tasks efficiently and effectively.

But what happens when these devices fail?

Our latest report into the health of mobile workers looked at both the most common types of failure affecting workers and the impact these failures can have on their well-being.

Battery issues proved to be the most common cause of device failure, but Wi-Fi, network coverage, crashing apps and constant reboots were all highlighted by mobile workers in our survey.

And when these devices fail, over 40% of mobile workers who identified their device as critical for them to complete their tasks said that they suffer stress or anxiety.

Over 15% of all respondents said they had taken time off work because of well-being issues caused by mobile device failure, and a further 25% said they could not afford to take time off despite the stress or anxiety they felt.

So what’s the impact of all of this to a business?

As we’ve previously pointed out in our white paper, “The True Cost of Ownership of Enterprise Mobility“, dealing with device failure contributes on average 83% of the total cost of ownership of mobility for businesses, far exceeding the costs to acquire and deploy technology to these workers. These models are conservative and have traditionally assumed workers’ devices are only down for minutes at a time per failure.

When we factor days-off-work into the equation, the cost impact of outages for businesses can rise another 10 percentage points or higher depending on the number of days each employee takes.

These statistics will come as a shock to many organisations, especially as the causes of stress and anxiety are the very devices that are supposed to both make their workers’ lives easier and drive cost efficiencies in the business.


Many businesses are now placing more responsibility onto their mobile workers, so they need to take steps to ensure that the devices they use can be depended on.

But the results of our survey suggest businesses could be unaware as to why worker productivity – and more importantly, worker health – may be suffering. This is often the case if no device monitoring is in use.

For example, our survey found that around a quarter of mobile workers do not raise issues as they feel their employer will not do anything about it. That’s a lot of mobile workers trying to cope with device failure, but not telling their supervisors about it.

Businesses need to gain better visibility over these issues if they don’t want their brand to suffer because of poor customer satisfaction or disillusioned staff who do not feel valued.

[suggested read: Improve the ROI from Enterprise Mobility by Increasing Device Utilization]

Identify and solve

With the right real-time device monitoring solution in place, mobile device problems can be identified and addressed before they can create an issue for a mobile worker and it would not fall on mobile workers to report issues themselves.

For example, B2M’s Elemez real-time mobile and wireless analytics offer a way to proactively identify and troubleshoot device issues before they impact the mobile worker’s ability to do their job. And Elemez Battery Essentials is a simple solution to proactively prevent the most common cause of outages – battery failure.

We know that ensuring device reliability is crucial for improving productivity and lowering the total cost of ownership of mobility. But our findings suggest it will also improve mobile worker well-being, protect brand reputation and avoid the costs outlined above. That’s something we think every business can get behind.

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Gary Lee


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