Is the mobile workforce here yet? Maybe not, but many companies are making great strides in offering employees a route out of the office and towards working from home, or other remote locations. According to Forester Research's 2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends, 37% of European and US employees work from multiple locations, with 53% using multiple devices to get their job done.
Ars Technica has taken a look at how mobile technology is creating the mobile workforce. Their conclusion is that, whilst remote working is on the rise, there is still some way to go before companies can truly offer their teams a remote working solution.
For non-Windows tablets, basic applications that are useful for a huge percentage of workers, such as e-mail, file syncing, and Web conferencing, are readily available. Office suites for tablets are typically fine for viewing documents, and they're steadily getting better at editing and creating documents.
Yet there are many specialized applications whose capabilities haven't been replicated on most tablets at this point.
Technologies such as ActiveSync, along with cloud storage solutions such as Box.com or SharePoint have resolved the main remote worker issues of staying in touch and accessing company documents. However the need for access to specific, business essential applications is still causing difficulties.
One possible solution is to create a Hosted Desktop working environment. With Hosted Desktop workers can have the applications they need 'streamed' to a tablet direct, just as if they were sat at their office desk. This gives them the complete freedom to work from anywhere, without losing access to the software they need.