Wi-Fi or 4G? What Does #GenMobile Prefer?

It should surprise no one that modern employees prefer not to have to be tethered to their desks in order to be connected. It’s a truth that has once again been confirmed in a new study from Aruba Networks, titled “Are You Ready for #GenMobile?,” that surveyed 5,000 people about their mobile habits.

Not surprisingly, the study, sponsored by a Wi-Fi networking vendor, found that the majority of respondents (57 percent) prefer Wi-Fi to other forms of connectivity, including 3G, 4G/LTE, and wired.

The amount of time respondents reported spending on all forms of mobile is also high, with most respondents spending more than seven hours a week using mobile technology. 23 percent indicated that they use mobile between 7 and 14 hours per week, 19 percent indicated they used it between 14 and 21 hours per week, and 12 percent used it between 21 and 28 hours a week.

Mobile device usage is also powering the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, which relies on wireless connectivity. The study found that 38 percent of respondents value the ability to bring their own devices to work over having a window office. That said, the study found a split between those that want their organizations to buy their mobile devices for them and those that do not. The study found that 28.9 percent of respondents want their employers to provide them with mobile devices, while 29.2 percent of respondents indicated that they prefer to buy their own.

Though mobile connectivity is a necessity in the modern world, so too is the ability to disconnect sometimes, with nearly two-thirds (63 percent) noting that they value having time to be disconnected. The new gen mobile workforce also values flexibility over salary, with 53 percent indicating that they would forgo a 10 percent pay hike to be able to work from home two or three days a week.

“We’ve seen flexible working, BYOD and always-on connectivity growing for some time, but this report shows that it’s now become a way of life for those in the modern workforce,” said Ben Gibson, Aruba Networks CMO, in a statement.

The new Aruba Networks study follows other studies done in years past that show the continuing trend toward wireless and BYOD. A 2012 study from Cisco found that 95 percent of organizations allow BYOD. The impact of BYOD as measured by Cisco was as much as a positive $300 to $1,300 a year per employee.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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