In a recent report by Westcon-Comstor vendor partner, Avaya, workers are calling time out on “dumb phones” urging employers to allow them to make use of mobile devices.

The report, conducted by research company YouGov on behalf of Avaya, surveyed 3,000 global office workers, asking if they felt that they were equipped to work and collaborate more effectively with the tools at their current disposal.

“The figures in the report are staggering and can be used by businesses to identify the gaps in their current communications and collaboration landscape,” states Tiens Lange, Director Unified Communications and Collaboration at Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa.

“The report showed that office workers prefer smart devices and mobile call and data bundles over ‘dumb’ desk phones. 24% said their employer doesn’t provide them with the right tech tools for today’s working environment and WhatsApp and WeChat are now used by a staggering 39% of all workers in the business environment without employer or IT oversight.”

In short, the findings really build the case for employers to really start investigating the deployment of a more mobile, virtual and cloud-based technological landscape that appeals to the modern employee and that promotes more modern and digital savvy unified communications technologies.

Lange warns that the fact that WhatsApp and WeChat groups are becoming as pervasive as they are, is a huge security risk to companies. Particularly as IT has no knowledge of this. This is not just a platform risk as these solutions are cloud-based, but also a data and information risk – particularly based on the fact that these groups are being used to possibly communicate sensitive company wide information.

According to Avaya, and taken directly from their findings, the report also showed that the call-only desktop handset, is now less significant than mobile and cloud-based tools, according to office workers, who consider data packages (37%) for their mobile to be more important that traditional phone and email access (26%). Employees say they also want independent access to work emails from their smart phones (35%) and remote access to file servers and databases from their mobiles or other devices outside the company network (34%).

“Employees are increasingly becoming road warriors, many are pushing to work remotely, and the report showed that more than a third of workers (37%) spend an average of eight working days away from their desks during a typical month. This really makes the case for a more mobile, cloud-based and digitally connected world that promotes collaboration from anywhere and on any device.

“The findings, coupled with the socio-economic and social environmental factors facing people in South Africa, such as rising fuel process, economic instability and even traffic and congestion problems, builds an even stronger case for businesses to look to communications and collaboration solutions that really support the mobile workforce,” ends Lange.