A new report on the benefits of mobile communications to the future generation of workers has revealed that workers can derive benefits from mobile services, including providing livelihood and improving productivity.
The report titled 'Vodafone Connected Worker' noted that with mobile services available to workers worldwide, they can improve their livelihood to as much as US$7.7 billion but that "174 million new service connections are needed to realise these benefits."
The report summarised the results of a study undertaken by Accenture and commissioned by Vodafone involving 12 countries worldwide where Vodafone has a presence. These countries include: Congo, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Qatar, South Africa, Tanzania, and Turkey.
The report identified key employment challenges for both worker and employer. The report then cited six opportunities to address the issues, with the help of mobile communication services. These opportunities include finding a job, mPayroll, mLearning, field enforcement, mIdentity and worker panel, a solution that seeks to improve work conditions by gathering real-time information from factory, industrial and agriculture workers.
Andrew Dunnett, director, Sustainability, Vodafone Group; and Vodafone Foundation, said: "Mobile solutions have the potential to improve workers' lives and save money in the boardroom, helping organisations improve productivity, transparency and security. Whether it is mobile monitoring of the supply chain or using a mobile phone to pay wages, the potential for positively transforming the workplace in these markets, for both employers and workers, is significant."
The report noted that mPayroll is one of these potentials to improve workers' lives. mPayroll is a secure and cost-effective way by which workers without bank accounts can access their funds on time. By 2020, some 48 million workers can benefit from this payroll system while businesses can save as much as US$2.8 billion annually. Vodafone said mPayroll is already being implemented by Safaricom in Kenya and has reduced the cost of making payments to workers by 86 percent.
Another opportunity available is through the Job Finder mobile-subscription service. Vodafone said this service could match 12 million workers to jobs annually by 2020. This service could be beneficial to jobs searches in the informal sector and for seasonal workers and in the emerging markets.
Workers already out on field can also derive other benefits through the field force enablement services which allow workers to access corporate systems. This capability can help improve worker productivity and facilitates better scheduling. The report noted that such services could deliver organisational benefits of US$24.9 billion annually by 2020.
Other opportunities that can bring benefits to both workers and their organisations include mIdentity and mLearning.
Vodafone said mIdentity solutions enhances corporate security and bring benefit organisations by as much as US$1.5 billion annually by 2020.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.