The use of mobile apps in the workplace is set to rise in the UK, as office workers begin to demand apps that streamline business processes, help communicate with customers and allow people to access information outside the office.

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of marketing decision makers said they believe apps will become commonplace in the workplace over the next three years, with 65 percent saying staff demand will be the main driver, according to research by digital agency ORM London.

Just under half of respondents (47 percent) said they had already issued an official customised app, with 43 percent saying they had issued a mobile app and 38 percent tablet apps.

The fact that competitors have similar in-house apps is a factor for 40 percent of companies that have developed their own, showing that having apps is seen as a competitive advantage. Meanwhile, 53 percent of marketing decision makers said they wanted to appear innovative by building of an app.

An increase in companies issuing personal devices at work – with 54 percent issuing smartphones and 28 percent providing staff with tablets – is also driving app usage.

The most commonly-used type of apps used in business are database (53 percent), marketing and measurement (51 percent), event (46 percent), and communications and messaging apps (44 percent).

“As employees use increasingly sophisticated apps in their personal lives they’re starting to see the benefit that they could have in their working lives. Businesses are responding to this by creating apps that make their workforce more efficient on the move providing easier access to information, as well as carrying out functions like point-of-sale and inventory management,” said ORM London founding partner, Peter Gough.