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Mobile Technology and Trends in the Workforce
Mobile technology is influencing how companies do business more and more. If you can’t have constant connection and access to your accounts, then you’re already behind. Mobility within the workforce allows for maximum flexibility and job satisfaction while encouraging and promoting higher levels of productivity. However, there is an ongoing debate that constant connectivity is bad for employees and actually encourages work martyrdom. So why should you integrate mobility into your workforce? We’ve looked into the reasons why for you.
The Evolving Workforce Project, conducted by Dell and Intel to predict future workforce trends and the role of technology in that future, found 83% of global workers believe that technological advances have made them more productive; that percentage is only expected to increase in the future. But how exactly does mobile technology fit in this world of business? The answer: it’s causing a business metamorphosis. The days of sending faxes to share documents and having water-cooler meetings are now days of old. Employees want control and flexibility in how they work, when they work, and the means in which they work by - mobile technology gives them what they seek. Employers can benefit greatly from using mobile tech, but they need to be aware of the proper ways in which technology can be used for productivity gains. Here are a few ways in which mobility can prevent counter productiveness in business:
The concept of “Bring Your Own Device” was pretty unpopular at first, but with a growing number of Millennials entering the workforce, the attitude of BYOD is shifting. Instead of a company issuing new hires mobile devices, it’s becoming clear they want to use their own, familiar devices. After all, if your entire life rests entirely in one device, why shouldn’t your work live there too? Employees are claiming that using their own devices actually helps with productivity due to several factors:
It’s Familiar –There’s no learning curve for a device that you already own; besides, if a person is using their own device, chances are they like it.
It Provides Flexibility – Employees can work from anyplace, anywhere, at any time. Plus, they can test which apps can help their productivity without the limitations of IT having to manage installations.
BYOD can be tricky for the employer, though. There are several risks to consider, namely data security, retrieval of data due to termination, and liability. Employers thinking about BYOD should first create a policy beforehand, to minimize the risks involved and make sure employees fully understand the policies in order for it to be as successful as possible.
There's an App for that
Take a look at your phone right now…what do you see? Apps! Apps for social media, apps for organization, apps for games, and apps for business. There is an app for everything now, and having a mobile-friendly website is no longer a nifty, innovative feature for your company’s website - it’s an expectation. However, businesses in any industry can benefit from using apps. Any company that has a product to sell can use their apps for geo-targeting to help with demographics and ad targeting or create customer loyalty programs (think Starbucks Rewards program); businesses in a service industry can send reminders, allow customers to schedule appointments, and allow customers to pay for their services provided all through an app.
Your company can also benefit from apps created by other businesses as well. Mobile communication is becoming the new norm for most companies now. Just look at companies like Slack. Internally, businesses can use apps like Google Drive to create, share, and edit documents, or even set meetings and share calendars among co-workers. Mobile technology has opened up lines of communication and cleared the way for collaboration between businesses and internally within companies. By using the right apps, a business can free up their time to be more productive by focusing on tasks necessary for growth and not on the little nuisances of running a company.
With mobile technology comes the ability to be accessible from any location at any time; this also creates less of a need to be tied to an office. Today, employers are offering employees the option to be telecommuters. Telecommuting is still a fairly new concept in today’s workforce, but it’s quickly gaining influence. In fact, there has been a 115% increase in telecommuting jobs from 2005 to 2015 alone, with forty percent of US employer offering more flexible work options in 2017 than ever before.
Telecommuting has become possible due to mobile technology’s advances, especially in the HR and payroll industry. Telecommuters can clock in and out, just like their on-site co-workers. Companies are saving office expenses, with more and more employees working from home; using technology that has both Employee and Manager Self-Service options can help keep employees engaged and employers accountable. Employers are also seeing an increase in production, as employees are generally happier when they may work from wherever they want. With mobile technology on the rise, coffee shops and home offices are slowly but surely becoming the new cubicle.
Managing a Mobile Workforce
We’ll wrap up our conversation with the answer to how to manage a mobile workforce. The number one thing to keep in mind is to understand how your company and industry will benefit from mobile technology. Every industry can benefit in some way from mobile technology - it’s all about how they implement the technology. Mobility does come with safety and privacy risks, but you can position your company for success if you pay attention mobile best practices which include:
Setting up protocols for data-sharing.
Researching how to best mitigate the risks involved with mobile technology.
Check app certifications, and only use ones that have safety certifications.
Create a policy outlining when and how the technology employees use can be used.
If you manage mobility properly, you’ll be set up for success in no time. Best of luck!
How APS can help
APS brings innovation and scalability to modern human capital management. We believe that our clients, their employees, and our partners deserve the best, easy-to-use human capital management platform delivered with personalized service and support. We build our technologies from the ground up, focusing on usability, efficiency, and adoption. APS understands the challenges organizations of all sizes face, which is why we craft a full spectrum of cloud solutions that address all aspects of employee management. By maintaining a vision of unified systems that make human capital management nearly effortless, we support our clients in their growth and success.
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