Smartphones, tablets, and cloud computing have become ubiquitous. As a result, small businesses have been reaping the benefits of enhanced productivity and efficiency that comes with a mobile office.
Technology has changed the way we go about our business at home and at work. A lot of us don’t use a desktop computer anymore, further with the evolution of mobile technology (along with apps and cloud computing that makes everything easier), a growing number of employees are not even working the traditional ‘9 to ‘5 shift anymore.
Productivity and collaboration apps that are available in the market today have significantly boosted staff engagement and internal collaboration (while reducing costs and increasing revenue). Consequently, mobile workforces have become increasingly common. There are already over a billion mobile workers around the globe and that number keeps growing rapidly. Increasingly, tablets are replacing laptops and this trend is set to continue among the mobile workforce. The top 5 advantages of mobilising your workforce are as follows:
1. Mobile Workforces Reduce Operating Costs
Mobilising your staff can reduce operating expenses and close geographic disconnects. By properly implementing a Hosted Exchange or SharePoint along with Office365, the potential to increase efficiency is enormous.
Further, if your staff is increasingly working from home, it diminishes the need to invest in physical infrastructure and real estate (that’s required by a traditional office). No matter what industry you’re in (even manufacturing), employing mobile workforce solutions can be a great, but it all depends on finding the right solution and strategy for your business.
The transition into a mobile office may require some training, but with staff already (extremely) familiar with mobile platforms, this shouldn’t be a problem.
2. Mobile Platforms are Highly Secure
Cloud security as well as mobile security have vastly improved over the past few years. So you can make the transition into a mobile office without all the fears once associated with mobile security. These days, you can remotely and securely manage access to small or large business networks so employees can work wherever and whenever they wish.
The security will be continuously maintained by encrypting data between company servers and mobile devices. Further, these mobile devices can be remotely erased if they are lost or stolen. So even if there are incidents due to human error, companies can now eliminate any further damage.
3. It Creates a Happier Work Environment
Like it or not, people are happier when there is flexibility at work. It helps them manage other aspects in their lives like family and personal business and it also makes them feel like the company cares about them. This in turn translates into higher levels of productivity, less sick days away from work, and it is also an incentive to remain with the company. As workstyles change, corporate culture and practices will also have to follow.
According to Arna Jade, owner of IMARI Consulting, successful transition comes down to staff training. Spending time with each team member and going over the training and adoption plans is important. Further, spending a week familiarising staff with the system (while also providing easy access to policies and procedures) makes this transition easier.
4. Productivity & Collaboration Apps Reduce the Workload
The apps specifically designed for the mobile workforce were developed to make life easier by reducing the workload. Like smartphones have made it easier to manage our day to day lives, these apps make it easier to manage your professional responsibilities.
A mobile office solution will provide small businesses with the following:
- A central web-based management system: to keeps track of inventory, assets, applications, device configurations, and policies. This allows you to connect with your colleagues and customers at any time.
- Cross device management: for seamless transition between devices (tablet, smartphone, PC).
- Customer service: UK based and technically proficient with 27 x 7 monitoring services.
- Security: to maintain physical and virtual protection functions which are supported by experienced security teams on-site, 24 x 7.
5. Work without Borders
Integrating offices/branches from around the world is now a lot cheaper and more robust. Further, this same method can be used to build an effective team from around the world. As workflows, discussions, and collaborations can easily take place over VPN (integrated voice, data, and video), it is much easier now to work as a team no matter where your employees are based.
It’s the future of business that is driven by developments in technology. Incorporation of mobility tools and services have levelled the playing field as small businesses now have access to technology that was once only afforded by large corporations.
Further, according to International Data Corporation’s report, the biggest concentration of mobile workers will be in Asia with approximately 840 million and the Americas with over 200 million. Finally, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East will roughly make up another 245 million workers. So we are rapidly moving into a future that is all about international collaboration making mobile workforces the norm.