Embrace Mobile Working In Your Business
Mobile working is a bit of a hot topic at the moment, and for very good reasons. The increasing demands of life are causing the traditional 9-5 to be an insurmountable challenger for some people, most of whom still want to work and have a fulfilling career. In order to accommodate the changing lifestyles of their employees, businesses need to embrace the idea of flexible working, both in terms of hours and locations. In previous years’ technology had been the harness on this idea, holding it back, but now with the explosion of mobile technology growth, businesses have no excuses for not embracing mobile working at all levels.
What Is Mobile Working?
Mobile working (also known as remote working) simple means that an employee is carrying out their work duties away from the usual place of office. There could be a number of reasons for this switch – they could be travelling on business, have issues with childcare or need to be home for the boiler repair man. Some of your employees could live a considerable distance from your main office – in which case they could rent an individual office in their area to work from, or work from home instead of facing a long commute. The problem this new approach to working creates is how to manage IT and devices that are not located in a central office.
The thing to remember here is that your employees are mobile already. You would be hard pressed to look around an office today and not find personal, mobile devices like smartphones and watches – they’ve basically become an extension of our bodies. The digital and connected behaviour of personal devices doesn’t change when someone enters an office, and is in fact a powerful tool if used properly. For example, if you have a sales team travelling around the country, your mobile friendly software can make sure that those sales reps can access all of the documents they need from their laptops or phones. Need a contract to sign up a new client? Just download it from the central server. Want to brush up on some of the key selling points for a particular client? Log in and access their file and your notes instantly. Embraced completely, mobile working can be revolutionary.
How Can Technology Support Mobile Working?
Buy, Don’t Build: For a lot of companies, especially those with sales teams in the field, mobile apps are a fantastic way of connecting them to the office and all the data they need. But despite how attractive the idea is, you should avoid building your own app to do this. The average lifespan of an app is just six months, and it just isn’t possible for companies to keep up with the rapidly changing market by building their own solutions. Instead, do some research and invest in an app built by specialists that will be supported and updated as the market changes.
Make Mobile A Priority: The smartphone has created a huge disturbance in the way we approach and understand IT, and the changes we’ve seen aren’t going away any time soon, so don’t ignore it. The shifts we’re seeing aren’t just technological – they’re cultural. Every business looking to lead in its industry should be embracing these new technologies and ways of working, not only to improve the quality of their employment, but to turn such things into a competitive advantage.
Have A BYOD Strategy: Your IT department will never like it, but having a good BYOD (Bring your own Device) system and stagey in place is crucial if you’re going to be ready for mobile workers. Now that almost every employee within a given business has a smartphone, and uses it to discuss business and do work, it’s impossible not to. In fact, research by Gartner found that 45% of employees who weren’t required to use their personal mobile for work were doing so anyway, often without notifying their employer. So focus on formulating a strategy for BYOD working. And remember, your main focus should be on communication and reach, and while security is an issue, it should never be an excuse.
At Indigo IT we understand the importance of getting your business mobile friendly and the impact it can have on productivity, employee happiness and business success. But getting to that point can be tricky. If you aren’t sure how to make your existing IT systems mobile friendly, or need new infrastructure and software to achieve it, we can help you. For more information, or to find out how mobile working could improve your business, get in touch with us today.