In 2016, it became official. The majority of Americans use a mobile device rather than a laptop or desktop for nearly every facet of their online life, from shopping to answering emails. As the virtual working era continues to thrive, it’s only a matter of time before the majority of people will be using mobile devices for the bulk of their work as well. We have met the era of the mobile workforce.
The workforce is becoming far more mobile in nearly every industry. From placing your coffee order ahead of time on an app to sharing documents via the cloud with colleagues on the go, lugging around a laptop is becoming less common.
If you’re a small business owner, you might remember the days when it was strictly forbidden to use your “cell phone” at work. Those days are almost entirely gone.
Offering and encouraging a mobile culture is critical for businesses, particularly small businesses, when competing for quality employees. Otherwise, retaining employees could be difficult—few people want to work in a company where they feel hindered in their access or that they’re lagging behind technological advances
With the majority of Baby Boomers retired, there are good odds that the next person you hire will have grown up with and heavily rely on technology. Recruitment strategies and company cultures have to shift and adapt to what Millennials and younger employees want. That includes a mobile culture where they can utilize their skills in technology.
Fortunately, mobile capabilities can help companies. It allows your employees to get more done faster while reducing overhead and hard copies. Mobile devices allow for a more flexible work environment, and that’s one of the most desired perks for employees. It also helps them increase productivity while decreasing wasted time, a phenomenon called “double work.” Mobile devices allow for easy cloud storage, making it possible for everyone to have access to appropriate documents and emails quickly and safely.
So, what does it mean to have a mobile workforce or a mobile company culture? It can vary a bit, but at the heart it means you prioritize and utilize mobile devices across the board. This includes ensuring access to the latest technology and a wide range of devices and platforms. Some companies, usually larger corporations, may issue mobile devices strictly for work use on a regular basis. More often, employees are allowed to use their own mobile devices.
Using one’s own device means lower overhead for businesses and no learning curve. The employees are already very adept at their own device.
For some small business owners, this will require a little adaptation. It’s not uncommon to see employees shooting off a text or taking a personal call even as they’re in between customers. When not done to the extent of distraction, these small calls or texts can help employee balance their personal and work lives. Returning a call from the dentist, or answering a text from a partner takes up little time and helps employees feel psychologically at ease.
Take some time to consider how the mobile workforce will benefit your company. How can going mobile increase profits and employee productivity? You may be surprised at all the benefits you find.