Smartphones and tablet computers, when coupled with cloud computing, have changed how business is done.
Increasingly, businesses are unleashing their workers and enabling them to work from home, on the road, or from various locations. The mobile workforce is quickly becoming the norm, not the exception.
There are pitfalls that come with a mobile workforce, however, and businesses need to have the right tools and policies in place to make sure that mobile workers are at their best.
Here are four tips for empowering mobile workers:
Set up a collaborative environment:
One of the biggest challenges for workers not in the same office is isolation, so it is important that a virtual office is created by having a collaborative platform in place for shared employee work. This can take the form of a free service such as Google (News - Alert) Hangouts or something far more robust, but it is important to have something in place so a mobile worker is not an isolated worker.
Make all communication channels digital:
The mobile worker hardly could be conceptualized without access to email, but more than just mail needs to be digital for a truly mobile work environment. It also is important that the office phone travels with the worker, whether through a company-issued smartphone or a voice-over-IP (VoIP) business line that can travel with the worker. And don’t forget the fax, too! Fax-over-IP (FoIP) lets faxes go digital, and companies such as AudioCodes can even retrofit existing office faxes so they can be transformed into FoIP devices.
Invest in a good cloud-based file management solution:
Storing data on a laptop is good until the day that laptop is dropped or stolen. The dangers of storing files anywhere but the cloud quickly becomes known in those cases. Businesses need to ensure that employees not only can access files from anywhere, but also that these files are resistant to employee mistakes. That comes from a good cloud-based file management system.
Enable the Human Element:
Working remotely has many advantages, one of which is a nearly 20 percent increase in productivity according to a recent paper by Stanford University researchers. The social element can be lost sometimes, however, which is why it is important to factor that in whenever employees are unleashed to rove about as they please. A good videoconferencing solution can deliver this missing human element, as it is one thing to hear another employee but it is something else entirely to see them at the same time.
Put these four tips into practice and watch as both employee productivity and contentment rises. Mobility can be a win-win for both workers and employees, but only if implemented thoughtfully.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson