With mobile devices continuing to outsell PCs in many markets and with a more mobile society a guaranteed reality for the future, managers need to prepare for a time when all-mobile work-forces are the norm.
What does an all-mobile workforce look like?
All-mobile workers focus on convenience and efficient use of time without restrictions. They prefer office hours that fit their schedules and instant collaboration from locations of their choosing. All-mobile workers are more likely to be home-based and fluid in their choice of employment or projects.
What are some of the challenges of working with all-mobile employees?
- All-mobile workers require easy-to-use collaboration tools and a cloud-based hub for interaction. Common tools include remote mobile VPN or private website real-time document creation and editing, text, and video messaging and conferencing, and instant search interactive learning and reference resources. As different independent systems cause training and technical support nightmares, all-in-one systems that work well across different platforms and mobile devices are critical to maintain all-mobile worker efficiency and organization.
- Security risks increase with distance. To prevent unauthorized access to private systems and sensitive information, and to prevent other security issues that occur with work in private and public settings, managers must implement mobile work-specific security practices and policies. Necessary security changes include installation of remote tracking and monitoring systems, implementation of keyword password generators, and other security-token hardware. As with any policy change, additional training regarding public risk areas and methods to prevent security breaches is a necessity.
- Damage to worker socialization and morale also increases with distance. All-mobile workers often face more distractions at home or in public than within offices. Without face-to-face interaction, some can even lose track of their importance within a company. Managers need to change how they communicate, interact with, and motivate their subordinates. Interactive, virtual company or departmental tours, photo galleries, live video calls, and event streaming help show a mobile workforce that a company is more than a faceless distant entity. An online employee-recognition board and remote team-building exercises and contests are also needed to help all-mobile workers feel involved and appreciated beyond the projects they complete.
As you can see, the challenges of utilizing an all-mobile are many, but the benefits clearly outweigh these issues. All-mobile workers are often happier, and they complete projects faster, more efficiently, and more creatively than their traditional on-site counterparts.