How to achieve a truly mobile workforce

Mobility, and how to achieve a truly mobile workforce, is a hot topic for businesses of all sizes across the country. However, whilst many talk about it, few are succeeding at truly enabling mobility amongst their workers.

We know that the business world is changing, as are employee attitudes towards technology. For example, a recent survey by CCS Insight found that 80% of employees believe mobile technology is now critical to getting their job done, but only 33% say that mobile technology provided by work fully meets their needs. Driven by their experience as consumers and the devices that enrich their daily lives, employees’ expectations around technology in the workplace have never been higher. Ultimately, they expect to be able to work in the way that they want, when they want with the same seamless experience they get from technology at home.

Importantly, when we talk about mobility, we don’t simply mean the ability to work from home, a café or hotel. Whilst out of the office, it’s not a truly mobile experience, as workers still require a fixed location and Wi-Fi connection. The ability to work seamlessly whilst on the move is what will really unlock true mobility, but it comes with its own challenges, relying on the strength of networks. Whilst the Government continues to invest to address coverage black spots across the country as part of the Mobile Infrastructure Project, businesses need to make sure that their workers are provided with both Wi-Fi and 4G enabled devices as standard.

Another essential way to enable a workforce to be mobile is to provide staff with a choice of technology, and allow them the flexibility to take advantage of different options at different times. As technology has become a bigger part of our personal lives, with many of us owning multiple devices, the workforce now expect to be able to switch between a smart phone, a tablet or a laptop, depending on what suits them best for the job they want to do. The challenge for employers is to enable them to have that choice, in a way that works most effectively for employee and employer. Furthermore, as the pace of change in technology continues to move quickly, we expect we’ll start to see the consumer popularity of wearables echoed in enterprise.

Once companies have equipped their workers with flexible and connected devices, they need to think about implementing the systems that will allow them to take full advantage of the technology. Too many organisations have failed to capitalise on the potential of the technology they’ve invested in because they have focussed on buying devices for their staff to use, but have neglected to develop the proper systems. We work with customers to develop integrated solutions through our own bespoke software, an open approach to development and, when needed, we work with third party development teams to create solutions when they are not provided by the existing developer ecosystem. This means that we can provide our customers with technology that is really flexible to their needs and delivers a greater return on their investment.

An additional consideration employers need to make when planning their mobility strategies is the security of their devices and implementing the correct IT policies. Without them, organisations can leave themselves open to data breaches and vulnerable to viruses. We have been working with our own customers to help them find ways to safeguard their devices, and offer tools like Samsung Knox to simplify the processes around enterprise security and help them release the value from greater levels of employee mobility.

The future of the workspace and office life is clearly a hot topic, with some very different predictions being made. Whatever happens, employers will need to be smart about the technology and systems they invest in now to make sure their workers are equipped to be as effective and efficient as possible, no matter where they are.

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