How to manage your mobile workforce successfully

For some industries, a mobile workforce is nothing new, but for others, a desire for this new way of working is shaking up their very business model. And, while a mobile workforce is one that works away from the office or main company premises, having mobile employees doesn’t look the same for every organisation.

So, although it’s true that fewer people now sit at their desks 9-5 than ever before, making the switch and managing mobile employees doesn’t come without its share of difficulties. However, by implementing a few best practices, you can maximise your mobile workforce, boost your productivity and keep everyone happy.

Put the right technology in place

Today’s technology helps employees to remain permanently connected, no matter where they are. But, if it is too hard to keep in touch, this can lead to inefficiencies and delayed decision making. And, all too often insufficient technology is at the root of this frustration with 43% of remote workers finding it difficult to access documents and files.[1]

For example, communication is crucial to mobile working. Only with the right tech in place can you make sure that deskless employees don’t become “out of sight, out of mind”, so reliable communication systems are a must.

Furthermore, collaboration tools such as shared storage, hosted desktop and cloud-based project management software can also help a distributed team to work together efficiently.

Remove the stress from your mobile workforce

When it comes to working remotely, the reality for many employees is that they are unable to switch off. With this blending of personal and professional life often leading to higher levels of stress, it’s vital that you help to reduce the pressure on your mobile workforce. Putting the right tech and process in place is a good start, but it’s equally important to remove the culture of presenteeism and encourage employees to switch off. Find out more.

Establish a culture of trust

Mobile working requires a degree of trust. To make sure yours isn’t exploited, put clear goals in place.

But be careful to not enforce old working patterns in the process. Rather than thinking about how many hours someone is sat at a desk remotely, focus on quantifiable results.

Ultimately, trust is earned, and it runs both ways. So make sure your employees know that there is support in place to help them solve problems and that you are there to give direction as needed.

Put an engagement strategy in place

If you have staff off-site, it can be difficult to bond. But regardless of where your workforce is, it’s vital to create a unified culture. To help you to achieve this, put an engagement strategy in place and make sure this includes processes that allow you to connect with staff directly and regularly. Use conference calls, video conferencing, and messaging apps to keep the lines of communication open.

However, face-to-face meetings are also important. If possible, have your remote employees come into the office every once in a while for in-person meetings and team bonding days so everyone feels connected.

It’s also worth being aware that, for some people, change is hard. Not everyone wants to work remotely, so, if you’re planning on rolling out mobile working across the board, be prepared for some conflict. A robust engagement strategy and an awareness of those functions/roles not suited to mobile working are crucial.

Consider the long-term financial benefits

In uncertain economic times, businesses of all sizes are reluctant to shake things up. And, when doing so comes with cost implications, it’s all too easy to find an excuse not to invest. But with the ability to succeed and thrive dependent on being able to adapt and respond to new models of working, focusing on short-term profitability and doing nothing is not an option.

Rather than thinking about whether you can you afford to update your technology to support remote working, consider whether you afford not to.

Let’s face it, with a desire for mobile working established, meeting this need could be the only way to attract and retain key staff. And, if you set up mobile processes and tech correctly, the upfront expense will soon be replaced by significant cost, productivity, efficiency, and operational benefits. In fact, mobile leaders boast an average ROI of 150%.[2]

Of course, with advancements in the cloud, it is possible to improve your IT infrastructure and reduce the burden of ongoing IT investment. All for one low monthly price. So you can manage your mobile workforce successfully without worrying about the upfront investment.

Find out how Cloud Geeni can support your mobile workforce. All for one affordable monthly payment and no upfront capital investment*.

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[1] BT, The Mobile Multiplier, 2016

[2] VMWare, State of Business Mobility Report