Rapidly changing attitudes towards work are redefining the traditional office environment. Today, fewer people sit at their desks 9-5 than ever before; with mobile technology, hosted desktop solutions, and the shifting expectations of employees driving this change. In fact, mobile working is now more important to 67% of staff than a company car.

In response, businesses must do more to meet this desire for new and flexible ways of working, or lose sought-after employees to competitors that will.

Two-thirds (67%) of UK office workers say mobile working is more important than a company car.[1]

Modern technology allows employees to remain permanently connected, no matter where they are in the world. But despite the ability to create a tech-enabled mobile workforce, many employers are failing to do more than pay lip-service to the idea. So, it’s no wonder that it can be hard to get hold of remote workers – leading to delayed decision making. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, insufficient technology is often at the root of this frustration.

43% of remote workers find it difficult to access documents and files. [2]

The problem is – in uncertain economic times – businesses are reluctant to shake things up. Instead, they seek to reduce costs and focus on short-term profitability. But with the ability to succeed and thrive dependent on being able to adapt and respond to new models of working, doing nothing is not an option. The question isn’t “can you afford to update your technology to support remote working”, but “can you afford not to?”

79% of senior business people agree that an “anytime, anywhere” work trend is inevitable. [3]

The benefits of a workforce mobile

So, your employees want to be mobile, and you have to meet this need, but how does doing so help your business to thrive?

  • Attract and retain key staff

With a desire for mobile working established, it follows that meeting this need will help you to attract and keep talented people. Likewise, while salary expectations, pay raises, and bonuses are important to employees, 74% of candidates said they would consider lower pay if a company was deemed a “great place to work” [4]. So, mobile working could help you entice the best people, without you having to pay over the odds.

  • Boost productivity

Every business wants to improve productivity. And, if you set up your mobile processes and tech correctly, you can do just that. In fact, companies that embraced mobility by moving from a client-server to the cloud realise significant cost and operations benefits, including increased productivity [5].

  • Maximise efficiencies

Tech helps mobile staff to do their jobs in the most efficient manner possible. For example, they can check their emails no matter when and where they are, and they can join conference calls outside of the 9-5 without it impacting massively on their free time. Likewise, with a hosted desktop, mobile employees can access key files without any fuss.

  • Improve cashflow

Mobility is about more than just letting staff work remotely; it also requires the streamlining of procedures and improved collaboration and connectivity processes. What this means is that mobile leaders boast an average return on investment (ROI) of 150% thanks to increased agility and the ability to capitalise on new revenue opportunities quickly and easily [6].

Make your workforce mobile

Unsurprisingly, while flexible and mobile working is liberating for your employees, it does provide challenges for business owners and IT managers. So, what can you do to create a successful, productive, and happy mobile workforce that works for you and your staff?

Here are our five top tips.

  1. Be prepared to meet some resistance. For some people, change is hard. Not everyone wants to give up working in a more traditional manner. So, if you’re planning on rolling out mobile working across the board, be prepared for some conflict. Regular engagement and an awareness of those functions/roles not suited to mobile working is a must.
  2. Merge mobility with flexibility. Flexible working is even more important to employees than mobile working. In fact, office workers state that it is the top benefit an employer could offer, with 76% including it in their top three priorities [7].
  3. Put an engagement strategy in place. If you have lots of employees working off-site, it can be difficult to know what’s happening at all times. Put processes in place to engage with staff directly and regularly. Use conference calls, video conferencing, and face-to-face meetings to keep the lines of communication open.
  4. Establish well-defined aims and expectations. 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.
  5. Put the right technology in place. Tech is key to creating an effective mobile workforce. But this doesn’t just mean supplying employees with smartphones. Instead, you have to leverage both fixed and mobile technology. It’s also important to invest in a hosted desktop solution so people can access their data, software, and files wherever they are.

While there are challenges to be faced when it comes to embracing mobile working practices, the rewards – when done right- are undeniable. Perhaps even more imperative, 75% of Europe’s workforce will be mobile by 2018, so it’s crucial that employers adapt now to future-proof their businesses.

Cloud Geeni gives your workforce the ability to access and process information quickly and securely no matter where they are. Allowing employees’ instant access to company data through the use of their own personal or business devices (BYOD or ‘bring-your-own-device’) our secure hosted desktop service ensures your mobile set-up fits the needs of your business.

If you’re thinking about switching to a Hosted Desktop solution to ensure your business is ready for the mobile working revolution, speak to a member of our team on 01942 263 434 to find out more.

[1] BT, The Mobile Multiplier, 2016

[2] BT, The Mobile Multiplier, 2016

[3] Raconteur

[4] Chandler Macleod study

[5] VMWare, State of Business Mobility Report

[6] VMWare, State of Business Mobility Report

[7] BT, The Mobile Multiplier