If, in the past couple of years, you’ve attended a conference where employee wellbeing and technology were on the agenda, you’ve probably heard the term “mobility” thrown around quite frequently. In the working world, it refers to a trend toward a shift in work habits, with more employees working out of the office and using mobile devices and cloud services to perform business tasks. Another important aspect of mobility is the mobility of corporate data.
While much of the attention around the topic concerns security (specifically regarding corporate data on personal devices), it’s important to remember that it’s driven by employees’ desires to work when and how they want. And if you work with, rather than against, those desires, there’s every chance your workforce will be more productive.
It allows them to get out of the office
You might like the idea of everyone coming into the office at the same time every morning, giving everything they have for eight hours and then going home. The truth, however, is that offices seldom work that way. For many, they’re places of distraction at best and sites of total misery at worst.
Allow those same employees to work remotely and they start to really enjoy their jobs, their productivity levels increasing simultaneously. Interestingly, even people who like being in the office, work better remotely.
Thing is, it wouldn’t be possible to even have that conversation without the various technologies — smartphones, laptops, cloud storage facilities — that enable mobility.
It can help kill the commute
Even if you still want your employees in the office, you can give their productivity a major boost by allowing mobility to eliminate the worst part of their day: the daily commute.
According to a 2014 study, commuting makes us profoundly unhappy and anxious. “Holding all else equal, commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non-commuters,” the report said.
Knowing that, imagine how much happier your employees would be if you instituted “critical hours”. That is, set times when they have to be at the office and the ability to work from home while everyone else battles traffic, or crowded trains and buses.
It means less down-time
This is one of those instances where your employees don’t have to be out of the office to get the full benefit of mobility. If you’ve worked at a company that runs its own physical servers, you’ll know all too well how painful it is when one goes down. A good cloud service provider that takes care of everything from updates to security and maintenance makes that much less of a problem.
The same goes for other cloud services, such as your accounting software, which can be updated on the fly. That means no long waits while the IT department installs the latest version of a particular programme.
Mobility encourages collaboration
As companies realise that their employees’ individual talents are best employed together, so they’re increasingly drawn to collaboration.
And as it turns out companies that invest in collaborative technologies see productivity increases of up to 400%.
Many of those technologies are the same that enable employee mobility with workers able to access and work on files and documents from wherever they are, be that on a plane, at a client’s headquarters, or at home.
A culture of responsibility
Ultimately however, mobility can only go so far when it comes to improving employee productivity. If your company is going to make the most of it, then everyone has to embrace the technologies that enable mobility. Get that right, and you’ll see serious rewards.