Embrace the change. Mobile is here to stay. Your 14-year-old niece is using her Samsung Galaxy to post photos of her “nail art” on Instagram and your family is using an iPad to stay connected via Facebook. Meanwhile, your customers are using their smartphones to search for local services while on the subway, tweeting you for customer support while waiting to get their oil changed and getting app recommendations from Apps for Execs during a lackluster conference call.
Here, we’ll give you the first four, but if you want to learn all eight tips to make mobility work for your business, listen to our recorded webinar, “The Rise of the Remote Workforce.”
A Pew Research Study found that 91 percent of American adults have mobile phones and 67 percent use mobile devices to access the Internet (this number has doubled since 2009). Our lives are mobile, and business is embracing the change. The move to mobile and instantaneous communication mirrors the transition to a more mobile and often remote workforce. Four out of five employees spend at least some portion of their time working outside of the office and at least half of them say they are expected to get work done no matter where they are.
Businesses worldwide are embracing the rise of a remote workforce as it has been shown to increase worker morale and retention, accessibility to a wider workforce and productivity in some fields, and lends to a more responsive workforce. But with this autonomy also comes challenges, mainly in overcoming the collaboration benefits of in-person communication. Here are some tips for making mobile work for your business.
1. Publish mobile phone numbers (and mean it!)
This isn’t an “in case of emergency” type of device; this is a productivity device. If you’re issuing smartphones to your company or allowing your company email to be on your employees’ personal devices, you are embracing the change…mean it! Publish mobile numbers and encourage calls, emails, texts and chats. This doesn’t mean everyone is on 24×7, but it does mean that location and technology can’t get in the way of getting business done.
2. Use integrated apps
You never realize how much time you waste switching between apps and copying and pasting information until you don’t have to anymore. Try using an application or two that are meant to work together and that provide a seamless experience from one task to another. And better yet, there could be only one password to remember. Password resets (and frustration) will be minimized. Admins of the world can ya hear me!
3. Tailor your solution. There are too many options available for you to have a “one size fits all” option.
There are MANY productivity suites and applications floating around cyberspace. Some are AMAZING and will change the way you do business; some will be amazing for a business but maybe not your business. Let’s face it, some are just hacks. Take some time to read reviews from customers that look like your business (Spiceworks is always a good suggestion), trial the product and ONLY purchase what you need. Most companies offer a basic application that you can build on once you decide it’s right for you. There’s no reason pay for software you don’t need.
4. FREE trial
If you find an app that you think might work for your business, use it! It’s FREE! This is your chance to really test drive the app for around two weeks without financially committing. However, PLEASE set aside the time to actually use the product, call Support and interact with other users to get the full product experience. Otherwise, you’re basing your decision on a pretty interface.