Opinion: Change management: catering for the ultra-mobile workforce

A company’s digital technology is no longer just the concern of IT staff – it has become an integral part of the employee experience says Jane Craven,sales director of Enterprise Solutions UK and Ireland at Sennheiser

There is every chance that you are reading this via a smartphone, perhaps on your way to work, or even hooked up to the local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi. There is an equally strong likelihood that the majority of people sitting around you are also on their smartphone or tablet. We are all well aware of the impact mobile technology has had on the way people interact but it’s the adoption in the workplace which is more of an enigma, particularly as it becomes common place for the modern day employee.

In the past, it could be argued that tech wasn’t the highest priority in the office environment, and that you would just make do. That was until advancements in tech outside of the office walls grew expediently. Smartphones made collaboration between users easier than ever with the use of apps such as WhatsApp and Slack, alongside the rise in sound quality from headsets and speakers manufactures, making calls possible even in nosiest of environments. As a result, running in tandem with these technological innovations, is the employee’s expectation of a flexible working environment. 

Research shows that giving staff the ability to be flexible in the workplace via mobile technology is becoming paramount to keeping them productive and satisfied. The ability to work in any location and at any time while collaborating effectively is the most crucial factor behind loyalty to a company. In what feels like a flash, a strategic and flexible digital workplace has moved from being a simple perk for employees to an expectation that has a direct impact on the level of engagement in their roles. To understand their needs requires a solid understanding of the company’s tech and an audit into how employees prefer to collaborate.

“Today’s employees are now more agile in their working styles than ever before”

Enter the rise of the ‘huddle meetings’. Today’s employees are now more agile in their working styles than ever before, preferring to get the job done quicker, rather than sticking to formal and often slower processes. Needs differ – whether connecting mobile devices to a solitary mobile speaker unit for a conference call on the move, or to take a call from the other side of the building via a Bluetooth headset – and it’s all dependent on the needs of the individual. Understanding these needs are crucial and the ground work of IT departments is the key link to cater for this ‘always available, anywhere’ mentality.

By combining the ability to work remotely in the office, with the ability to collaborate internally via mobile apps or hardware, you are streamlining efficiencies, and increasing the output of your business. Creating an infrastructure where employees are more responsive to the outside world, as well as having the ability to collaborate more efficiently internally, creating a knock on effect to productivity, job satisfaction and ultimately ROI. 

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