Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

The Expanding Role Of Mobility In The Workplace

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Aug 30, 2017 3:31 PM

Mobility within the workplace was once something to aspire to, a goal to be met at some point. That point has come. Mobility is now mainstream in the modern workplace. For the businesses that haven't already implemented mobility, doing so can seem daunting. The truth is, the longer those businesses wait to catch up with the pack, the further behind they'll be.

The good news is that it doesn't have to go that way. A thorough understanding of the expanding role of mobility within the workplace is the first step to keeping up with other businesses and reaping the benefits for your own.

What is Workplace Mobility?

Workplace mobility simply refers to employees' ability to move around freely and work from anywhere with their preferred device. There are two branches of mobility.

• External mobility refers to employees working while out of the office. This can be the case when they're working with a coworker somewhere, working from home or working while on the go.

• Internal mobility refers to employees working within an office, but not while confined to their desk. They might be working individually or within a group, but there's no limit within the space as to where they can be while working.

What are the Benefits?

Workplace mobility wouldn't be experiencing an expanded role if it weren't delivering benefits, both tangible and intangible. Here are just a few of those benefits:

• Improved flexibility--Employees can complete their work in almost any situation, at almost any location. Even within offices that focus on internal mobility, the improved flexibility allows employees to get away from a desk or cubicle without sacrificing productivity.

• Enhanced communication--When there's mobility in the workplace, common snafus like half the office missing out on an important email are less likely to happen. Additionally, employees can communicate in situations that require separation, such as while combing through a huge warehouse. This allows for collaboration that makes the task more efficient.

• Increased productivity--The technology that comes with a mobile workplace allows for tools that can monitor and spur productivity. While there are understandable concerns that a mobile workplace would hinder productivity, a CIO study found that employees doing work on their own devices, a common hallmark of workplace mobility, actually results in a net gain in productivity.

• Greater engagement--When employees go to work, sit for eight hours and go home, there's detachment to their work. When employees have the flexibility that mobility brings, in addition to being more tightly connected to their coworkers, they have a greater stake in the work they do. This feeds into increased productivity, as well.

• Increased revenue potential--Employees who have access to the best tools for their jobs, within an environment that makes them more productive and efficient, are going to perform better, which leads to a higher bottom-line number.

Per Forbes, mobility leads to 30 percent better processes and 23 percent more productivity, with significantly happier employees. That seems like a direction worth taking.

How to Implement Workplace Mobility?

Workplace mobility is the way to go, but how do you implement it for your business? Dramatic change can cause problems for even the most tech-savvy employees. A gradual, long-term plan is key. You can start by providing technology that encourages mobility, such as a long-range cordless phone, getting the network ready and meeting with shareholders.

As you progress, here are some things to keep in mind:

Apps are the way forward. When your employees are exercising their mobility, their interaction with their device will be through apps. Invest in those that aid your business, and promote those apps in which you invested. In doing so, you encourage employees to jump on the bandwagon, and you make it easier for them to perform better.

• Address security concerns. Most employees who are hesitant to welcome mobility in the workplace, specifically in the case of bringing their own device, are wary because of security concerns. Make sure you have something in place to ease their worries.

As the world becomes busier and the concept of a workplace becomes more abstract, mobility will help your business adapt in a highly beneficial way. It's not the simplest transition to make, but with all the positives it provides, it's more than worth it.

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