The idea of a mobile workforce may appear novel, but that isn’t the case. The term “telecommuting” was developed in 1972 when Jack Nilles worked remotely on a sophisticated NASA communication project. Organizations gradually accepted that mobile employees did not need to be physically present in the office to do their tasks.
Being a mobile worker has become considerably more convenient thanks to technological advancements. Companies are attempting to keep up with the increased need for seamless technology (and infrastructure) for mobile employees, given that they are heavy users of technology outside of the workplace.
This is especially important to streamline workforce management and provide the flexibility that today’s generation requires. In this article, we take you through the fundamentals of mobile workforce management technology, its advantages, disadvantages, and tips.
What is a Mobile Workforce?
A mobile workforce is a group operating outside a traditional office setting. These professionals are also restricted to those who work from home, including deskless workers, such as retail personnel, insurance salespeople, and field workers like Uber drivers. This sort of worker does not define a remote workforce. It is also determined by the technology that enables employees of this workforce to perform their duties. A mobile workforce reflects the transition to data and geographic mobility to support modern work’s “anytime, anyplace” aspect.
Mobile workforce management solutions play a crucial role in optimizing the productivity of these professionals. Cloud computing, for instance, is one technology that has assisted in this huge transition. Employees may access data saved in the cloud from anywhere, making it simpler to stay connected while mobile. Another essential element of a remote workforce is flexibility, which is especially relevant for hybrid workers who may divide their time between office and remote work. Workforce scheduling technology makes the type of employment and the pressures hourly workers face to adhere to strict shift timings less difficult.
In addition to managing a mobile workforce, monitoring and enhancing employee performance are vital. Companies often encourage using employees’ own devices (BYOD) for increased flexibility, which requires proper security measures. Performance management in a mobile workforce context is essential to ensure that remote or field workers meet their targets and align with the company’s objectives.
Even on company premises, the influence of technology in a mobile workforce setting is significant. Over time, the number of mobile workers has steadily increased. With the correct technology, we can now record conversations on our phones, use transcription software, snap photographs of difficult situations, and send them over in seconds, and, with the right technology, even use augmented reality to repair a refrigerator causing customers problems. These technological advancements are integral to the success of a mobile workforce, whether on-site or remote.
Pros & Cons of Mobile Workforce
Technology is changing people’s perceptions of what a regular job looks like. The office, formerly a central site where managers and employees congregated daily to plan and accomplish company operations, has evolved into a much more flexible concept as organizations allow employees to work remotely.
Today’s workers may work from their homes, holiday cottages, coffee shops, libraries, parks, and other locations. To emphasize the fully mobile notion, employees may check email, write papers, collaborate on projects, and enter data from moving places such as vehicles, trucks, aircraft, trains, and buses.
Any worker can argue that the cubicle and meeting room are useless using a range of technology such as internet hotspots, tablets, laptops, and smartphones, as well as software or apps such as cloud-based documents and video conferencing.
A corporation must answer whether just about all its employees can operate as efficiently outside of the office as they do within. Examine the benefits and drawbacks of allowing a diverse workplace to determine if this employee strategy suits your company.
The Pros of Mobile Workforce
A remote workforce may provide your company with several advantages that can aid in its development, productivity, and profitability, including:
- Allow Mobile Workforce Management: According to research, employees who can work from home are also more productive and satisfied. Avoiding lengthy and unpleasant journeys minimizes workplace stress and expenses. Setting up workers to accomplish tasks, answer calls, or contribute to your company’s success is as simple as connecting to the internet.
- Savings on Expenses: Businesses might save money by renting or purchasing less space for central facilities as more workers work from home. Workers with flexible workspaces have a place to go to the workplace.
- Better Time Management: Because workers may readily connect to work via smartphones, tablets, and laptops, previously unproductive periods can now be used to perform a range of projects and activities. Employees may check and send emails, write and modify documents, and complete other work wherever they are via Wi-Fi or hotspots of mobile devices.
The Cons of Mobile Workforce
While a mobile workforce has numerous benefits, it also has significant drawbacks.
- Increases Possible Security Threats: Consider the higher risk of security risks before expanding your remote staff. Organizations with a large remote workforce are much more exposed to cybercrime and internet security issues than companies with office staff. However, with appropriate workforce planning, this issue may be readily averted.
- Reduces The Effectiveness of Communication: Workers who operate from home have a unique communication style. They communicate with their classmates using mobile devices, including cell phones, tablets, and computers. As previously said, these teams are frequently more diversified. These two variables are often positive, but they can have a detrimental impact on communication effectiveness. Working online and in groups with varied communication styles necessitates a unique workplace etiquette.
- Collaboration is Reduced: Employees working from home have the potential to stifle cooperation. Face-to-face engagement makes it simpler to immediately express ideas and opinions meaningfully, which is more difficult online.
Tips to Maintain Mobile Workforce
ntaining a mobile workforce can be a productive and efficient way to run a business, but it also comes with challenges. Here are some tips to help you effectively manage and maintain a mobile workforce:
Effective communication is vital for the mobile workforce. Use tools like email, messaging mobile apps, video conferencing, and project management software to stay connected with remote workers. Encourage open and regular communication.
Implement robust data security measures to protect sensitive company information. Use VPNs, encryption, and secure file-sharing solutions to keep sensitive data safe.
Flexible Work Hours:
Allow flexible work hours to accommodate different time zones and personal preferences. Focus on results rather than micromanaging when and where work is done.
Training and Development:
Offer remote employees opportunities for training and skill development. It helps them grow and enhances their value to the company.
Foster a sense of belonging and teamwork among remote workers. Organize virtual team-building activities, meetings, and social events to build connections.
Pay attention to the well-being of your remote employees. Encourage breaks, vacations, and a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout.
Educate remote employees about cybersecurity best practices to minimize the risk of data breaches and security incidents.
Remote Work Policy:
Establish a comprehensive remote work policy that outlines all expectations, guidelines, and rules for remote employees. Make sure all employees are aware of and adhere to this policy.
By implementing these tips, you can effectively manage and maintain a mobile workforce, ensuring that your remote employees remain productive and connected to your organization’s goals.
The mobile workforce allows workers to work remotely and has provided various competitive benefits for many businesses, including higher productivity and a more diversified workplace. However, it would help if you considered how you’ll deal with the difficulties it may bring.
One of the most successful methods for firms to get the most out of their mobile workforce is to increase diversity awareness and good communication skills via training.
Are you ready to foster a work environment where everyone can achieve their full potential? With QuestionPro Workforce, you can learn how to gather ongoing employee feedback and take action to affect your business positively.