Are your mobile workers equipped to succeed or set up to fail?

Do your workers typically spend 20% or more of their time away from their primary workspace? If so, they are defined as mobile.

Not powering your mobile workers with the right tools to be productive can damage your business. In today’s ‘always on’ world, enabling mobile working is an increasingly vital strategic objective for any business that wants to be successful and grow. And with the following statistics, it is clear to see why mobile working is becoming the norm:

  • 60% of employees’ time is spent away from their desk.1
  • 50% of mobile workers consider a smartphone or tablet to be their primary device.2
  • The global mobile workforce is set to increase to 1.75 billion in 2020.3

Enabling mobile working can bring huge benefits for your business. But it’s important to consider all the key issues, so it works for everyone.

Flexibility is key

Being able to communicate effectively and maintain productivity no matter where your workforce is stationed is the key to competitiveness. That means employees having easy access to the information, contacts and tools they need – wherever they happen to be working.

Attracting and keeping staff

Attracting and retaining employees is an ever-present challenge. The solution increasingly lies in being willing and able to meet their desire for flexibility and choice in where and how they work. A significant 68% of employees believe it is either highly important or relatively important that their employer be a leader in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) adoption.4

Being responsive to clients

Attracting and retaining clients is all about immediacy – getting through to the right person first time, receiving rapid responses to requests for quotes, and being able to communicate outside of office hours.

But, enabling mobile workers to be effective is about more than simply equipping them with a smartphone. Without the right tools, mobile working can have a negative impact on employee productivity. For example, 64% of employees cite poor user experience as the reason for rarely using enterprise mobile apps5 and other common complaints about mobile working include lower job satisfaction, feelings of exclusion and frustration at the inability to perform.

If your mobile workers are lacking in enthusiasm and are not receiving the essential support they need to be efficient and effective, the knock-on effects for your business will quickly also become apparent. Common complaints about mobile working include:

Poor service delivered to clients

This is particularly a problem because mobile workers often can’t be easily contacted when they need to be, or they don’t have the right information at hand to deal with a client’s issue.

Important decisions delayed

When key people are away from the office, or poor decisions are made because people don’t have access to complete information.

Increased risk of security breaches

Commonly because employees end up using non-approved consumer apps to communicate or to store information, as it’s simply easier.

Loss of valuable information

This becomes an issue when an employee leaves and company data or contacts are stored on the worker’s personal phone.

Why you need to step up your mobility approach

We all know business is becoming more and more demanding – increased competition, greater workloads, fewer resources, reduced budgets. The demands of the modern business world mean you need to step up a gear to stay ahead. The following example illustrates how modern hosted communication solutions offer significant advantages to any business with mobile workers.

Being accessible to your clients

The call is from a prospective client who has a requirement for a very large order. It’s a rush job and time is of the essence. It is 5pm but they quickly make a call to a possible supplier, Sam. The client dials Sam’s single number (which works across her landline and mobile). The call is immediately routed through to her by the hosted communications solution that her company recently bought, which knows she is currently mobile. She is quickly able to recognise the importance of the call and greet the client accordingly.

Stay in touch with workers on the move

After discussing the details of the proposal on the phone the client has a number of questions that Sam will need to speak with their colleague about. Sam has the company dial plan available on her mobile and simply selects the single number for her colleague, who recognises this as a business call and answers immediately. Sam discusses the prospective client’s questions and gets all the answers and information back to the client with ease.

Keep communication simple

The client then asks Sam to join a conference call with the Head of Purchasing, who is in the office for another hour and then on leave, and wants to talk through the terms of the contract. The client emails the conference call meeting invitation to Sam, and the conference details appear in her mobile inbox. With all the information available she simply dials in from her business number and joins the call on time.

Enabling effective mobile working

After the conference call, a new call comes through to the inbound sales enquiry number. As Sam is using a converged communication solution, hunt group calls are routed directly to her mobile. She can see that it’s from an unknown person, calling into the sales enquiry line. Sam prepares for a moment before engaging with a hot new lead.

In each scenario the client gets the quick and efficient response they need. Sam arrives home in a fantastic mood. She is awarded the contract and has a brand new prospect to get working on. The tools she has been provided with by her company have supported her and aided her success. Hosted communication solutions are built with mobile workers in mind and can help to transform the mobile working experience – delivering significant benefits for both the business and employee and as a result, they’re fast replacing the traditional PBX in many workplaces.

By adopting this smart solution, it can help your business unleash its full potential, delivering higher productivity and responsiveness, increased employee morale and engagement, improved collaboration, better client experience, lower risks of security breaches and loss of valuable information and lower operational costs.
2ZK Research
3Global Mobile Workforce Forecast, 2015-2020, Strategy Analytics, 2015
4Mobility and the Future of Unified Communications and Collaboration, Ovum Dimension Data, 2013
5The State of Enterprise Mobile Security”, Forrester, 2014