A Mobile Workforce Doesn't Have To Be A Productivity Compromise

By Tasso Mangos, CTO and Technology Strategist. CSG

There’s a lot of debate about whether increased mobility is making us more productive. In one corner, you have those who point to the always-on environment, where people can grab an otherwise idle moment (like standing in the coffee queue) to get work done.

In the other, there are those who argue that the mobile environment is too distracting and, outside of the watchful eye of a boss, people often fall prey to the lure of distraction (like a hilarious cat video). What both sides largely miss is that not all mobile is created equal.

Productive Versus Available

Going mobile or remote working is rarely a seamless integration. Perhaps you can access email, forward calls and check messages when you’re out of the office, but it involves manual processes, such as diverting calls or dialling into voicemail.

Even then, there’s always that disrupting hiccup, like a document someone has saved locally so it can’t be accessed until you’re back into the office. Maybe your employees are resorting to workarounds that may have security implications, such as using unapproved storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive.

In fact, Forrester research suggests that when we say that mobile increases productivity, we really mean that we have the capacity be more productive. In a nutshell, we’re more available because we can text a contact in between games of Candy Crush Saga or deal with a work-related call or email when we’re out of the office.

Mobile Is Here To Stay

While our current mobile productivity methods are often less than ideal, they don’t dampen our enthusiasm. Techaisle research suggests that 42 per cent of workers at small and medium-sized business are now m....

Employees, on the whole, are using mobile devices more often, with a survey by Wrike finding that 43 per cent of employees think they’re critical for work. 63 per cent use them for work more now than they did a year ago, and 70 per cent anticipate they’ll be even more reliant on them in the future.

You might see advantages in not having to house staff in the office as well. The ability to telecommute is considered a perk by most employees, with a Global Workplace Analytics survey finding that 37 per cent of technology professionals would accept a 10 per cent pay cut if it meant they could work from home. Not only that, but it can reduce the costs you incur from absences, employee attrition and real estate.

Getting The Right Tools

The challenge then is harnessing the enthusiasm and benefits of mobile and remote working, without compromising functionality. The rise of cloud technologies is making this a reality for more and more small businesses. The ability to access all the documents and applications you need through a browser means people can do everything on a home computer that they can in the office.

Moving to internet-based telephony means your staff can download an app on their smart device and be more than just contactable when out of the office. Customers can reach you no matter where you are and you’ll get all the functionality of an enterprise-grade system at a fraction of the cost.

For too long, there’s been a gap between the promise of mobile or remote working and the reality of what it delivers. Implementing the right technology solution means closing the gap, which is good news for you and your employees.

About CSG

With 30 years of industry experience, CSG is the leading provider of technology-as-a-service across Australia and New Zealand. We offer fully managed IT or a range of print, communications, telephony, display, cloud and mobility solutions.

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