The workplace today is very different than it was 20 years ago. Take a look around at the technology you use every day, it’s a safe bet that most of it didn't even exist then. Consider globalization and outsourcing, and it's obvious that jobs today are very different from what they looked like five, ten, twenty or thirty years ago. CALL TODAY: 505.899.4492
Development of the mobile workforce
Today, the key phrase for business efficiency is mobility. It started with telecommuting, where employees could work from home at times. From there it has morphed into full-blown mobility, where employees live and work on the internet, connected by the smart phones they carry everywhere. The business environment is changing rapidly.
There is no denying that mobility is the way of the future. Home offices are cost-efficient, and smart phones are ubiquitous and more powerful than ever. Teleconferencing and video calls take the place of many business meetings. Employees change jobs frequently, and often change locations too. It seems that old-style offices are never fully occupied anymore, since so many workers do their jobs elsewhere.
Considerations for a mobile workforce
This employee mobility offers numerous benefits to an organization. Office costs are lower, as less floor space and facilities are required. It is easier and cheaper to deploy staff to handle any critical situation on the ground when you already have someone who is fully equipped and prepared to work from a remote location. This gives an organization greater agility in responding to situational needs.
Mobility is also a lifestyle benefit for employees, giving them location flexibility, and the opportunity to avoid commute time. This makes a company more desirable, and makes it easier to recruit highly skilled employees, and keep them happy. On the other hand, Human Resources and company management also need to make employees feel like part of a cohesive team, even though they no longer have the same office interaction as in the past. HR should plan ways to keep teams focused and working together toward company objectives, along with mechanisms for interaction, feedback, and recognition.
Another component to consider in planning for mobility is making sure that the company's infrastructure is accessible to mobile workers, too. If you regularly make certain services available to employees in the office, can your mobile workers access it as well? Planning for this keeps local and mobile workers on even ground.
Moving to an increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce does take some planning and effort, but the benefits can be substantial. This is the way the business world is moving, so the sooner you implement this at your company, the better off your organization will be.