The work environment is nothing like it was a decade ago. Employees worked on desktops in the office and laptops were limited to senior managers. As for smartphones, well, they were just introduced.
Fast forward to today, staffers don’t need to be in the office to complete their tasks productively and efficiently. With more people working from various locations and out on the roads conducting meetings, the mobile workforce is on the rise.
US Telecommuting Forecast by Forrester Research revealed that 34 million Americans are working from home, and by the end of 2016, this number was expected to reach 63 million, accounting for 43 percent of the US workforce.
Technology has been the key to this growth. Without the right tools, it would have been hectic for employees to solve a multitude of problems that an organization may face while working remotely. No wonder Slack and other remote tools have enjoyed tremendous growth.
Empowering Your Mobile Workforce
If you’re currently managing a mobile workforce, you can take advantage of solutions that make day-to-day work life of your team simpler. Below are some recommendations for 2016:
- Scheduling Software
When employees are outside meeting rooms, collaboration becomes a real challenge. With Asure Software, employees are given access to empty rooms near their locality and are allowed to book resources with a tap on a mobile device. With real-time data and schedules, you can keep your labor expenses and productivity at optimal levels.
Additionally, organizations can look into business analytics solutions to complement scheduled meetings. With such tools, employees can access a stock of standard reports or insert custom data via an open API to current repositories. This gives them the ability to view real-time data in meetings, which helps them align their strategies to better meet business needs while driving cost savings in the corporate strategy.
- Communication software
The biggest challenge of having a mobile workforce isn’t dealing with the dispersion of your staff members but reducing the communication gap between your team members. Streamlining communication is probably a test for all types of teams but requires greater effort for a mobile workforce. For instance, team members can’t leverage each other’s skills and assets because they’re not having discussions around a physical table in the office.
Communication software is a blessing in disguise for this scenario. You can use it to create channels for various conversations that take place in different environments, such as chatting over the water cooler or brainstorming around the whiteboard. Team members can use these tools to exchange private messages (which can’t be viewed by customers) and collaborate on solving support tickets. Messaging software is also replacing email as the preferred method of communication.
- Time Zone Software
It’s amazing how this area is often neglected. Everyone on the mobile workforce needs to know what 9 am is for the company. For instance, if the company is targeting customers in the CET time zone, team members from Asia, Pacific (live chat support, ticker support, etc.) need to tune in at that time.
Time zone software ensures that the mobile workforce stays on top of the time zone that’s preferable for the company. Advanced solutions enable everyone to type in specific time zones and places to get the exact times for people who may not be working out of major cities.
With these tools, you can enhance the productivity of your mobile workforce. Please leave a comment if you can suggest additional tools for increasing the productivity in a dispersed work environment.