Mobile Workforce – Transition through Technical Progress
Smartphone, iPad, Laptop – the rapid technical developments of the previous century have changed our lifestyle drastically. Mobile devices with their host of functions are also applicable to business objectives, and provide, the technological basis for modern labor according to the mobile workforce model.
Modern mobile devices with their overwhelming number of cross media functions like internet access, word processing, email, social media and applications (apps) allow users to perform a variety of operations at any time in any place. Communicating, getting informed, researching, developing concepts and taking part in discussions are no problem today with portable digital gadgets. The impressive technological innovations which transferred these tasks to handy formats, can also be applied to commercial, organizational and administrative purposes, and constitute the ideal basis for individually defined work. The use of a mobile workforce, which means one no longer bound to the corporate office space, represents a steadily increasing trend in today’s job market. Their share of the total personnel volume in Western Europe and the USA already amounts to over 50 and 70 percent respectively (IDC study).
Mobile Workforce as a Modern Work Model
With mobile technologies, which make important information available anywhere for companies and institutions, employees can attend to various tasks and assignments outside of the office as well.
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Rotating between work sites like conference rooms, branch offices, partner companies and the home office has become very pervasive thanks to newly developed devices. In the field of activities that traditionally belonged to the mobile workforce, for example technical, sales and delivery services, mobile high-tech instruments facilitate the efficient scheduling of personnel and work processes, as well as communication between employees and consumers. But with the multitude of practical, mobile accessible online apps, social networks and cloud computing services, a transition in office work has also been introduced and made the mobile work model attractive there.
Mobile Workforce – More Freedom for Employees
A mobile workforce influences the corporate culture, types of teamwork and office organization. By having predominantly digital documents, fewer computers and local work spaces, facilities are required which are adapted to the situation. The new mobility concept has several advantages for employees: usually they have the flexibility to set their work hours, can freely choose their work location and organize it according to their needs. The mobile employed align their specific form of work with their habits and resources, and deliberately contact their team colleagues as necessary. This flexible work style allows them more freedom to develop creative potential. They can seek out locations specific to their personal preferences and tasks, and arrange for the use of various devices depending on their situation: for example PCs in the home office, laptops in team meetings, tablets for customer calls, or smart phones on the road.
Mobile Workforce Increases Productivity
Companies themselves profit from the application of a mobile workforce: with flexible manpower firms increase their productivity, sometimes significantly, because data can be more easily recorded and collected with mobile devices. Via a mobile device events important to business can also be reported faster, and communicated to employees in an uncomplicated manner. A mobile workforce improves the support and advising of customers. Often decisions can be better arrived at and problem-solving approaches found more easily. Mobile technical equipment makes people independent of location. In addition it allows employees to distribute information to a larger user audience, and to involve colleagues working in distant locations in the work processes. These technologies also make it possible for companies to occupy a workforce in an increasingly project-based manner.
Mobile Workforce – Economically Efficient Work Form
The use of a mobile workforce is particularly economically efficient for companies. As studies have shown, mobile working often increases employee performance considerably, as they voluntarily invest more time in their tasks when working in their home office. Mobile workers must waste fewer hours on daily commutes, devote themselves more attentively to their work in familiar surroundings, and are less frequently affected by interruptions. Because a mobile workforce is active outside of the company offices, and mostly use their own electronic devices, firms are often able to save considerable costs on office rent, equipment, heating / air conditioning and power consumption.
On the other hand, it can seem problematic to flexible employees to be reachable and available to the company around the clock, which they potentially experience as a limitation of personal privacy. The mobile workforce model requires companies to face the difficult task of developing strategies to ensure the collaboration of the online networked, mobile employees and to evaluate their performance appropriately. An additional challenge for businesses is to assure the upkeep of the devices used by the mobile employees, and to protect the data, saved during the work process and passed on through the internet, social media or cloud computing, from loss, misuse and manipulation.