Today’s workers carry smartphones, tablets and laptops that connect them with colleagues and job tasks wherever they go. Collaboration apps have exploded in recent years, and now even most basic business software — to make spreadsheets, documents and presentations — has become cloud-based and portable.
The result is a truly mobile workforce that can accomplish virtually anything without setting foot in the office.
Yet many organizations are not keeping pace and their managers are stuck in an old style of management thinking. They’re still living in the 20th century.
In her research on the “smart workplace,” Trina Hoefling sees three top concerns of today’s managers:
1. Are my employees really working? How do I know?
2. When I can’t see my employees, how can I stay connnected?
3. Flex employees, often working remotely, make my job more complicated. Why do it?
Professionals in a modern digital workplace must live, learn, play, think, and work together better, often virtually across organization and other boundaries. They need to do all these things better. Collaboration may be the critical success factor for professional effectiveness.
An important factor of success is using the right communications and document sharing platforms, so that workers have easy access to the people and content they need from any location or device.
A recent HP study found that 60% of workers prefer using their smart phone to their laptop to complete tasks, despite the fact that 68% of them find it easier to access files from a laptop. Also interesting was that 65% of the same group experienced difficulty transferring content to their phones, showing the disconnect between how people want to work and how their existing workplace tech set up prevents them from working effectively.
Digtial workers find similar problems when trying to communicate with their colleagues. Between texting, email, phone and video calling, it’s not always clear what is the best way to communicate.
This is a software problem and it’s holding back many busineses. The Chelsea Apps Factory discovered that 7.5 million working days each week are being lost by staff because the workplace tech wasn’t good enough.
Fortunately, rapid innnovation in cloud-based communications platforms has developed and made available the solutions that a mobile, digital workforce needs. It’s time for every business to re-evaluate how they conduct their digital communications.