The world of business continues to change rapidly and this has had an effect in the way the global workforce is sourced, organised and managed. Technology and mobile working have an important role to play in this.
Knowledge, trade, technology, capital and goods are more globally connected today than ever before and nothing suggests that this trend won’t continue in the short to medium term.
Steady growth in emerging markets such as Asia is also creating a considerable increase in the number of employees working outside their home location. Critical shortages in talent in specific markets and skills have contributed to making workforce mobility a management priority.
For example, it is not unthinkable to have a Chinese company engaging a European team to manage an investment or project in Africa. This poses a number of significant challenges. For example, HR will have to comply with different legislations across different time zones.
The key enabler to making mobile working a reality is technology. It is only via electronic devices and online tools that work can be effectively separated from a physical location.
How mobile working can make a difference
Mobile working tools allow your employees to access and input information, collaborate on projects, and stay in touch with colleagues, all via internet-enabled mobile devices, wherever they may be.
The potential and benefits for your business are considerable. By giving your employees the freedom to work wherever they happen to be, you will be increasing productivity within your organisation. This means more efficiency, increased cost savings and a happier workforce.
For anyone working in a city such as London or Manchester and living outside the city centre, for example, the prospect of a train strike poses many challenges. By using mobile working, employees could work remotely, which can make a significant difference in dealing with the strike.
A survey found that nearly one in five office workers would move away from urban areas if they could work remotely. Especially among the younger employees, workplace flexibility and work-life balance are seen as more attractive than pure financial reward.
Here are three things that your business can start doing now to put your team on the mobile-working map.
Start sharing files and data in the cloud
Say goodbye to your firm’s employees having to save their files on their desktop computers. The same goes for documents needing to be emailed across your company and the confusing trail left in the wake of multiple versions of files flying backwards and forwards.
Set up systems where employees can share work files and data in the cloud. By adopting cloud computing, everyone can collaborate on the same files without fear of duplication or working on old files.
And as the documents will be saved in the cloud, they will be secure – so you can say farewell to those awkward moments when a computer stops working and all the files saved on it are lost forever.
Use mobile apps to stay connected on the go
Mobile phones are ubiquitous and with a sheer wealth of apps available, why not take advantage of them and use them for your business?
By using mobile apps, you can allow your employees to stay connected on the go, meaning they can work from home, while they’re at a coffee shop, or even when they are in one of your other business locations in a different part of the country (or part of the world).
The use of mobile apps means those big decisions don’t have to be left on hold until a key member of staff returns to the office. Instead, you can make sure things get done on time and key pieces of work are signed off by the deadline so your business doesn’t fall behind on priorities.
Opt for cloud accounting software to stay on top of the numbers
Imagine you have a meeting with a key client or prospect and you need to have access to your latest financial data. In the past, you would have pulled a few slides together and used that data for your meeting. However, by the time you have that meeting – if you’ve travelled across a few time zones to get there – your data is out of date. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Start using cloud accounting software so you have access to real-time data, which will help for those important meetings and company updates. And by using reports and dashboards that are up to date, you will have the information required to make sense of the insights your people are uncovering.
If your business is working across multiple locations around the globe, having access to a multi-currency and multilingual solution will help your teams to stay on top of the numbers.
By making changes to the way your business operates and adopting technology and mobile working, you will help it to become more agile and productive in a bid to achieve your goals and stay on top of your game.
Providing your employees with the chance to be more flexible in the way that they work will be as beneficial for them as it will be for your business too.