Why charities should consider mobilising their workforce
Mobilising your workforce with can lead digital transformation – allowing for greater flexibility without sacrificing security
This article is sponsored by The Frontier Group – an industry-leading business technology provider, specialising in mobile connectivity, and its solutions, as well as tailored solutions for the charity industry.
The way we work has changed.
Globalisation, advances in tech, and changes in our work culture have drastically altered our working landscape.
The way in which organisations manage resources has also changed– with increased flexibility in terms of where, when, and how we work. As we join a more global marketplace, we may need to work across different time zones, travel for business, or work from home. This can have huge benefits, allowing greater flexibility for employees, and reducing downtime and presenteeism.
A major report, entitled Mobility, Performance and Engagement, saw companies rated as “pioneers” in the support of mobile technology experience a 16% rise in productivity, an 18% rise in creativity, a 23% rise in employee satisfaction and a 21% rise in loyalty, when compared with enterprises rated poorly. Why was this the case?
Mobilising – Connectivity and Efficiency
There are almost 8.5 billion mobile connections globally and counting, up nearly 5% year-on-year.
Implementing mobilisation can be a key driver behind digital transformation. Mobile enables the creation and sharing of information at a faster rate than sole reliance upon a traditional office environment. Access to mobile technology can allow employees greater flexibility and can help improve productivity and reduce downtime.
We all form part of an increasingly mobile workforce. Perhaps you checked your emails on your commute this morning? Maybe you joined a video call from a coffee shop on your lunch break, or sent a colleague some files whilst working from home? You could well have done all of these things within the last week. Whether you’re a remote worker, or simply in an office WhatsApp group that lets you know when it’s your turn to pick up the milk, almost all of us have a remote working component to our jobs.
On-demand video and mobile apps for real-time tracking and expense reporting also transform our working experience. As more and more of us incorporate ‘mobile’ elements into our working lives, traditional remote roles also benefit from continued technological advances and improved efficacy of their mobile devices.
Corporate Owned Devices
According to Small Business Trends, the average worker now uses 2.3 devices. This could include a laptop, a smartphone and a tablet, among other hardware options. These devices allow staff members to stay connected from anywhere and remain productive whilst working from home or travelling.
For organisations looking to equip workers with mobile devices, there are a number of options available. These include COBO (Corporate-owned, business only) COPE (Corporate-owned, personally-enabled) and COYD (Choose your own device.) These options allow organisations to choose how much flexibility they want to afford their people.
Charities that rely largely on volunteers may benefit from mobilising their people. A lack of a traditional office environment need no longer deter organisations from recruiting a strong digital workforce. And the flexibility afforded by remote working through the use of mobile devices can be a major selling point in attracting highly-skilled digital workers in the volunteer sector.
For organisations deploying people in field roles, mobile technology offers organisations a better means of tracking labour costs, optimising schedules and equipment availability, and improving communication between employees. A mobile-centric approach to workforce management can allow organisations to implement a higher degree of customer service, with field workers and customer service operatives able to perform tasks and respond to new information faster than ever.
Remote access workers can enjoy greater flexibility and connectivity. These workers can be in danger of being ‘siloed’ in an organisation – by mobilising your organisation these workers can actually enjoy a great amount of connectivity.
Remote access can be used to retain high-value talent within your organisation. Whether offered as a benefit (i.e. working from home one day a week to cut down on commuting) or to help those unable to make it into the office to continue working, remote work via mobile or mobile-enabled devices will allow organisations to attract and maintain a diverse talent pool.
Mobilising can enable you to gain flexibility by allowing your employees to work remotely and/or from multiple devices – without sacrificing security. Mobile Device Management gives you control over all of your devices – not only for business protection but for the protection of your staff as well. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is a type of software that sits on your devices, enabling you to control what it can and can’t be used for. It has a number of features and can be used to lock down handsets for work purposes only, to blacklist apps such as Facebook and YouTube, and to ensure data usage is kept to a minimum.
Mobile devices are prized for their convenience, but they are also easily lost or stolen. Therefore, sensitive data either stored on or accessible from these devices is vulnerable. EMM prevents unauthorised access to apps or corporate data on mobile devices. This can be through password protection, encryption, or even remote locking, blocking, and wiping of lost or stolen handsets to protect sensitive organisational or personal data. This allows an admin to delete all data from a misplaced device.
Mobilising Collaboration – Apps/Content Libraries
Around 42% of enterprises are now using digital collaboration tools that work on mobile – (This figure is far higher than the average in the UK, at 56%) – while mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp are used in 31% of organisations. This ease of access to information, and the ability to work whilst in transit, are some of the key benefits.
Mobilising can improve communication and collaboration throughout an organisation. Push notifications can be sent to staff, including urgent messages or rota changes. Content can be released into a company library, accessible from every device. This not only inspires collaboration between employees but makes working on projects with freelancers or remote workers much easier. With a centralised pool of assets to draw from, remote workers and office-based workers should be able to collaborate on projects efficiently.
Organisations that see their employees travelling can lose plenty of work hours. Mobile connectivity allows these workers to turn wherever they are into an office – meaning that productivity is not affected to the same degree and that work on the go is not limited to checking emails.