Mobile Adoption: The Tipping Point for Improving Employee Communication

Mobile has given us incredible freedom to work anywhere, anytime, anyplace across the boundaries that used to be restricted,” says Alan Lepofsky of Constellation Research, a Silicon Valley-based research firm. According to the results of the company’s most recent Future of Work survey, a majority of the 500 organizations (with 1,000 or more employees) surveyed believe that leveraging mobile in their businesses should be a top priority. The problem, says Lepofsky, is that few of them are doing an effective job at mobile transformation. “A large gap exists between what companies know they should be doing and what they have currently accomplished” he says.

An Opportunity to Improve Communications

While nearly half of the companies ranked improved communication, enhanced collaboration and increased productivity in their business apps as most important, only around a third said they are doing a good job of providing their workforce with the tools necessary to succeed in those areas. Lepofsky calls the results staggering. “This provides a huge opportunity for improvement,” he says.

Importance vs. Effectiveness

The 4 Stages of Mobile Transformation

Lepofsky, who describes mobile as a way of working rather than a set of devices, believes organizations go through 4 stages while transitioning to mobile. Stages 1 and 2 are planning stages in which a company begins to develop the infrastructure and starts making its existing tools and processes available on mobile devices. By stage 3, companies are beginning to take advantage of mobile-specific device features like GPS and cameras. Stage 4 is the real transformation—that’s the point at which businesses implement brand new tools and processes that make mobile the default way of working. Fewer than half of the respondents in the Constellation survey were in the final stage, however. Stages of Mobile Transformation

Mobile Increases Productivity

Today’s mobile devices featuring tools that replace the applications once reserved for desktop computers not only promise improvements in internal communications and increases in productivity; they actually deliver. Recently, research and consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics reviewed more than 500 studies on telecommuting and discovered huge benefits for organizations that have already transitioned to a more mobile workforce. More than two-thirds of employers reported productivity gains of between 15-45% among their offsite employees. Imagine the productivity gains your company could enjoy by making the move to mobile today!

Mobile Equals Engaged Employees

According to a new ConnectSolutions survey, 40% of workers said they were “able to conduct at least half of their total workload on a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.” In addition, researchers have found that engaged employees report higher levels of job satisfaction (38%), are less likely to quit (24%) and feel more connected to their colleagues (61%). What could your company do with those kinds of benefits?

The Pain Points to Full Mobile Transformation

With advantages like increased productivity, a happier workforce and lower turnover, giving employees effective mobile communication tools would seem like a no-brainer for most businesses. So why is the strategic alignment between what companies say they want and what they’re actually doing so out of sync? The challenges are twofold, says Lepofsky:

Technology Challenges

The challenges to mobile adoption from a technology standpoint are a few things like battery life and the availability and speed of connectivity. Lepofsky admits there isn’t much a company can do about the technology; that’s up to device manufacturers and vendors, but he says that it’s improving all the time.

Technology Challenges

Cultural Challenges

The biggest cultural challenge comes down to employee concerns about the pressure to always be available, says Lepofsky. It’s the idea of, “if I can always be connected, should I always be connected?’” He says a new generation of mobile apps—some of which are available today—will go a long way toward alleviating those worries. “We’re going to see some things from a technology standpoint that are going to make us much more comfortable with this pressure to always be available,” he says.

Cultural Challenges

The Future: Today

New employee engagement apps and tools help eliminate interrupting technologies such as email and texting in favor of providing employees only the targeted information and news they need. In fact, the next generation of mobile communication tools offer employees seamless solutions in their work life that are similar to those they’re already experiencing in their consumer life, says Lepofsky. “I’m really excited about that.” Watch Constellation Research’s Alan Lepofsky discuss the advantages of mobile adoption and the future of work.

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