Rise of the Mobile Workforce: How to Unlock Powerful Collaboration When People Work from Anywhere
December 28, 2020
The modern office is anything but.
COVID has accelerated the move to remote work for many organizations. Combine that with the widespread availability of fast, reliable and low-cost connectivity, and it’s no surprise that the workforce is more mobile than ever.
The shift has been accelerated even further by the changing demographics of the workforce—by 2030, more than 70 percent of the workforce will be Millennials and members of Gen Z. Those are generations very comfortable with unconventional working hours and non-traditional office setups.
What is a Mobile Workforce?
Mobile workforce is the term used to describe a group of workers who work outside a traditional office setting. That can mean people who work in places like their cars (e.g., rideshare drivers or restaurant delivery workers) or people who work from wherever they deem productive (e.g., those who work from home or at a remote work hub).
The idea of leveraging technology to work from somewhere besides an office is not new, of course. “Telecommuting” was popularized in the 1970s when NASA scientist Jack Nilles successfully executed a complex project remotely and championed the advantages of working from a non-centralized location. The idea only got more popular over time. Terms like “deskless worker,” “lone worker,” “disparate worker,” “mobile worker,” “remote worker” and more are used to describe these types of arrangements.
Today, in the wake of COVID-19, there’s an even greater appetite for arrangements where workers don’t have to be in the same place or work at the same time. And working environments like this open up new collaboration possibilities, such as the ability to work seamlessly with people from across departments and across the world.
Benefits of a Mobile Workforce
The advantages of a mobile workforce are many.
First, it’s a draw to your workers. Millennials and Gen Z-ers are a huge part of the workforce, and it’s no secret that their view of when and where to work is more fluid than previous generations’.
Second, it offers lots of flexibility. That’s not just flexibility in the when, where and how work gets done. Embracing a mobile workforce allows organizations to draw from a much larger talent pool—theoretically, the entire world—when looking to fill roles.
In addition, a mobile workforce model can lead to happier, more productive and more engaged employees. Why? The remote work model helps workers cut commute time dramatically. It can also help them achieve a more healthy work-life balance by allowing for flexible schedules and more time with family.
How to Engage Your Mobile Workforce
One of the biggest concerns to address with the shift to the mobile workforce is how to preserve the unique office culture that comes with traditional working arrangements.
Engagement and productivity go hand-in-hand. When your employees feel satisfied with their work situation, their productivity should naturally increase, and your organization may enjoy lower turnover rates.
But when there’s no more “water cooler” for employees to gather around, and when there are no office parties or shared moments of socialization in hallways or common spaces—can your organization keep everyone feeling connected and motivated?
Interestingly, a Stanford study found that productivity generally increases in remote work arrangements in large part due to the blurring of personal and professional boundaries.
With this logic, the remote workforce could be a positive for employees and employers alike. Employees get the benefit of getting to work when and where they feel most comfortable. Meanwhile, employers get the benefit of workers who feel happier overall and who may work longer hours due to not having to commute. With the right connectivity solution, your employees won’t miss a beat even if working outside the office, as they’ll have easy access to work materials and resources around the clock.
Keeping your mobile workforce engaged is an important and worthwhile goal that requires careful planning. Check out our tips for how to promote collaboration and productivity in the new mobile workforce.
The growth of the mobile workforce is a trend that has been happening since before COVID-19, and it’s only picked up steam with recent events.
As organizations all around the world embrace the benefits of remote work, many are wondering how to keep engagement and productivity high. They’re also looking for the right tools that will help employees collaborate just as well remotely as they would if they were all in the same office.
With a great modern intranet and collaboration hub like Jive, your organization will be able to promote powerful corporate communication and unlock modern collaboration with a platform that’s tailor-made to meet the needs of the growing mobile workforce.
Ready to learn more? Contact us to hear more about how Jive is the perfect intranet for your mobile workforce and get your personalized demo.
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