Should businesses in Ireland be doing more to enable mobile workstyles?
The demographic of the workplace has changed with more people working from home and on the move. Despite this, businesses in Ireland are failing to embrace and enable mobile workstyles for employees.
According to Ricoh Ireland’s 2017 Workstyle Innovation Survey, in association with TechPro magazine and involving 175 IT decision-makers from private and public sector organisations across Ireland, only 37% of workers have authorisation and the remote access tools to enjoy a mobile workstyle. This highlights a major concern for companies.
The benefits of enabling mobile workstyles
Due to the demand for mobility, it is vital that businesses adopt a structure which enables employees to access company systems, applications and data outside the office. For the majority of workers, this is still not possible which means they are unable to fulfil the responsibilities of their jobs effectively and efficiently from wherever they are.
This is surprising when you consider the benefits of mobile working which includes greater flexibility (79%), increased productivity (69%), attracting and retaining the best talent (37%), enhanced business continuity and improved customer service (both 36%). In other words, supporting and enabling mobility is not only advantageous for the individuals but also the organisation, as well as its customers or clients.
The ability to balance professional and personal has never been more of a priority for employees with a need for them to produce, share and collaborate on documents from a variety of remote locations. Moreover, businesses have also evolved with many working across a number of different sites, which means that ensuring reliable and interactive access at anytime from anywhere is of equal value in terms of growth and innovation.
The tools needed to encourage mobility
Unified communications are something that companies are starting to embrace and integrate, however they are yet to truly excel within this area. While a large amount of organisations utilise video conferencing and instant messaging – 64% and 62% respectively – the percentage in relation to the presence information still appears to be quite low.
These technologies are becoming an essential part of productive working, particularly with more employees working from different locations and across various time zones in some instances. As with the benefits of mobile workstyles, flexibility is considered a key advantage of unified communications with 82% of people citing same. Interestingly, the other main advantages are improved productivity and collaboration, as well as a better work/life balance.
These results show that by equipping people with the data, skills and methods they need, companies can help their employees perform the tasks of their jobs effectively and efficiently. Interconnected systems, for example, offer secure and reliable multi-site connections, allowing people working from home or from different locations to join the same meeting. Touchscreen technologies also offer a new dimension to video conferencing with users able to collaborate in real-time.
The future of the workplace
As technology progresses, the priorities of employees will continue to evolve, the use of mobile devices for work purposes will only increase and the desire to work outside of the office will intensify. In fact, the mobile workplace will inevitably become the standard, rather than the exception. That is precisely why it is of utmost importance that businesses embrace and enable this particular element of the digital age.
By doing so, they will be in a position to empower their current employees, attract the best talent, and improve productivity and service levels. While it does sound like a simple decision, organisations also need to make sure that they put certain products, processes and procedures in place so that the mobile workstyle they offer is not only successful but secure.