Mobile Working Defined
A mobile workforce is a group of employees who are geographically dispersed and connected to each other and the enterprise by computers, smartphones, and other devices. Mobile workforces are typically divided into two main groups: remote workers and field service workers.
Remote workers may work from any location, requiring only a reliable connection to perform their tasks. Field service workers, on the other hand, are required to work from different locations, traveling to various job sites to perform their tasks. The distinction is subtle, but the goal remains the same: the productivity of a mobile workforce should match the productivity of an onsite workforce.
And with the advent of sophisticated network edges, mobile workforces are more empowered than ever to be productive while off of the corporate campus. However, supporting these networks often requires expensive hardware and IT teams that are proficient in managing mobile deployments.
Evolution of the Modern Mobile Workforce
In 1994, 32,000 AT&T employees began working from home in what was the single largest telecommuting experiment of the time. In the decades following this experiment, more than 10 billion mobile devices entered the market, fundamentally changing the way workers connect with each other and the businesses for which they provide services.
Additionally, the proliferation of software-based applications (apps) for business-critical and mission-critical job functions has reduced friction for mobile workforces and increased the speed at which simple tasks can be completed.
Combine these factors with the increased focus on cellular infrastructure and home fiber and the pieces are all in place for the mobile workforce of the future.
The global mobile workforce is expected to reach 1.87 billion workers by 2022.IBM
8 Reasons to Invest in Building a Mobile Workforce
Mobile working can provide benefits that are both financial and non-financial. Modern enterprises should consider investing in building a mobile workforce to:
1) Improve the Employee Experience
Remote workers experience lower stress levels when working remotely. And this feeling of well-being can translate into higher levels of productivity, less sick days and greater loyalty.
2) Provide Better Customer Service
Scattering representatives across time zones can create continuous coverage for customer service programs.
3) Decrease Fixed Overhead Costs
Remote work allows companies to reduce the amount of office space they need to pay rent on every month. In fact, one report from Forbes found that increasing the number of remote workers and eliminating 2.7 million square feet of office space saved insurance company Aetna nearly $78 million.
4) Decrease Payroll Costs
Companies can save money by shifting workloads to employees who live in areas with lower cost of living standards.
5) Expand the Talent Pool
Remote working allows companies to include employees with different backgrounds and different outlooks, like disabled worked who may struggle to travel or geographically secluded employees who can provide valuable and unique outside perspectives.
6) Reduce Worker Absenteeism
Mobile employees can remain productive when they’re not required to be in the office, despite weather, family issues, transportation disruptions, and minor illnesses.
7) Shore up Business Stability
Many mobile workforces work primarily in the cloud, storing and protecting valuable corporate data against natural disaster or security breaches. In case of a disruptive event, mobile workforces may continue functioning even when a physical office is forced to close.
8) Reduce the Environmental Impact
Less commuters means less drivers on the road and less emissions from vehicles.
Mobile Workforce Tools
How can you get started building a quality mobile workforce? A great step in the right direction is to provide your workers with the tools they need to get their jobs done from anywhere. Consider investing in a robust enterprise VPN solution (like NetMotion Mobility) and video conferencing tools to make sure that no matter where your employees are they always feel like part of the team.