Why Mobile Access Is Essential in Workforce Management of the 21st Century
In a consumer world, mobile is no longer a matter of discussion—it’s a standard. Shopping, chores, travel arrangements—anything and everything can now be managed remotely. Brands, both big and small, had jumped on the mobile bandwagon long ago and haven’t looked back since.
However, the very same companies are quick to forget that their employees are consumers as well. They have the exact demands for accessibility, flexibility, and convenience in every single part of their lives, including their working hours. Digital natives, in particular, expect on-demand availability in the “anytime, anywhere” workplace.
This trend goes in line with the growth of the global mobile workforce, which is expected to reach 1.87 billion workers by 2022. Today’s workplace falls anywhere on the spectrum between cubicles and coworking spaces to coffee shops and home offices. Internal communication is run in real-time. The primary work device still features robust technical capabilities, but is no longer stationary and hefty in size.
Therefore, workforce management platforms have to be designed for mobile experience from the ground up. For supervisors in charge of distributed or hybrid teams, coordinating staff members would be virtually impossible without all relevant data at their fingertips. For employees working remotely, failing to get the latest updates in a timely manner can lead to unexpected absences and understaffing at critical times.
Mobile workforce management is not optional; it’s a standard that can benefit both your team and the bottom line.
How agile is your company?
Surveys have shown that the majority of employees are unhappy with the level of flexibility and technological prowess of their workplace. According to Gallup, only 17% of U.S.-based workers state that their “company readily implements new technologies that help us to be more productive.” Likewise, only 19% of employees and managers strongly agree that they “often discuss new technology, trends, and ideas that can be relevant to our work.”
Even though there is a demand for a more agile workplace, it seems that both executives and other staff members are pretty set in their ways and reluctant to adopt new processes and tools. Employees overestimate the short-term pain—the time and effort that such change requires—rather than consider the long-term benefits it could bring them.
Companies that open themselves up to processes and tools that achieve a higher level of flexibility, will soon see their risk pay off in areas of higher employee engagement, productivity, and efficiency. The 2019 IWG Global Workspace Survey reports that a surprisingly high number of business leaders around the world agree on the benefits of flexible working arrangements:
- In Germany, 80% of businesses already have a flexible working policy in place or are planning to implement one
- In Belgium, when choosing between two similar job opportunities, 98% of workers would opt for the one offering flexible working hours rather than the one that doesn’t
- In Austria, 84% of businesses are using flexible working tools to improve talent retention
Overall, 85% of respondents report that their business experienced a boost in productivity after introducing flexibility in their work schedules.
Optimized mobile workforce management processes also save time and provide more control of various administrative tasks, such as reporting, record-keeping, schedule administrating, compliance procedure drafting, and more.
How to introduce mobile workforce management… and have it stick
In this golden age of business tech, every business that decides to increase flexibility with new tools does so with high hopes of quick and easy return. After all, the vendors are going on about the advantages of mobile workforce management. Therefore, we dedicated this entire article to the necessity of mobile access.
However, marketing speak isn’t sufficient for employees who actually have to use the tool on a daily basis. Nor are there any improvements being made in efficiency that are obvious enough to make a difference.
The number one factor of high user adoption is a great user experience. Managers often assume that incredibly robust solutions will also be incredibly easy and intuitive to use.
Depending on the skill level of your staff, the complexity of the platform, and its similarity to the current system, onboarding can require more time. Paying close attention to user experience and ironing out the kinks are of utmost importance. If your employees get frustrated or annoyed each time they have to use the tool, no amount of time or resources saved will motivate them to move on from legacy systems and processes.
When introducing cloud-based workforce management platforms, ensure that both supervisors and employees are not only able, but even keen on using them. Plenty of SaaS offer a myriad of customization options, but fail to take a cue from the consumer tech market—managers might enforce the solution once, but if employees are avoiding it, it will quickly be dropped.
Therefore, before making the final choice as to which mobile workforce tool will be used, test to see whether it really alleviates the challenges of your particular workplace. Ask employees for feedback. Feeling involved in the decision-making process could even engage employees in becoming the ambassadors of change.
Mobile workforce management with Humanity
Here at Humanity, we’re striving to strike a balance between high performance and ease-of-use. We understand that error-free shift schedules depend on the involvement of both managers and employees, especially when it comes to managing the mobile workforce. We comb through every upcoming update of our web and mobile platforms so that we can keep up with the high standard our customers are used to.
Recently, we launched the 2.0 version of the Humanity mobile apps for iOS and Android, boasting a surge in speed and performance. Our customers are able to manage virtually every aspect of their schedule from the palm of their hand. Trading shifts? Check. Getting schedule updates in real-time? Check. Live support available 24/7? Double-check.
And you don’t have to just take our word for it. Our near-perfect ratings on Google Play and App Store speak for themselves. Thousands of users have shared how their Humanity mobile app is making their day job easier, resulting in 4.9 stars for the iOS app and 4.8 stars for the Android app. We’re very proud to have built such a robust and, yet, intuitive tool, and we’re working hard to make it even better.
The market is coming to a point where riding the wave of change is safer than letting it wash over you. If you’re still on the fence about introducing flexible working arrangements, don’t wait too long. With advanced cloud-based platforms like Humanity, you can enable your managers and employees to work smarter, on their terms. Build your business into a workplace of tomorrow—employee-centric, agile, and mobile-friendly.