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Collaboration in the Workplace: The Role of Mobile Technology

January 11, 2017

The traditional office is evolving rapidly with BYOD and more connected devices by way of the Internet of Things (IoT), and according to Gartner, by 2018, 50 percent of team communication will occur using mobile group and collaboration apps.

In the business environment of today, mobile devices provide for enhanced ways of working and collaborating, including allowing improved access to current desktop tools. Mobile applications include e-mail availability on mobile devices, instant messaging (IM) and Web conferencing tools. Video chats are becoming more common on mobile devices. The more desktop tools available to mobile employees, the better. Mobile technology is important to collaboration in the workplace for the following reasons:

Productivity 

By providing employee access to an organization’s applications like email and IM, users can reduce wasted time. Examples of time-wasters include delayed meeting start times and travel delays.External resources are often needed in order to complete projects and mobilecollaboration tools allow vendors and partners outside of a company to work toward a unified goal with even more comprehensive results. Mobile devices are important in order for employees to be able to access external resources, especially when they are out of the office. In fact, a 2013 Mobile Helix survey of 300 IT decision-makers estimated that their companies would realize  about a 40 percent increase in productivity if these standard applications were available through mobile devices.

Flexibility 

Mobile devices allow users to set their own schedules, worktimes and locations, allowing them the flexibility they need and desire. This contributes toward better work/life balances.

New ways of Working 

Social collaboration tools on mobile devices can create new ways of working. For instance, engineers in the field can use their devices to support those in the office. Using a mobile social network, workers can contact mentors or other engineers to help understand problems or to coordinate activities. These tools allow field workers to be more effective from remote locations and require fewer support personnel in the office.

Workforce Demographics 

The need for flexible technology in communications is a result of the changing demographics of the workforce. According to the Hartford Business Journal, a major shift is occurring with the increase in the number of millennials in our current workforce. Millennials (born from 1980 to the early 2000s) have strong technical skills, and are keenly connected vial mobility and social networks. Many companies have begun adapting the workplace to address the collaborative style of millennnials by adopting internal social collaboration and video tools.

Efficiency 

Mobile technology tools can make employees more efficient. Mobile devices can be utlized to quickly outline ideas that can be shared with with other users. Documents can be shared, changed and saved for access by everyone on a team.

Resellers need to act as a trusted advisor to their customers and educate them about the role of mobility in collaboration. When it comes to motivating employees, especially millennials, mobile apps are essential.

Do you believe that mobile collaboration apps will continue to evolve and are a necessary part of business strategy? Please comment below.