We are well on the way to a work landscape where remote and mobile workers won’t be the exception, but instead will be the norm. Here are some of the eye-opening statistics:
- 55% of workers now telecommute full-time. (Source: AND CO)
- 90% of mobile workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers. (Source: Buffer)
- By the year 2020, 72% of the workforce will be partially or fully mobile. (Source: IDC)
- 48% of workers don’t think traditional offices will exist by 2021. (Source: com)
- Employers save an average of $2,000 in real estate costs for each mobile worker. (Source: Stanford University)
- Mobile workers are on average more productive than in-office workers. (Source: Polycom Inc. & Future Workplace)
- Companies that offer mobile working experience a 25% lower turnover rate vs. companies that do not offer mobile working. (Source: Owl Labs)
Bumps on the (Virtual) Road
However, some organizations — from small start-ups to large enterprises — have experienced some bumps in the (virtual) road on their journey to mobile worker happiness and ROI. Specifically, to some extent their mobile workers have run into one, both, or all of the following key challenges:
1. Inefficient communication:
According to a study by Zogby Analytics, 38% of mobile workers reported lack of timely information from management as being the biggest obstacle of working remotely.
2. Feeling out of the loop:
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 52% of mobile workers said they felt disengaged and disconnected from their in-office colleagues.
3. Lack of recognition and appreciation:
Despite the fact that they typically produce more and work longer hours, research by TheUnderCoverRecruiter.com found that mobile workers feel that they are not always recognized and appreciated by their in-office colleagues and superiors.
If left unchecked, these challenges erode the gains and benefits of mobile working — and can even convince some businesses to eliminate mobile working entirely, which really can’t be done. The horse is out of the barn on mobile working. The advantages are simply too great; especially for businesses that need to cut overhead costs to stay competitive, or maybe even to survive.
A Cloud Telephone System to the Rescue
The good news — both for organizations that want to “do more with less,” and for the legions of mobile workers who would rather get a root canal than head back to the office — is that a cloud telephone system is designed to address each of these challenges. Here is how:
Challenge: Inefficient communication.
Solution: A cloud telephone system uses Unified Communications (UC) tools to keep mobile workers informed and updated, right alongside their in-office colleagues. For example, mobile workers can communicate through SMS and chat, call colleagues with a single click, launch video conferences, access groups calendars, and more.
Challenge: Feeling out of the loop.
Solution: A cloud telephone system brings mobile workers onto the same telecommunications platform as their in-office colleagues. For example, instead of wondering or guessing if a colleague is available, they simply log into the system and check status in real-time (e.g. available, busy, on the phone, etc.).
Challenge: Lack of recognition and appreciation.
Solution: A cloud telephone system allows for the seamless integration of existing mobile devices, which ensures efficient and effective management of mobile workers at a fraction of the cost of legacy hardware. Supervisors and managers can also generate a variety of reports to monitor performance (e.g. number of calls, duration of calls, etc.) and ensure that all outstanding workers — whether they are mobile or in-office — are recognized and appreciated.
If your business has mobile workers on the roster — or you are ready to join the mobile worker revolution — then your next step is clear: make the switch to a cloud telephone system. You’ll get far more for much less, and your mobile workers will thrive instead of struggle. Everyone wins!