2015 was a big year for the world of work. From the increasing use of mobile technology, the introduction of Gen Z into the workforce, the flexible workday, and an increased value placed on employee engagement initiatives, the workplace has been changing a lot.
Things have been changing in the area of enterprise communications, too. Adoption of mobile apps by enterprises globally has been increasing, alongside the upward trend of mobile ownership worldwide. Businesses have now realized the opportunities that enterprise apps bring to the workplace in terms of communication, productivity, and knowledge sharing. In a recent study conducted in the UK, it was found that 60% of employees use apps on mobile devices for work related activity, which has been found to boost productivity by 34%.
What else? Millennials are officially the largest generation in the global workforce. Today's average millennial spends up to 50 days a year on their smartphone, which means your average employee and their smartphone are pretty much inseparable. If that's not enough to convince you why now is the time to integrate mobile for good, then perhaps these 4 reasons will:
1. Smartphones and the "extended self"
As mentioned, the average millennial and their smartphone are pretty much one. The Bank of America conducted a study to see exactly how attached we've become to our smartphones. The results? Smartphones are the first thing on a person's minds when they wake up in the morning- reaching for their smartphone before coffee, toothbrushes, or even significant others. Furthermore, 71% of the study's respondents sleep with- or next to their mobile phones. For many people, smartphones have become an important part of their identity and daily life. In fact, 91% of adults keep their smartphone within arm's reach at all times.
If you want to be able to reach employees in the most efficient way this year, then the answer may be through their chosen medium (read: the smartphone). With the combination of the growing 'smartphone addiction' and the power of push notifications, you're bound to see major improvements in your internal communications initiatives and ensuring that the message is being delivered.
2. There's an app for that
This isn't a new saying, (in fact- it was trademarked by Apple in 2010) but it is definitely still true today. Whether at home or at work, you can find an app to help you out with just about anything. You can use apps to help increase efficiency during your daily commute, to collaborate with team members, and connect with your social network (in and outside of the office). This year, make sure that your company is using apps that will allow employees to increase productivity when checking their phones, rather than reduce it. If you want some inspiration, check out the 7 apps you need for a better workday.
3. Non-desk working is on the riseAs mobile technology and flexible corporate cultures further develop, our definition of the office can too. Globally, close to 80% of the workforce will be defined as a "non-desk" worker, fundamentally turning the traditional work paradigm upside down. Flexible hours, working from home, or working from the field are the new reality. Today, employees can really work from anywhere. Even if they do come in to a brick-and-mortar workplace every day, it is likely that they check in on work related issues or information while at home, commuting to work, or grabbing their morning coffee.
Mobile technology, such as enterprise apps, have played a big role in facilitating non-desk work. Non-desk employees, such as a salesperson working in the field or a barista working at a local coffee chain, are very busy, and communicating with them can be a challenge. This year, experiment with mobile apps and push notifications to communicate effectively and efficiently with non-desk employees. By delivering information through the use of push notifications mixed with a simple and easy to use interface, employees are prompted when there is new information for them, meaning they can access it when convenient and will not have to worry about missing any critical communications.
4. Learning on the job is in
Fostering a culture of learning in the workplace is important- we all know that by now. It's essential to keep your employees in the know about company values, new business development, products, promotions, and company-wide goals. This is true for every employee in your company, from a marketing associate at working at headquarters to a cashier at a fast food chain. After all, highly educated employees perform better than others. Organizations with a strong learning culture have proven to be 52% more productive and 17% more profitable than their peers.
This year, you can further encourage learning and knowledge sharing through mobile communication or an enterprise app. Experiment with apps that can help foster a culture learning amongst team members through delivering bite-sized information that is easily digestible and immediately usable.