How Mobile Working is Revolutionizing the Workplace

Written by James Arnall

Mobile working is becoming an inevitable requirement for most businesses today with as much as 62% of workers spending their time working at locations other than the office, according to Forrester. Companies that provide their workers with mobile devices are already taking advantage of the increased productivity that comes from being able to work from anywhere. With IDC stating that 62% of businesses believe that the number of mobile or remote employees will increase in the future, harnessing the power of a mobile workforce is understandably an essential focus for the future of any business.

With workforce mobilization, companies need to explore all of the ways in which this technology revolution can be used for innovation because innovation and productivity are inextricably linked. As McKinsey explains, history has shown that more than two-thirds of productivity growth comes from product and process innovation. Now is the time for mobile innovation, since employees who are presented with today’s range of new communication channels within a collaborative environment have the option to choose their preferred method of interaction and focus on the task at hand while spending less time on administration and less time learning to use new applications or systems.

Worldwide Smart Connected Device Shipments 2010-2016 (Unit Millions)

Smart Devices Graph Source: IDC 2012

While the most obvious use for mobile devices is remote working, these devices have the potential to improve innovation within the office too. Take this employee from PCWorld, for example, who has come up with several ways to use his own mobile device to improve his productivity inside the office. Frustrated with being confined to the single screen of his desktop, he now puts his iPad on a stand next to his monitor and uses the device as a second screen. Tired of bringing too many documents into meetings, he can now go into the meeting paper-free and find the relevant documents on his iPad as needed, jotting his notes directly onto his device. His productivity has gone up because of his own initiative and employees across a range of industries are in a position to do the same.

One of the most crucial elements of mobile working is the ability to extend far beyond the office. Mobile working is also about Web 2.0 technologies that can be used securely on these portable devices. For example, FutureBrand, who has over 25 offices worldwide, is faced with the challenge of harnessing the intellectual capital of their distributed teams in order to share and collaborate with documents of all types. It is essential for them to do this across their agency and client-side teams without having to us multiple tools and systems.

FutureBrand Design Director Adam Murphy said, “I had been searching for an integrated file sharing and collaboration platform for some time. Agency staff were regularly spending a good 30% of their time trying to collate feedback from multiple parties and then acting on them only to find that they had missed key feedback from clients. It leads to large operational inefficiencies and, inefficiencies and, indeed, impacts client satisfaction.”

By harnessing SkyDox’s document-centric content management system, comments and revisions were kept in one place rather than being scattered across document versions and emails. The Web 2.0 technology applied to remote and mobile devices ultimately increased FutureBrand’s productivity.

% of Time Employees Waste On:

Time Wasted By Employees

Source: Forrester, 2011

Despite all of these benefits, mobile working can have some significant drawbacks specifically around security and IP protection. Giving your employees access to sensitive company data from mobile devices can be risky, even if the device is mainly used inside the office Lost or misplaced tablets or mobile phones can cause major problems for internal and external workers and IT function. In fact, 76% of companies have to deal with lost or stolen phones every year.

At SkyDox, we’ve created a collaboration platform with secure file access from mobile devices so you don’t have to worry about lost or stolen devices. Employees can comment on and review files without downloading them so that if the phone is lost, company data will not be available. Anyone who has access to the devices would still need to be authorized to view the files because all content stored on the SkyDox platform is protected with:

- Secure and authenticated passwords
- SSL encryptions
- Administrative controls to shut off access to content
- The ability to create audit trails to see when a file has been viewed

With the rise of the mobile workforce at hand, SkyDox is ensuring that work is less about a place you go to work and more about a thing you do, powered by a platform that ensures the highest levels of security and provides optimal functionality.

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