The mobility revolution is well and truly on in the workplace. Businesses are building apps left, right and center since work is much easier with a mobile app than without it. About 84 percent of companies who implement cutting-edge mobility solutions in their business processes enjoy an increase in overall productivity.
However, success requires a method in the madness. The basic requirements are understanding the potential benefits mobile apps can bring about, and working towards realizing such benefits.
Gone are the days when a supervisor controlled employees under his watch with an iron first, with one eye on what the employee is doing, and the other eye on the clock!
Today’s workers are empowered. In any case, the scope of work has now expanded outside the traditional confines of the office. Today’s workforce is constantly on the move, engaging with clients at their locations, attending meetings, undertaking field service, visiting remote sales locations, and doing various other tasks. Moreover, the fast-paced nature of business mandates instant decision making, making it expedient for executives to remain connected and undertake tasks outside office hours. Working from roadside cafes, airports, and other locations are increasingly becoming commonplace.
Mobile apps enable such remote and mobile workers remain in the loop and undertake their tasks without being constrained by geography. Managers and supervisors can connect with field service executives, service technicians, and other front line staff, wherever they are, and give express instructions. Likewise, field service apps can connect with their office and get instant support, confirmations, and authorizations.
Control freak supervisors can track what the employee is doing just as well, with their mobile apps.
Mobile apps become a highly powerful and dynamic platform to assign tasks, manage work, and track completion. Intuitive cloud-based apps even assign tasks to the workforce automatically, based on incoming work orders, and on predefined assignment rules, priorities and deadlines. Managers are spared from mundane, routine tasks, allowing them to intervene more effectively where their inputs are required most.
Such benefits are even more profound when managing projects. Mobile apps allow the much-harried project manager to relax. Project management apps enable assignment and monitoring of work in real time, extracting real-time status update and alerts, and facilitate other critical updates. The project manager’s app becomes a virtual command and control center and the employee’s version of the app becomes a central source and depository for everything related to the project, and all these tasks take place seamlessly.
Apps also offer a nice solution to ensure everyone is working with the same information and the same updated document. The managers or whoever is responsible for generating the information can send updates to a field app, keeping everyone on the same digital page rather than different people working at cross-purposes, with different versions of documents.
Time management is of critical importance in all aspects of work, and more so for projects with deadlines. The traditional top-down method of control has time and time again proven to be ineffective. Intuitive time management apps enable employees to keep track of time by themselves and also facilitate easy billing of clients based on the time taken to complete tasks.
Apps such as form builders, email marketing apps, file sharing apps, and more, essentially automate many routine functions typically involving a lot of manual tasks and consuming much time. The improvement in employee productivity, combined with the improved accuracy brought about by automation takes the workplace to a whole new level of productivity and efficiency.
The benefits go much beyond productivity though. Apps that assist design, such as wireframing and prototype apps enable communicating with customers in a much better way. The workforce may use such apps to develop prototypes, collaborate, and get inputs from the top management, before finally presenting the same to clients. The intuitive features of offer such as the ability to animations, screen transitions, and greater interactivity are icing on the cake.
Empowered by such apps, employees can focus on their core competencies and job profiles, without being dragged down or distracted by routine or boring tasks.
A recent survey reveals enterprise productivity will increase by 40% or more if all of the enterprise apps are made mobile.
For all the talk of employee empowerment, inspections and audits are a fact of life, and many-a-times a statutory requirement. Routine work, especially field service work, through mobile apps allow enterprises to undertake the audit and inspections in a non-intrusive way, seamlessly. The mobile app collects all relevant data from the source, generates the relevant inspection forms and populates fields automatically, and makes the process transparent.
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The efficacy of mobile apps as a powerful tool to manage the workforce cuts both ways. Mobile apps enable managers to exercise greater control in a seamless and non-intrusive way. At the other end of the spectrum, mobile apps empower the workers, providing them with a powerful tool that puts all relevant information and cutting edge tools at their fingerprints.
The tools offered by mobile devices allow both greater control and greater empowerment. Control freak managers may take advantage of the mobile app liking to the smartphone’s geolocation capabilities, to pinpoint where the employee is at any point in time. Employees, for their part, can capture critical information with their camera and share it in real time, sparing them the hassle of manually capturing the data and entering it into the system later on.
The millennials anyway live on their mobile devices and would look with the company who provides them with mobility tools in a god light. This is invaluable in today’s age of talent, where competition for talent is at an all-time high.
The cloud and mobility bring the office to the employee, allowing employees to use company data and resources without being tied to a single location. Enterprises achieving such business mobility goals are able to bring new revenue streams online than companies that only focused on individual productivity needs, on average. The increased agility brought about by mobility improves ROI by a whopping 150 percent, on average.
However, it requires robust and well-designed systems to ensure seamless connectivity and enable employees to work without a hitch. There is also a need to create a consistent experience across diverse platforms, in a bring-your-own-device environment. In most cases, it requires partnering with a technical partner who knows their stuff.