Up until a few years ago, a mobile workforce was but a dream for many businesses. Today, IDC tips mobile workers in the U.S. to surpass 100 million by 2020 and take up a huge portion of the global workforce.
So what changed? In a nutshell, there wasn't much point having workers spread out across the world if there wasn't a way to treat them as if they were sitting in an office next to you. The mobile revolution couldn't fully take off until collaboration became the staple of an integrated IT system.
Collaboration happens when people come together
Prior to the success of digital mobile tech, email and phone calling were almost exclusively the only communication channels available for remote workers. While emails are a great source of sharing information, they do little in terms of the nuanced in-person collaboration of a back-and-forth conversation that sparks ideas and inspiration – simple things that boost business growth. When coworkers are separated geographically, physical cues from conversations vanish. A sentence in an email can be read in many ways, partly because there's no 'person' behind it to send emotional clues we take for granted in regular chat.
Collaboration is important, and technology is the new facilitator. The Alfresco Collaboration Trends and Technology survey found that 83 per cent of respondents rely on tech to collaborate, which suggests it can now perform as good a job as working face-to-face.
The success of mobile collaboration has a positive impact on a company's bottom line.
Mobile tech and collaboration
Messaging apps, video chat, cloud computing and BYOD have created an environment where virtual workers can now sit side by side (figuratively), on the same worksheet, document or email thread. Shared and auto-synching documents means that one of the big issues with mobile devices – intermittent internet access – is countered completely, with updates going through as soon as connections are restored, so no one is behind on the discussion.
Mobile collaboration has a positive impact on a company's bottom line, too. Now even local workers can mix mobility into their routine, providing much needed flexibility with an improved work/life balance. It pays off. A study by the University of Minnesota found that employees with greater flexibility over their schedule and location of work were both happier in their jobs and more productive.
Taking advantage of mobile collaboration should be part and parcel of improving productivity of your IT. Start up a conversation with Imagetext Integrated Solutions today, to find out how we can help.