Consider the last time you checked email on your smartphone or made a quick update to a spreadsheet at home.
Now, what about your most recent conference call with participants sprinkled across different locations, likely both in and out of the office?
Nowadays, it seems near-impossible to think of a typical workday without these activities and tech affordances — mobile activities and affordances, that is.
The real impact of these mobile communication devices is felt when these tools are gone. Employees are relegated back to the days of landline-based phone calls and wired, desk-stationed hardware. They miss out on the powerful advantages of mobile technology and its state-of-the-art devices — devices that cut costs while freeing operations.
Read on to explore the vast influence the use of mobile technology has made in business today — and temperature check if your organization is taking full advantages of these devices.
What are the Benefits of Using Mobile Technology in Business?
The advantages of mobile technology in today’s workplace are numerous and dynamic.
1. Better Communication
“Better” here is the operative word. What exactly is better communication when organizations vary so greatly between purposes, values, scales, sizes, cultures and capacities?
Regardless of industry, businesses with good communication are ones that have established intuitive, unsiloed and easy-to-initiate communicative practices and behaviors. In other words, good business communication is when employees:
- Have the tools they need to contact whomever they need
- Feel empowered to do so
- Using real-time and asynchronous channels
- From wherever they are
- Whenever they need to
Mobile devices in business allow this to happen. It also unveils better communication beyond work teams:
- With customers: Use mobile technology for more interactive, personalized touchpoints between your business and its clients.
- With colleagues: Collaborate with colleagues in the building or another country via digital tools that house work documents, conversations and workflows accessible from anywhere.
- With vendors: Simplify vendor management with mobile apps or programs, allowing you to organize, order and manage vendor documents and pay invoices, plus contact those vendors wherever you are.
- With subject matter experts: Make intuitive and diplomatic contact with subject matter experts in your organization, whether you’ve formally met or not.
- With your network: Maintain professional connections more easily and more organically with mobile-friendly social apps and intranet chats on your wireless devices.
2. Increased Collaboration With Colleagues
Telecollaboration is one of the driving forces behind integrating mobile devices and technology into your business.
Because of its borderless and wireless nature, mobile technology means teams can connect from anywhere. Those connections liberate personnel from office-only functionality and give them instant access to the documents and materials needed to get collaborative work done.
As an example, consider the basic G Suite — employees can use email, chat and video to talk with one another, review collaborative spreadsheets, prepare group presentations and save project notes on a Google Doc. They can do all this simultaneously, so long as all parties have an internet connection.
3. Ability to Work From Anywhere
Over 95% of American workers say they’d enjoy working from home. Honoring the growing telecommuting desire, over 40% of American workers said their employer offers some form of a work-from-home policy, including up to once a week.
Mobile technology has been the catalyst for this new definition of work. The impact of mobile technology on business means employees are no longer relegated to their desks to access office programs, documents, communication tools or even the company’s network.
Research also supports the significant advantages of allowing employees to work from anywhere:
- Of those who do get to work from home, 86% say they “reach maximum productivity” from their home office, sheltered from surprise tasks, impromptu meetings and general office chit-chat.
- Remote workers report lower stress levels throughout their workdays, as well as a 69% drop in employee absenteeism.
- Telecommuters average an 80% morale rating, compared to less than half for full-time, in-office employees without any remote work flexibility.
4. Enhanced Responsiveness
Contrary to what many first believed, access to mobile technology actually improves the rates of employees responding to and managing work.
Remote or field-deployed personnel benefit the most from mobile communication technology. There are more ways than ever to get in touch with team members, meaning more ways for employees to receive notifications and respond to relevant communications. The days of using landline phones and hoping someone was at their desk are over.
Using mobile devices, workplaces can employ several quick-response communicative tools:
- Instant chat platforms allow managers, teams and individual colleagues to relay quick, ad-hoc questions or ideas.
- Laptops and tablets let employees hold multi-person conference calls from anywhere, in many cases even using multimedia or video.
- Smartphones keep all individuals plugged in, able to check email, send messages and — depending on the app and security protocols — even log into work portals to retrieve and review materials.
5. Reduced Operational Costs and Saved Time
Saving money and time is a dynamic business duo. Mobile technology in businesses has been shown to do both, offering mutually beneficial, time- and money-saving applications that can shave minutes — if not hours — off business tasks.
From mobile apps to the mobile devices operating systems themselves, there are numerous ways mobile technology ushers operational time and money savings:
- Online and mobile apps replacing old paper-based forms and manual inputting activities.
- Mobile phones and communication devices reduce the need for expensive and static legacy technology, such as landline carrier services.
- Cloud access alleviates error-prone and spatially cumbersome physical filing systems, plus simplifies managing and sharing those files and their data.
- Scanning and imaging technology expedite document itemization, reviews and workflows.
- Talk-to-text, voicemail-to-text and conference recording functions of voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) phones bring convenient and contemporary communication solutions to your teams.
6. Ability to Do More With Less
“More with less” doesn’t mean fewer people or smaller budgets. In this case, mobile-first technology makes it far more accessible for businesses of any size to harness the tools needed to get operations off the ground and therefore expedite growth.
From time-tracking and employee payment software to downloaded apps simplifying back-office tasks, digital file sharing and e-chatting all merged into the cloud, it takes businesses fewer physical resources to do the perfunctory tasks necessary to run the day-to-day office. Organizations have widely harnassed cloud-based integrative systems like DropBox, Google Suite, Intuit software and WordPress for this exact operational advantage — and show no signs of stopping.
Mobile technology has streamlined operations so much that it costs nearly 1000 times less to start a new business now than it did in the early 2000s, before the mobile revolution.
7. Increased Productivity
Mobile technology also allows employees to do more with less. With mobile software and applications liberating them from yesterday’s time-consuming tasks, personnel can redirect attention onto higher-order, value-adding activities — the kinds that propel an organization’s competitive advantage.
Studies continue to support the productivity-boosting impact of mobile technology for in and out-of-office employees:
- Mobile application integration in the workplace saves around 7.5 hours per employee, per week.
- Using smartphones and mobile devices for work purposes increases employee productivity based primarily on these devices’ familiarity and user-friendliness.
- Surveys of remote employees found those who can work from home are more likely to clock extra hours and perform tasks outside their immediate domains to help others’ and propel the organization.
- Surveys also discovered 73% of remote and field employees, aided by mobile devices, put more effort into their work, compared to only 68% of in-office workers.
8. A Contemporary Workplace
Employees today expect mobile technology integrated into the workplace. They assume BYOD policies for smartphones and even laptops, with an IT department assisting in securely connecting these devices to the company’s network. In fact, using these portable devices in and out of the office saves employees nearly an hour of work a day — a BYOD boost with huge morale benefits.
Organizations without smartphone, laptop and mobile device applications face serious shortcomings. Not only do they rely on legacy technology, but they also impede their employee’s efficiency and work outlook. Modern workplaces are ones that have embraced mobile technology and found ways to harmonize it with their network security and departmental operations, not avoid it.
9. Harness More Data — And Actually Use It
More data isn’t synonymous with better data. Yet mobile technology in businesses equips teams with resources to cut through the noise, simplifying our often data-saturated departments.
Mobile-integrated data software usage is also on the rise, as more businesses realize the importance of turning data actionable. Many popular enterprise resource planning (EPR) systems today, such as Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One and Oracle ERP Cloud, include mobile-friendly data dashboards as a main feature in their software. This allows users to access real-time, live data updates and reports wherever they are, plus tailor feeds and filters to generate only the most relevant data streams on their devices.
10. Access the Cloud
Last but never least, the usage of mobile technology in the workplace fuels business to take part in the cloud.
Cloud-based services have exploded in the past few years. Organizations of all sizes have worked to keep pace, implementing one of four main cloud architectures to store and share information better — private clouds, public clouds, community clouds or a hybrid version with private and public offerings.
The type of cloud architecture chosen depends on an organization’s needs and capacities. However, public, private, community and hybrid clouds all unlock a new world of mobile advantages for businesses, offering an information and file-sharing platform that can be accessed from anywhere, rather than storing everything in hardware on-site. Cloud systems can:
- “Host” programs and applications for unrivaled accessibility.
- Create a borderless repository for work documents, files and data.
- Reduce technology infrastructure and costs, once thought of as fixed.
- Introduce bolstered cybersecurity practices and, often, third-party security assistance.
- Scale as you do.
How Can Mobile Communications Be Used in a Business Setting?
The advantages of using mobile technology in the workplace are vast. Yet what are the exact devices businesses should use to harness these benefits? What pieces of technology can your organization implement starting today to see the benefits of mobile communication unfold? We’ve got a few recommendations.
1. VoIP Phones
VoIP phones swap traditional, landline-based phone calls for a wider variety of voice functions supported by your network. In other words, it allows businesses to place phone calls, hold conferences and perform other communicative functions — even multimedia — through their assigned, internet-connected VoIP number. That number enables individuals to send and receive call communications across mobile devices, so long as they’re connected to the internet.
2. Mobile Project and Document Management Suites
Mobile-friendly project and document management systems are the secret to “borderless” file sharing at the heart of mobile communication’s advantages.
Indeed, some of the most popular project management systems today offer mobile apps, including Smartsheet, Trello, Microsoft Planner, Basecamp, Asana and many more. Operating primarily in the cloud, businesses wield yet another way to stay connected and perform work regardless of location.
3. Voice Assistants
Voice assistant-enabled smartphones and devices can bring even more convenience to your workforce. Businesses have more AI-enhanced voice recognition software to choose from, too, including:
- Google Assistant
- Apple’s Siri
- Amazon’s Alexa
- Microsoft’s Cortana
As mobile app/voice assistant integration continues to mature, organizations introduce innovative new ways for their employees to stay connected on the go, coordinate schedules, execute workflows, answer questions and all-around improve their work productivity.
4. Mobile Chat Groups
Businesses can also initiate team and office chat forums that are mobile-friendly.
Many of these mobile chat platforms are already standard in ERP and other project management software systems such as Slack and Google Hangouts. Yet others exist solely for mobile technology, with interfaces and features designed for smartphone screens and remote telecommunications devices.
Organizations should review any current intra- or inter-office chat portals for mobile capacities, ensuring they’re performing optimally for wireless communication needs.
Wearables will be the next generation of technology companies must integrate into their BYOD policies. Just as employees look for flexible smartphone and even personal laptop allowances in the workplace, soon they’ll desire the same for their smart watches, bracelets, healthcare and fitness accessories — even smart glasses.
Already in 2019, a quarter of American adults regularly use a wearable. Those numbers are projected to grow, particularly in the developing markets of wearables and smart clothing.
6. An Internet of Things-Primed Ecosystem
The internet of things stands to revolutionize the very way today’s mobile devices, hardware and nearly every other form of electronic technology connects — plus many non-electronic items, too. Once realized, the internet of things will create a 24/7 ecosystem of information and accessibility that will transform how we go about our daily lives.
With IoT sensors and readers becoming more commercially effective, businesses must respond by setting up and supporting an IoT-ready network. This is a gradual and incremental process. For most organizations, IoT integration will mean smooth, streamlined and evergreen flows revealing connections and data between hardware inventory, apps, software, mobile devices, service providers, edge IT and the cloud. Network bandwidths and data capacity must be able to monitor all this information without disrupting other activities — no small task, yet one vital to keeping pace with tomorrow’s tech landscape.
The Benefits of Today’s Mobile Technology Brought to Your Business, Conveniently and Cost-Effectively
It can be inundating to manage all the software, hardware, licenses, vendors and technology needed to run a contemporary business today. If you feel like you’re treading technology’s telecommunications waters, you’re not alone.
Contact DenMark Solutions for help implementing mobile technology in your workplace. We exist to do one thing — simplify the inclusion of telecommunications and IoT technology in your business, for greater cost-savings — and greater sanity. Let’s get started today.