HR Trends: The Importance of a Connected Workplace
As we enter 2018, HR administrators must ensure that their employees always feel connected to the workplace, especially for those who do not work in the office. By ensuring access to useful apps, calendars, and chat rooms, we have the chance to redefine the idea of ‘the office’ while having more tools to successfully do our jobs.
What is mobile work?
Currently, mobile work is one of the biggest trends in the workplace. Mobile, flexible, or remote working allows staff members to work without being attached to a physical office location. An increasing number of companies are beginning to offer flex work options, and with more technology at our fingertips, it’s easier to do than ever before.
In particular, millennials have the desire to have a flexible schedule or remote work options. According to a FlexJobs survey, 82% of millennials consider work flexibility the most important factor after work-life balance when evaluating a new job. With new apps and programs, and the importance of mobile work to millennials, flexible work is increasingly popular and possible.
Forbes notes, “Millennials may have the easiest time adapting to a work environment where they need to collaborate and communication across technology tools, simply because they have experienced this in school.” Keeping up with new technology for mobile working and connectivity will be vital to employee happiness and company success.
Benefits of mobile work
Mobile work is vital because it places an increased emphasis on employee well-being. They can live healthier, happier lives and be more productive when they are working. Mobile work cuts down on time and money spent commuting and gives employees the flexibility necessary to focus on other aspects of their lives.
By offering employees the option to spend more time working from home, you can demonstrate that your organization values work-life balance.
Remote work is also a useful resource for employees who work primarily in the office, but happen to travel for business or for fun. Some cell phone providers include in-flight Wi-Fi and texting, so they can continue to work while in the air.
Even the HR department can benefit from new technology. A connected team can reduce common stressors that you face daily. Employees can answer their own questions by accessing digital records and personal information online. You’ll also reduce the number of papers sitting on your desk.
Though mobile work can serve everyone, you can also use it to accommodate specific needs and create a more inclusive workplace. People with disabilities, those who suffer from mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, and new parents can all greatly benefit from flexible work without having to make difficult sacrifices.
Difficulties of mobile work
While these new tools are a great way to promote employee welfare and rethink the way we structure the workplace, there are a few things to keep in mind about mobile work.
One of the biggest advantages to mobile work is the ability to work outside of traditional business hours. However, when employees are in different time zones or work at different times of the day, this can lead to missed meetings or conference calls and scheduling conflicts.
Staff who works from home can run the risk of not properly maintaining their work-life balance. Because they already lack the structure of an office, it can be easy to take a work call or respond to emails when off the clock.
Individuals who work remotely most or all of the time can become detached from the company. This could result in remote workers feeling jealous or excluded, or those who remain in-office resenting remote workers. Promote camaraderie and ensure all employees feel valued.
If you understand the risks of remote work, overcoming the obstacles is easy. Instead of being fearful of mobile work, embrace it. Incorporate mobile work as a part of your company culture and allow it to strengthen your organization. This will help keep employees involved with their co-workers and company.
Certain events or meetings require being on-site, but brainstorm ways that you can include remote workers. Chat rooms for small talk, syncing calendars, and extending invitations to special events are simple ways to keep mobile workers connected.
Don’t underestimate the importance of connection for in-office employees. Use it to your advantage. Communicating openly is important to all successful relationships, including ones in the workplace, and having more options for how people can do so is a valuable asset.
Connecting the company and its members is a win-win situation for both employees and employers. As technology continues to develop, we can continue to integrate it into organization. These developments are helpful and exciting, and they optimize the workplace for everyone.
Keep in mind the benefits of connective technology for all employees, not only those who do mobile work. Focus on how this can improve your organization and your employees’ lives.
Here is a thorough resource to peruse if you’re looking to create a more connected workplace. These apps and programs were popular in 2017 and will likely continue to be significant in 2018. Do you have any favorite apps or programs to use at work? Let me know in the comments below!
I'm a people-person through and through. When I'm not elbows-deep in the inner workings of small business retail, I'm negotiating the mesmerizing world of online community-building and dreaming of new, creative ways to help people connect through the written word.