Until recently, one of the few areas of our lives where we would be unlikely to use a smartphone – is at work. In fact, many businesses actively tried to stop mobile phone usage in the workplace.
Mobile devices, particularly in established companies, were often viewed as unwanted distractions with IT policies created to try to stifle their use during working hours.
While the business world has slowly caught on to the true power of the smartphone as a business tool, it’s a lethargic response which opens up real opportunities for those organisations who embrace mobile working.
This is particularly true for new startups who don’t have the same kind of business “baggage” as a more established company, whose work processes and attitudes are borne out of a pre-digital era.
With effective use of handheld devices, business apps and cloud-based services, a growing company can hand itself a significant advantage over less digitally “agile” competitors.
Here’s a look at the benefits of mobile working:
Speed and efficiency
What’s driven the growth of business apps and mobile working is the simple fact that they provide a faster, simpler and more effective way to get things done.
Handheld devices and business apps allow tasks that previously required paperwork and manual processing to be automated. An example of this is the way that smartphone apps have transformed expense management.
By providing employees with a smartphone app, they’re able to convert any paper receipt they receive into a digital form and record any costs as and when they’re occurred. Using a system such as webexpenses, will typically reduce processing times by 25 per cent and T&E spend by ten per cent.
By equipping employees with a work phone, it enables them to remain within the management “radar”, irrespective of where they are. It’s just as simple to digitally communicate with a business traveller on the other side of the world as an employee in the next office.
With information shared instantly, it also allows for automated triggers and alerts to be used. In expense management, this is used to provide on-screen notifications to employees providing policy guidance and alerts if an expense falls outside a specified limit.
Making sure an organisation uses mobile-friendly systems naturally enhances its ability to handle growth. By removing the need for manual processing or paperwork, a system is future-proofed to manage any kind of increase in scale or complexity.
A system such as webexpenses is equally effective when it’s handling the simple needs of a startup or the multi-region complexities of a global corporation. It allows administrative systems to grow along with the organisation.
More effective recruitment
With smartphones having embedding themselves into our everyday lives, businesses which harness mobile technology have a distinct advantage when it comes to recruitment.
For a digital savvy millennial graduate, there is a reasonable expectation that the technology available to them in the workplace is at least on a par with their personal devices. For many organisations, this simply isn’t the case.
A company which embraces mobile technology sends out a positive, forward-looking, message and provides an enticing work environment which is in sync with the digitally integrated way that graduates live their lives.
Keeping employees motivated
It not only helps to recruit better employees but to maintain morale and motivation of existing staff. The use of business apps and mobile devices provides them with more flexible and adaptive ways to work.
With work tools able to be accessed from wherever the user has an online connection, it allows work to be moulded to their specific circumstances. It also removes the need for them to carry out tedious and repetitive paperwork tasks.