Mobility at work is changing the way we operate. So what are the best ways to stay mobile and how do you keep track of the work as it gets done?
The biggest contributor to the current cultural change within modern business is mobile technology. How we work is now more important than where we work. With the availability of so many cheap and effective ways of connecting people, both locally and globally, we are constantly exposed to new influences and ideas. While this presents challenges for some businesses, for those ready and willing to embrace change there are plenty of benefits available.
At GLiNTECH, our team is mobile. Our consultants are used to it – either hoteling (or hot-desking), working at client sites, working from home or on the road. Even our admin staff, traditionally bolted to a desk, are embracing mobility. Our email, document repository and access to internal systems have all been mobilised in the cloud, meaning our team can work on and track different projects from anywhere without losing sight of what’s happening.
Life for us has become task-oriented rather than time-oriented. This shift in our culture means the team is liberated from the traditional office concept and empowered to self manage progress and own their tasks and their schedule.
Below I outline the key shifts in thinking that enabled this positive cultural change:
1. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Why dictate what device your team should work on? Staff have personal preferences and change them at an alarming rate, so there’s little point trying to keep up. Your support team should focus on flexible applications and their security – not hardware.
Sociologically, these devices have become more than tools – they are cultural identifiers. For example, our open-source advocates use Android devices, while Sales and Marketing choose Apple. We help employees embrace their technology, rather than force ours upon them. We found encouraging a BYOD policy with perks such as reimbursing telecommunication plans, salary sacrifice arrangements, use of corporate discounts and other tax incentives allows for individuality and choice that would not have otherwise been available.
2. Enable real-time task tracking
Software is sophisticated enough to index and make searchable data from any app, server or network device, displaying usage metrics as part of a manager’s dashboard. So the team become self managed. Importance is placed on progressing tasks. Mobile devices have made tracking, completing, reassigning or delegating tasks in real-time possible.
3. Where you work is less important
Something as simple as offering greater freedom of start times and offering a choice of workplace has been great for culture. Most staff check their tasks and schedule at home before heading out in the morning, deciding for themselves if they need to rush. Afternoon meetings are often conducted remotely through mobile web conferencing, allowing flexibility for parents. Since changing our office hours and routing out of hours calls to mobiles, our office staff miss peak hour. In the end, everyone’s day is more productive.
5. Stickiness: Retention is a question of quality interaction
Traceability, communication and visibility are key to everything we do at GLiNTECH. Our dashboards and task tracking are automated and displayed on screens throughout the office, or on individual devices, empowering everyone to self-manage and progress tasks throughout the day. Therefore, our ‘stickiness’ (our measure for retention) becomes our events and the way we interact. One-on-one meetings are mostly held at a cafe or outside, team meetings have become social events, strategic, educational or about sharing experiences.