How people work has changed rapidly over the last few years, and nothing has changed as quite as dramatically as where people need to work.
When it comes to improving the employee experience workplace mobility is the undeniable future, and savvy employers are hiring and retaining talent by offering their people a range of workplace options.
Workplace Mobility – What Does It Mean?
Workplace mobility isn’t just remote work, it’s a lot bigger than that. It’s a truly adaptive and mobile way of working, with absolute flexibility on workplace location.
Also known as global or agile workplaces, this way of working allows employees to work from truly anywhere, whether they are at home, traveling around the world, or relocating to another country.
This type of workplace is highly desirable amongst employees and increasing numbers of companies are seeing the benefits of having a mobile workforce too.
These benefits include:
- Happier, more productive employees.
- Access to a larger global talent pool.
- Higher retention rates.
Of course, it’s not just employers who are enjoying the mobile workforce trend. Employees are actively seeking out mobile roles in the search for a better work/life balance.
Read on to find out more about how the employee experience is changing through workplace mobility and how that translates to better business.
Employees In a Mobile Workforce Experience a Better Balance of Work and Life
As the workforce continues to evolve, so do the expectations of employees. Where previous generations were willing to sacrifice their personal lives for their careers, today’s workers are looking for a fairer work/life balance. In fact, many job hunters say that they would decline a higher-paid position in an office environment for the chance to take a mobile team role.
These job seekers are looking for a workplace that fits their lifestyle. By implementing workplace mobility companies can redefine the employee experience by providing flexibility and freedom, allowing employees to work when and where they like.
Some traditional employers balk at the idea, but the truth is companies offering a mobile workplace can use it as a benefit to attract excellent candidates and help them stay happy and satisfied at their job. This leads to less turnover as happy employees are less likely to leave their position.
People Who Work in A Mobile Environment Are Generally More Creative and Surer of Themselves
It’s well-known that people who have the freedom to travel and experience different places express higher levels of job satisfaction, lower stress, and better self-confidence. What’s not as understood is how these experiences can help grow and develop the brain.
Mobile workplaces not only expose employees to other people, places, and cultures, but they can also improve workers creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills. How so? By exposing it to new things. Studies show that the only way we create new cognitive pathways in our brain is by exposing it to new experiences. Working in different environments is a great way to create those pathways.
The more pathways are created, the better the brain is at thinking faster, strategically, and logically, which are all ideal qualities in the workplace.
A Mobile Workplace Tends to Be More Inclusive and Diverse.
Both employees and employers can experience the benefits of being part of a diverse global team.
A Better Range of Candidates
One of the key benefits of a mobile workforce is that employers can seek candidates far and wide across the globe, netting highly skilled people no matter where they are, or where they are going!
This allows people from all areas of world to bring their expertise and knowledge to the team.
Cultural and Social Intelligence
Organizations are increasingly focused on developing their employees cultural and social intelligence. Cultural and social intelligence is “the ability to perceive, understand, and act upon the dynamics of relationships in culturally diverse situations.” In other words, it’s the ability to navigate different cultures and social situations with ease.
Expanding a team globally will allow workers to collaborate and interact with others from different cultures and backgrounds. This leads to employees becoming more inclusive and gaining a greater understanding of other people.
Organizations are realizing that employees with strong cultural and social intelligence are better equipped to deal with the challenges of a globalized workplace. They’re able to build relationships with people from all walks of life, communicate effectively across cultures, and adapt to new situations quickly. This directly results in better interpersonal skills, greater productivity, and engagement within the team.
There are several ways that organizations can help their employees develop strong cultural and social intelligence. Providing opportunities for travel and cross-cultural experiences is one way to do this.
Opportunities For All
A mobile workplace can allow those who may have been traditionally passed over for a role a chance to shine. For example: Someone whose disability didn’t allow them to attend in an office environment. Or someone in a location without reliable transport.
Workplace Mobility Allows Employees to Work Around Significant Events in Their Lives
In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s more important than ever for employees to be able to respond to major life events. Workplace mobility is one way that companies are redefining this aspect of the employee experience.
As part of workplace mobility, employees can choose when and where they work, which gives them more flexibility to deal with changes in their personal lives. Changes such as a new baby, a call to a family illness or family care, or moving overseas to support a spouse’s new job are just some of the things an employee might face.
By giving employees freedom and flexibility, they can manage their work and life responsibilities, and better respond to major life events without sacrificing their career goals.
Employees Happy in A Mobile Workforce Are More Likely to Recommend Their Company to Others
Word of mouth is a powerful tool.
Employees who have a positive experience with workplace mobility are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and recommend their company to others. Employees who have more control over their work environment and schedule, will experience increased satisfaction and productivity, and they certainly won’t be shy about telling others!
This is good news for companies who are looking to maintain or improve their reputation with clients, and attract better-quality candidates for new positions.
Utilizing A Mobile Workplace Means Employees Experiences Are More Personalized
Most organizations today are aware of the need to personalize the employee experience, but few have truly mastered the art. The key to creating a personalized employee experience is understanding the journey that your employees take – from their first day on the job to their last.
The key 8 Steps in the employee journey are:
- The onboarding process.
- Compensation and benefits.
- Growth and development.
- Performance Management.
- Communication and collaboration.
- Personal events.
- Digital experience.
One way to personalize the employee experience is to give employees more control over their work location. Where workplace mobility shines is in addressing compensation, benefits, and personal events, but it will also touch on other steps like digital experience, and development.
Mobile workplaces allow for a truly customised employment experience, and this will help employees feel more comfortable and empowered in their work environment.
Companies Who Use the Mobile Workplace Model Produce Committed Employees Who Are Invested in Their Work
Happy employees are good employees, and workers who are part of a mobile team report much higher levels of satisfaction and happiness about their career than their office-based counterparts.
Employees who are part of a mobile workforce are generally more engaged and invested in their jobs. When people can work at locations other than in an office, they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership over their work and be more productive.
The motivation to succeed and meet goals is often higher in the mobile workforce. They know they are in a trusted and desirable position, and it is in their best interest to make it work!
Mobile team workers report that it’s just easier to be motivated and creative when work can be done anytime and anywhere. Great ideas can be implemented straight away without first commuting to an office or desk, so it easier to stay fresh and enthusiastic.
Organizations should consider how they can create a culture of trust and respect, where employees feel valued and empowered to do their best work. By providing employees with the freedom to work from wherever they are, organizations can unlock greater engagement and productivity.
There Are More Benefits of Working in A Mobile Workplace
There are other, smaller ways a job mobility helps employees.
Mobile workers are healthier.
People in agile work forces are generally healthier than their sedentary office mates. Being able to work on the run, while travelling and living they are not locked to the desk and chair which is a big contributor to an unhealthy lifestyle.
No more commuting.
Commuting can take up a lot of the workday, mobile workers slash that wasted time down to zero and are able to use that saved time on more important things like family or work. This can also help employees save money.
The time works for them.
Some people work better in the morning, some in the evening. A mobile worker can pick the time that works best for them. Gone are the wasted hours forcing themselves to get sub-par work across the line. By only working during their optimal times, productivity and quality will go way up.
How To Successfully Manage a Mobile Team
Thanks to new advances in technology, it’s easier than ever for companies to have a fully functioning mobile team. But just because it’s possible to manage a team remotely, doesn’t mean it’s always easy. With careful planning and supervision, a mobile team will be able to run smoothly and efficiently.
1. Set up with the right tools.
Employees should be provided with the all the devices, programs, and documentation they need to succeed in the role.
Employers should research and experiment which devices and apps are work best for the organization or project.
2. Be clear on expectations.
Every employee should be made aware of expectations surrounding deadlines, communication, and productivity.
This will avoid confusion and any difficult conversations in the future.
3. Understand the pitfalls.
There are natural challenges when it comes to working in a mobile team. Distractions, communication errors, and intermittent internet access are just some of the issues that can arise.
Being aware of these issues means employers can exercise understanding and make plans for when things go wrong.
4. Communication is essential.
It is important to keep in regular contact with every member of the teams. Establish open lines of communication via email, phone, and messaging.
Those businesses that aren’t ready to commit to a fully mobile team can still improve their employee experience by trying a hybrid model. Identify which roles within the company could successfully transition to mobile and offering it to those workers on a part-time or trial basis.
Once this has been implemented successfully there is always the opportunity to extend it throughout the company and to any new hires.
Mobile Workforces Are the Future of a Successful Employee Experience
“The 9-5 workplace is a thing of the past, and the employees entering the workforce today are demanding increased flexibility with hours, location, and personalized benefits,”
– Kevin Chapman, general manager – Avast Business
Jobseekers are seeking better employee experiences and are eager to achieve a better work / life balance. This trend plus advances in technology and communication indicate that mobile workplaces are set to become the way of the future.
Not every business will be able to utilise a mobile model, but those who have successfully implemented it report increases in productivity, a better talent pool and increased retention.
Improving the employee experience builds a stronger, efficient, and profitable business, and workplace mobility may just be the missing tool to get businesses there.