With technology changing the way we work and communicate, it’s no surprise that mobile workforces are more popular than ever. In fact, Small Business UK stated that half of the UK will be working remotely by 2020. Allowing employees to work away from the office using a connected system cuts out time wasted by commuting, ensuring work can be done anytime and any place.
Here are our tips for getting the most out of your mobile workforce, no matter where they are.
1. Plan regular meetings
Host regular meetings in the form of a video call. Part of managing a mobile workforce is having great communication, and video chats make it easier to explain vital information or updates.
An anonymous manager can make the employee feel unimportant or forgotten about, so schedule in weekly or bi-weekly meetings to get to know your employees. That way, they know you’re there to support them no matter where the location while you can be certain the work is getting done. If you’re not confident when it comes to video calls, you can find some beginners tips to web conferencing here.
2. Consider an online management system
Organisation is key when it comes to mobile working as it’s possible to lose track of what has yet to be completed. Paper reports are easy to lose and can take a while to file, whereas phone calls can end up being few and far between when a worker is busy.
Taking further advantage of technology can help you stay in regular contact with workers, keeping you in the loop. Consider introducing an online management system such as WorkNow, a cloud-based workforce enablement platform created by Totalmobile.
This can be integrated into any system and gives employees everything they need to get the job done, connecting the workforce in real time. Among its features is a diary for a visual overview of the week and a workflow system that provides live updates on the status of work so you always know what’s going on.
3. Put a policy in place for use of personal devices
It may seem cost effective to let your employees use their own devices for their work, but not everyone is technology savvy. You can’t expect them to have the latest iPhone or laptop, so providing them may mean better quality service with less risk of costly repairs. If you do decide to let workers use their own devices, it’s vital to put a company policy in place.
You won’t have much access to their own phones and laptops unless an agreement has been put in place, so they must be trusted to not get distracted by social media or personal calls. You will also have to consider the fact that their own personal images and apps will take up valuable space, so reach an agreement as to how much storage the employee must reserve for work.
4. Work on delivering precise briefs
It may sound obvious, but make sure your instructions are easy to understand and aren’t given over the phone. It’s hard to remember specifics when given over a lengthy phone call, so make sure all the important details have been given through a management system. However, it’s equally essential to deliver clear messages as it’s easy to misunderstand emails. Delete any unnecessary information, instead keeping the instructions clear and to the point.
5. Consider offering additional benefits
Finally, keep remote employees involved so they don’t feel forgotten about or drained. Work benefits are important in keeping workforce morale high and fully engaged.
Specialist recruitment company Robert Half found that those who are engaged with their jobs outperformed those who weren’t, which they linked to morale levels. Happy workers were linked to better attitudes, so don’t forget those outside of the office when you’re treating your employees for their hard work.
Working on your own or away from the company base can feel isolating, so make sure communication between all employees is promoted to keep everyone happy and working hard.