Market musings

How Mobile Optimizes Productivity for Flexible Work

by Sasha Viasasha
February 20, 2018

A new Frontline worker study by IFS found that while 89 percent of companies surveyed use subcontractors, only 10 percent had a robust mobile channel for staying in contact with field service workers.

Flexible work arrangements really do improve productivity, but only when businesses also provide an easy way for flexible workers – both employees and subcontractors – to communicate with leadership and each other. Mobile tech is essential to achieving productivity for a more flexible workforce.

Mobility for upsells and better customer experience

The study found that while though an overwhelming majority of companies are relying on contractors and flexible workers, the lack of effective communication platforms tends to be a significant bottleneck, getting in the way of greater revenues and a memorable customer experience.

This presents a significant opportunity for businesses to improve productivity and better utilize the flexible workforce. The report pointed out that a better mobile communication platform allows frontline workers to give customers the answers they need immediately and upsell services more frequently.

Flexible work schedules and employee engagement

A number of studies have found that workers with flexible schedules tend to be happier with their jobs, in better health and rank higher on performance KPIs. That research is backed up by direct surveys around the world.

Polycom’s Anywhere Working survey reported that: 

  • 62 percent of the global multigenerational workforce have flexible working arrangements
  • 70 percent of respondents agreed that having control over their own work life balance is the biggest advantage of flexible working
  • 97 percent say that advanced communications tech is critical for bringing colleagues closer together, building relationships and overcoming the challenges of flexible working arrangements

Top talent is choosing to go where they can more easily handle all their responsibilities, at work and at home. That’s why 73 percent of APAC companies surveyed by Polycom offered flexible working arrangements, led by India, China and Singapore at 91 percent, 85 percent, and 71 percent respectively.

Concentrated communications

A  survey shows that 45 percent of senior executives believe employees would be more productive if they banned meetings at least one day each week. Meetings have become the bane of the business day and are often considered wasted time. Rethinking the approach to meetings as a default communication solution can yield significant results. Is a meeting really necessary, or can the same results be achieved more efficiently via email or a quick conference call?

Are core contributors being called into meetings, or are there too many participants who don’t need to be there? Are people bringing laptops to meetings to catch up on email or work when they should be paying attention? Be judicious about meetings and keep them short and focused.

BYOD vs. the home office

Research also shows that providing the right tools improves productivity. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon, for example, has been shown to increase productivity. Initial concerns that personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops would be used more for personal communications rather than work have proven false. BYOD employees actually work an extra two hours and send an average of 20 more emails each day. They are more comfortable using their own hardware and tend to incorporate business communications into their online life.

Flexible work allows people to create their own ideal working conditons, whether that's the early morning hours, or late at night. At the same time, workers have greater freedom to pursue their personal goals or handle familiy issues, which makes for more satisfied and focused employees. People can take breaks when they are no longer effective, and work when they are top of their game. 

In fact, employee productivity has been demonstrated to be greatly enhanced by smart devices, especially as those devices become incorporated into the workplace.

Using personal mobile computing hardware promotes productivity by enabling remote workers, enabling online access and the ability to take breaks while still remaining connected to the office. And smartphones reduce the need for more meetings by enabling remote-employee access. Increasingly, handheld devices are becoming the focal point of personal computing, and employees use their smartphones to access business files and email, as well as for telephone calls.

A better way

Overcoming communication bottlenecks and opening up the lines of communication for workers and teammates is essential for flexible work. Routine meetings are replaced by as-needed conversations, supported by a smart mobile communication architecture in that allows workers to get support and critical information or authorization quickly. Waiting for information in the field is a demoralizing experience for both customers and the sales, support and service staff that serve them.

At Spoke Phone, we've built a mobile-first business phone solution that allows you to use your smartphones as the foundation of your business phone system. You can easily add in contractors and flexible workers, and all your critical call data and customer contact information remains secure in the application, even when they leave. Consolidate your sales and support operations under a single company phone number, and private numbers remain masked as workers use the application. 

A virtual PBX

Spoke Phone equips your mobile phone infastructure with all the functionality and features your business needs to stay professional and remain productive. In addition to classical features like call transfer, team calling and an AI receptionist, we're building productivity features like voice to text transcription. You can read your voicemails, record your calls, and playback conversations at any time.

Sign up for a demo so we can walk your through our solution to mobile business communications, and you can see if Spoke can help your business stay connected and productive on the go. 

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