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Posts tagged ‘mobile’

How Mobile is Changing the Workplace

Employee-MonitoringDo you check your work email as soon as you wake up? (Spoiler: It’s not good for you).

Tablets, smartphones, and other on-the-go technologies make it incredibly convenient to check-in with work responsibilities at all hours of the day – not just first thing in the morning. And while it seems productive to constantly be available to your colleagues and managers, it may not be the most efficient.

Here are a few pros and cons as to how mobile technology can make – or break – the workplace:

Pros:

The Ultimate Flexibility

Whether you’re a remote employee or someone who spends the majority of their time in the office, mobile technology definitely provides a new level of flexibility that employees have never had before. No matter where we are or what comes up, we can still be accessible to our teams and managers. It gives us the freedom to live our lives while still being able to do our jobs effectively.

Higher Morale

Thanks to the increased flexibility that mobile brings, it can also help to increase employee morale. Employees get to spend more time with their families, feel less pressure to be tied to their cubicle all day, and feel less stressed when they have to leave the office – because they still feel connected to their colleagues.

Improved Communication            

As a manager, having employees constantly connected to mobile devices makes communication easier than ever – with both remote and in-office team members. The convenience of mobile allows for a quick response time no matter how critical the email, text, or phone call may be.

Cons:

Loss of Work/Life Balance

The traditional 9-5 schedule assumed that employees were accessible to their employers mostly during set hours.  With mobile technology, it’s more likely that work will intrude on downtime.

Burnout

Unplugging is essential to giving our brains time to turn off from work.  Always being connected to what needs to be done can easily lead to burnout, which, in the end, doesn’t make us any more productive. Taking a break from our various mobile technologies outside of work helps to refresh our minds, giving us more bandwidth to come up with new ideas and be sharper when we’re actually in the office – leading to better productivity.

Unrealistic Expectations

Some managers can take advantage of their always-connected employees by sending emails or texts after hours that require a quick response – or worse, calling their employees on the weekends. Respecting your teams’ personal lives is critical, but the convenience of mobile can make it difficult for some managers (and colleagues) to recognize those boundaries.

How well are you able to manage your mobile worklife?

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Talking with William Tincup and Sharlyn Lauby about mobile workforce management

Last week, I spoke with our board members Sharlyn Lauby (aka the HR Bartender) and William Tincup (so many aliases, I don’t know where to start) about the future of mobile workforce management.  At Kronos, we’ve invested in smartphone and tablet solutions that enable managers and employees to take action on common tasks like punching in and out, scheduling shifts, approving  timecards, and the like.  Frontline managers are thereby freed to “manage in the moment” while going about their daily routines, untethered from their office computers.

We’re seeing rapid adoption of mobile technologies at Kronos and in the world at large.  As consumers become more wedded to the conveniences of mobile devices for communication and entertainment, they increasingly expect to experience similar conveniences in the workplace.

We talked about the following questions that are top of mind for organizations using (or thinking about using) mobile technology to extend their workforce management environment:

  • What are the barriers to adoption of mobile technology?
  • Is the tablet more important than the smartphone as a mobile device for workforce management?
  • What issues should employers consider before they implement a mobile solution for employees?
  • How do we see mobile evolving in the coming years?  (Check out this very cool, some might say space age even, view of the future from Corning Glass).

You can listen in on our discussion here: Mobile podcast 3.7.13

Are you using mobile technology on the job?  What are the pros and cons?

Going Mobile

I’m off to HR Tech on Sunday to represent Kronos, catch up with old friends, and check out what’s new and exciting in our industry. I’m also leaving my laptop at home and relying solely on my iPad (and her kid sister, iPhone) to keep up with my computing needs. Although I’ve had the iPad since Christmas, I haven’t had the courage yet to leave my laptop at home during business travel.

My first “portable computer” was the one I used for my job as a Systems Marketing Rep at Control Data in 1983. It was as big and heavy as a sewing machine to carry, yet I felt as cool as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek with that baby. I’d swish into a customer’s conference room in 3 inch heels and shoulder pads worthy of an NFL player. There would be audible gasps when I’d establish a phone connection to our mainframe in Ohio with my “mobile” device – a 1200 kilobyte per second acoustic coupler.

The power and portability the average citizen carries around today was inconceivable then, and the notion of a universal computing network was a brand new concept limited largely to defense and academic applications. I’ve been fortunate to have had a front row seat with leading edge software companies for almost 30 years, but still find certain computing habits hard to break. So, wish me luck as I put a couple thousand miles between me and the Dell next week.