May 2019
Mins read

The Increasing Role of Mobile in the Digital Workplace

How important is it that you embrace productivity via mobile within your workplace? Very.

In a survey of 200 digital leaders by DropSource, over 80% of respondents indicated they were behind the 8-ball when it came to using mobile to support business goals - with 41% believing that it’s having a negative impact on market competitiveness.

If you want to remain competitive, you need your digital workplace be up to task - and that includes rich, intuitive, Uber-like app experiences for your team.

Read the signs for the increasing role of the intranet mobile app in the digital workplace, and do it right with an enterprise mobile strategy that drives user engagement.

The employee as a customer mindset

“Simplicity, flexibility, convenience, personalization, and connection—have come to be what we expect, even demand, as consumers.” - Creating a Consumer-Grade Experience For Employees With Digital HR, Deloitte

The workforce is changing. Baby Boomers are transitioning to retirement, and Millennials’ attitudes and expectations of career, workplace, technology, and company ‘brand’ make organisational change necessary to attract and retain top talent. The younger demographic will make up a projected 75% of the workforce by 2025 (source: Boardroom Questions, Millennials in the Work Place, KPMG).

According to
research by Gallup in 2016,

  • Only 29% of millennials are engaged in their role and company (the least of any generation)
  • 60% are open to new job opportunities, making them a fickle audience

They are also digital natives who grew up immersed in technology, more than any previous generation.

To capture this demographic in the workplace involves taking a look at them from the employee as a customer mindset.

What do they want?

To be engaged within a company and role they respect, with technology like they are used to at home (such as mobile apps) as an integral part of their work lives.

It’s not just the digital natives that are mobile first anymore

Across all age groups, Australians use a smartphone more than, or equally to, a computer or laptop for going online 72% of the time in their personal lives, according to the 2017 Consumer Barometer with Google. This means that people are more familiar with using their mobile than they are their computer.

We want to capitalize on what our customers (aka employees) expect from technology already, and give them the same experience in the workplace.

So let’s talk about that a little - building your employee experience.

In the same Creating a Consumer-Grade Experience For Employees With Digital HR report from Deloitte we mentioned earlier, just “22% of executives believe their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience,” whereas “organizations with highly engaged employees experience a 3 year revenue growth 2.3 times greater than the average.”

To be an attractive, viable workplace for employees, one of the keys to success is to create attractive tech environments that help employees remain engaged.

An attractive tech environment includes mobile applications that your customers (employees) use regularly and enjoy, that work seamlessly with your underlying systems.

How we communicate

You’ll notice that there has been a big push towards software that allows more communication and collaboration. In your personal life, you can easily comment on friends documents, share files in the cloud, and instant message individuals or groups at the push of a button.

Intuitive communication and collaboration are even more critical with enterprise apps.

For enterprise productivity apps, this means that multiple employees can be working on or with the same set of files or data without conflicts, that they can quickly communicate with their team instantly instead of waiting for one-way emails to be replied to (or even noticed), and they can receive incoming notifications instantly, wherever they are.

As per ISG Provider Lens Digital Workplace of the Future Global 2019 report: “enterprise social collaboration has transformed from just being a company intranet-centric service to becoming a connected, engaging, device-independent, cloud-enabled, productivity-oriented service… that should provide platforms for idea generation, crowdsourcing and gamification, all of which should enhance productivity.”

Unified communication and collaboration has increased employee productivity at its core.

This needs to be achievable via mobile to give employees the same experience they use in their personal lives.

The role of mobile intranet software when work is on the go

One massive benefit of a mobile-first workplace that we haven’t touched on is the ability to work remotely; whether that’s on the commute to the office, doing a little work during a weekend or night-time brainwave, or even the ability to contribute while sick at home or while travelling.

While intensive work will likely still need a laptop, there is a lot that can be accomplished with a smartphone and with the right apps that empowers the user.

Today, according to Hok Forward Workplace Research + Trends 2018, “nearly 80 percent of global knowledge workers report working remotely at least one day a week,” and not only that, “remote work increases employee engagement,” with “remote working one to two days a week the most popular choice across generations.

In fact, some companies have embraced remote work to its fullest - all of software startup InVision’s 700 staff work remotely. To quote, “It's about results, not where your IP address is.” With the right systems, switching to a more remote workforce can significantly cut company overheads while empowering employees.

Give your employees the right tools and processes to work remotely - whether it’s at home, in co-working spaces, or just a coffee shop - and they’ll be happier and more engaged.

Enterprise apps are an integral part of remote work capabilities, and user enrolment, usage, and updates should be seamless.

How to embrace mobile for the workplace

Whether you choose BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or company-owned devices for your actual mobile infrastructure is not the key hurdle you need to overcome with your mobile strategy.

It’s bringing the same experience to your intranet and apps as employees expect from the apps in their personal lives that counts.

If you have enterprise apps that feel clunky and out of date, you’ll quickly alienate your users. That’s why a ‘responsive’ intranet site simply isn’t enough for your team. A responsive intranet is simply a browser-based mobile version of your regular, desktop-based intranet.

Users expect a clean, native experience on their mobile and not a clunky replica of what they use on their desktop.

Our mobile intranet software solution comes with a dedicated native app for iOS and Android - so whatever your device policy, you can take advantage of providing your team with an experience that responds like the apps they use in their personal lives.

Measuring employee engagement should be a key part of your mobile strategy

It’s not enough to deploy mobile solutions and then update them with new company information.

Business Intelligence and Business Analytics are types of AI data analysis designed to measure company performance, make predictions, and even come up with new strategies for success, all of which can be supported by our native app framework.

For example, we could run A/B testing on our intranet app design, to see which design is more effective at employee engagement from data points such as steps taken to navigate to a page, time spent within the app, and social engagement frequency or breadth of network.

You could track the decrease in the number of in-company emails vs. increase in use of in-app communications systems. You could determine which notifications are opened fastest.

All this helps guide you towards fine-tuning your systems to increase engagement, productivity, and efficiency.

Where to now?

The digital workplace of the future involves a comprehensive mobile strategy that empowers your users to do more from their phones - just as they do in their personal lives. Embrace the way that we now use technology and bring it to the workplace.

Try our Intranet Software for yourself

The CentricMinds mobile intranet software app is a great fit for companies looking to connect and communicate with their increasingly mobile-first workforce. We bring technology to the table that “feels right” for your users, an employee experience-centric platform that helps them be more productive, engaged, and happy, whether it’s in the workplace, on the go, or working remotely. Contact us for more information about our intuitive mobile workplace solutions, or sign up for our free 14 day trial.