The digital workplace mobile app – essential or overhyped?
We may all need to rethink our approach to the digital workplace. A report by Emergence Capital reveals:
80% of workers, globally, are deskless.This situation underlines the importance of a mobile-first approach. The same report highlights that 94% of companies are investing in mobile solutions to increase productivity, raise employee experience, and cut costs. Meanwhile, a separate study, the Workplace Mobility Report carried out by T-Mobile, divulges:
Sixty-three percent of global enterprises regard mobility as the most significant factor contributing to competitive advantage, and more than seven in 10 cite it as a top priority.A digital workplace mobile app is not a luxury, an extra feature, or one for the backlog. It is essential.
Not all apps are built the same
It's important to note that when we talk about mobility, we don't necessarily mean apps designed to work on cellphones. Other mobile devices include phablets and tablets, or any other device that you can comfortably carry in your hand, with a touchscreen interface and a digital or physical keyboard.
Mobile apps can be either native or hybrid, and there’s some discussion about which offers better value. Native apps are designed with specific platforms in mind, like iOS, so that they take advantage of the platform and device’s unique features. They’re available via the platform’s store, like the App Store. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, are built for cross-platform functionality, so, at their core, they are more similar to web apps. If your people are more likely to have access to iPhones, then a native app could well be the best solution for them.
We should also highlight the differences, strategically, between offering one digital workplace mobile app and several business mobile apps. Business apps are plentiful, each with its own functionality, from HR queries to timesheets and training apps. The major problem with this approach is continuity – jarring user experiences that take you out of your daily flow. This fragmented approach requires more time to learn and makes mass adoption far less appealing.
Below, we explore the benefits of having one digital workplace mobile app.
A digital workplace mobile app turns the spotlight on employee experience
New research by Gallup tells us that 60% of millennials are open to new job opportunities. The reality is that superior employee experience is crucial to keeping hold of your talent. Today, employees expect to use the software and devices they're most comfortable with, in their own time and environment. Even if they have a desk job, they don't necessarily want to spend every day in the office.
There are now more opportunities than ever in the global marketplace, which is great for breaking down boundaries and creating more equality but can also be challenging. A multinational workforce, for example, will have different availability as they won't necessarily be working in the same time zone, making onboarding problematic. With a mobile digital workplace, your HR team can create targeted onboarding experiences for any device, so that onboarding is easy, relevant, and intuitive for all your people. Your HR team can build innovative training materials and share via a digital workplace mobile app, or set up training workshops and create events that will appear in their calendar.
An advanced social capability, available on a digital workplace mobile app, will help your people stay connected no matter where they are while creating a sense of camaraderie. Colleagues can add posts with useful tips, local knowledge, or ask for feedback. These posts can be shared, as on popular consumer social networks, and translated into any language so that everybody stays up to date.
Work on the move with a digital workplace mobile app
A report by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics has shown that in the last five years remote working has grown by 44%, and 91% over the previous ten years, and it's only going to rise further. With the coronavirus pandemic, facilitating remote working is not a nice-to-have, it's a necessity. Having remote access will keep your workforce connected, informed, and have access to the tools they need to complete work.
A robust digital workplace mobile app will feature integrations to popular software and tools. This single pane of glass approach means that every department in your enterprise can continue working on the go, on their digital workplace mobile app, no matter what their role is. For example, your sales teams can check the status of their leads, discovering hot leads or contacts, and your marketing managers can inspect the analytics of their latest campaigns and adjust accordingly.
Central to improving productivity is a powerful mobile search experience. With an enterprise-wide search capability, your people can discover all their documents, under one search, or explore their people directory to find colleagues with shared interests. And with data privacy being a huge concern for anyone looking to carry out their duties on the move, a mobile digital workplace with stringent security controls needs to be in place so that your people can easily tweak access rights as required.
Stay current with a comms-centric digital workplace app
With a digital workplace mobile app, your news goes straight to your user's pocket. This method is particularly useful for reaching deskless teams or your frontline workforce. Checking news on cellphones has become second nature to everyone. On average, Americans check their phones 96 times a day; that's once every 10 minutes. They check social media, news outlets, instant messaging - they need to stay connected by receiving constant updates from family, friends, work, and the media.
Another great feature of a digital workplace mobile app is being able to set up alerts and push notifications so that your people never miss a beat. This becomes particularly invaluable in crisis management scenarios. It's also useful to remind them that there’s fantastic new content they might have missed when they were in the office - perfect for the daily commute and when they’re waiting on the train platform.
A feature-packed digital workplace platform features the ability to target and personalize content for different audiences and devices. With this capability, you can create mobile-only content and target it to audiences that could benefit the most, such as teams that may only be available on their cellphones and who would, otherwise, be missing out. You could even create your content strategy around location and requirements so that you're covering every digital touchpoint.