COVID-19: Mobile Working and the Digital Workplace

Mobile Working

COVID19 has created unprecedented workforce disruption around the world. In the UK, as we navigate the autumn with the very real prospect of a 2nd wave, companies everywhere try to determine how to maintain business continuity, while protecting staff and continuing to serve customers. More and more business owners are focusing on mobile working and the digital workplace.

The rapid development of mobile devices, the consumerisation of IT and the ability to access data almost anywhere in the world, have all changed the fundamental ways that we work. Mobile technologies have improved how we work reactively and responsively. The speed with which everyone now expects to achieve results means that many organisations have to equip their workforce with tools to work anywhere, at any time. Not just a seamless interface between home and office, but the ability to work ‘on-the-go’; at a client’s place of work, on-site, or out in the field.

Furthermore, society operates in a 24-7 environment, raising the need for access to information, goods and services. Obviously not every business requirement can be solved with a mobile app. But for many organisations having the ability to effectively function and perform in the field while using a smartphone or tablet has been revolutionary. The resultant increase in productivity has improved worker availability and supported the rise of flexible working hours.

In addition, social interaction and work practices which support health and wellbeing are also key for productivity. However, the global pandemic has brought a halt to the traditional work environment and opportunities to catch-up with colleagues ‘by the water cooler’. Mobile technologies not only allow staff to work flexibly, but can increase inclusion and allow people to still feel part of a community. The restrictions of COVID19 have put so much emphasis on the use of videoconferencing, that the workforce has become entirely accepting of virtual meetings. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams provides cost-effective online chat, calls and meetings.

Moreover, in many cases the modern worker’s job description has also evolved – away from one person performing a single role. Companies now require agility, meaning that work is becoming more about a collection of people performing a series of tasks, activities and projects. For this to truly work, technology has to track and measure activities and support teams to connect, collaborate and communicate. Software and apps that support this include:

  • Microsoft Sway – has changed how we create and share reports, presentations and personal stories.
  • Power BI – empowers team members to analyse data for insights.
  • SharePoint and Microsoft OneDrive – offer easy access to content, data and documents through file storage, collaboration, CMS and dashboards.
  • Vantage 365 Imaging Connector – generates bar codes within Power Apps and Power Automate to facilitate registrations, document classification and data processing.

Finally, poor connectivity used to be the bane of the mobile worker’s existence, but with the proliferation of 5G networks, mobile performance will start to compete with that of traditional WIFI.

For an example of where we have used Microsoft 365 and Power Apps to improve mobile working for a client, read our case study .

For help with mobile working or the digital workplace, engage a trusted partner. Our mission at Vantage 365 is to enable you to fully take advantage of technology to drive progress, efficiency and productivity. Our priority is the success and competitiveness of your business. If you require any advice or assistance in respect of your digital workplace, including helping your company to work smarter and respond faster, please get in touch.

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