Maximize Collaboration for a Mobile Workforce

Companies are awash in smartphones, tablets, Aircards and other mobile devices that promise to improve productivity and connect employees, whether they are across the office or across the world from each other. 

Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of employers will require employees to bring their own devices to work. The Pew Research Center, meanwhile, estimates that 55 percent of Americans have a smartphone and 42 percent own a tablet, both of which increasingly double as work and personal devices. Those numbers suggest that workers today are more connected than at any point in history. As a result, the challenge for IT pros is less about whether (or how) to get employees mobile, but how to ensure employees get the most value from mobile technology. Apps and devices just aren't valuable if people can't work productively on them. 

CIO reporter Jennifer Lonoff Schiff spoke with several enterprise mobility experts about how to maximize collaboration and productivity among employees. Here are a few of the tips: 

  • Compatibility is Key: Company mobility is complex, with an array of device types, operating systems and applications. It's important for employees to be able to share documents and information across those disparate devices and platforms. "Make sure your office workers and mobile workers have compatible software," Peter Poulin, vice president of marketing at Motion Computing, tells CIO. "In an age of BYOD, one can't assume all devices will support the same software." 
  • Centralize Project Management in the Cloud: "Using a centralized online workspace to track everything from deadlines and deliverables to budgets is the most efficient way to keep team members in the loop," says Brent Frei, cofounder of Smartsheet. He recommends that companies choose a project management tool that has a mobile app so employees can access it while on the go.
  • Stress Smart, Secure Mobile Behavior: "Working off mobile devices creates concerns of battery life, connectivity and information security," says Michael DeFranco, CEO of Lua, a mobile communication service. "Having employees understand the best ways to mitigate these concerns greatly increases their productivity." 

Read the full article for more tips to help your company crack the collaboration code.  

h/t: CIO

[Image via Can Stock Photo]