The future of work is changing at a hyper fast pace and decision-makers and executives at companies that do not adapt are destined to fail.
What’s causing the rapidly changing landscape of work? Waves of millennials are replacing baby boomers, and these young, talented workers crave mobility with their desire to work anywhere. Remember the good old days of employees working in traditional offices, cube farms and gossiping at the water cooler? Forget about it. Younger workers also eschew silos and top-down structures. To be productive, it’s all about collaboration and sharing. Obey the rules and regulations of a traditional IT department led by a veteran manager? The 20-30-year-old employee is his or her own technician and a master of their own wireless devices.
Now that millennials are shaping the new workplace, how can business leaders adjust to experience success with this permeating transformation? Embrace this new style of work and capitalize on the payoffs brought forth by wirelessly mobile, collaborative contributors. Do not impede the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative drive of these highly skilled workers. Celebrate the benefits and jolts to the company’s bottom line they produce from the wireless mobile devices, applications and the platforms they crave.
Your father’s workplace is quickly becoming obsolete and business leaders must make wireless tools available for their tech-savvy workers to accommodate multigenerational work styles. Business leaders who want to win in the marketplace today and in the future need to establish a relationship with a trusted communications advisor who understands how social, mobile and cloud technologies will change, and make more efficient, their business processes. That trusted advisor will help business leaders select the wireless devices, apps and collaborative tools that fit the work styles of dynamic younger employees and that are scalable to quickly adapt with the rapidly changing workforce needs.
"Younger workers also eschew silos and top-down structures. To be productive, it’s all about collaboration and sharing"
Think of the breadth and modes of communication occurring today. On a typical day, nearly three out of four employees work with remote customers; nearly 70 percent work with remote co-workers; more than half work with remote suppliers. And work happens everywhere—from a client site, while traveling, in a coffee shop, and many times from home. Time spent on a smartphone and tablet is heavily increasing. Now think of how much those percentages have likely increased in the last two years!
It also behooves business leaders to allow employees of any age to BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) to work. You want your personnel to be as productive as possible and letting them use their preferred devices is simpler and more comfortable for them. You wouldn’t limit a carpenter to using a specific saw or brand of hammer, right? But with BYOD and other collaborative tools craved by your employees, it’s important to secure and manage those devices, especially in mobile environments.
If your mobile workers, especially field teams, are still using paper forms, you’re lagging behind competitors. There are many excellent “software-as-a-service” products that allow you to create mobile apps to replace cumbersome and error-filled paper forms. Avoid lost forms, impossible-to-read handwriting and the redundancy that comes with manual data entry.
Other services for mobile users, powered by the cloud, can get your workers access to vital applications and files from virtually anywhere and they’re always up to date. These services can offer simplified access to email and calendars, online conferencing, file sharing and document creation—all which can be done wirelessly, from nearly any device with security and privacy you can trust.
At Sprint, we walk the talk—our hundreds of business account executives, millennials and baby boomers, are equipped with iPads wherever they go. Whether it’s a boardroom or on a park bench doing a customer pitch, our reps have dozens of apps and other communication tools at their fingertips to help educate and inspire customers to consider our solutions and services. Reps have instant access to the information they need to make informed decisions. They can visually present all Sprint collateral and processes on one device and deals can be closed much faster. Reps can make presentations and even conduct video calls with engineers while conversing with a prospective customer. These wireless devices are so powerful and multifaceted that contracts can be finalized and signed on the spot. Not long ago, these same sales reps lugged around heavy laptops and were hindered technologically in their efforts to make presentations or close deals seamlessly.
If winning in the marketplace is the goal, the options are clear. Stick with the traditional methods of yesteryear’s workplace environment or, unencumber your business, and your most valuable asset, your workers, and equip them with powerful wireless devices, collaborative solutions and an autonomous setting in which they can thrive.