As an increasing number of companies are allowing employees to work from home full-time, business leaders are realizing that they need to take those workers’ unique needs into consideration. Companies that plan to prosper this year know that most new and even some long-term employees will want to work mobile more frequently.
This expected growth in working outside the office will raise some challenges as well as opportunities for all involved. Here is what to anticipate over the next few months:
- More work/life balance questions. The expansion of work mobility and technology means workers can stay accessed to their jobs 24/7. The downside of this development is longer hours encroaching on employees’ time away from work. Apart from talk about employers ensuring proper compensation for all time worked as a trend this year, no definitive answer appears yet for determining how to best manage when an employee has major personal and professional obligations that conflict “off the clock.”
- Fewer face-to-face meetings. One survey found 95 percent of respondents say they prefer using business communications tools such as email, text messaging and web meetings rather than in-person conferences. It’s not just employees who favor this — many employers believe that as the ease and reliability of international connectivity increases, so does the need to provide value for live attendees coming from further away at greater expense. Expect to make more phone calls and web conferences such as GoToMeeting in place of flights and hotel stays for business conferences.
- More email. Another survey revealed that 61 percent of U.S. workers who use the Internet said email was “very important’’ for doing their job. That’s more than those who said the same of the Internet, social media or texting for their work. This needs to be considered when deciding how to communicate most effectively for business, especially since the same poll found 51 percent claim to have expanded the number of people they communicate with just through using email. In fact, one major company has eliminated voicemail in favor of email.
Overall, expert projections for mobile employees this year are largely optimistic, so if you want to try a few days out of the office yourself, GoToMyPC is always here to help.
Are there any other trends in the mobile workforce you anticipate are likely to occur in the foreseeable future? Please share them in the comments section.