Mobility challenges: How to improve team collaboration when the office can be anywhere

By Becky Lawlor

Mobile devices have changed the way employees and businesses function. Employees can now work from almost anywhere — at home, while traveling or while running personal errands. This has allowed employees to enjoy more flexibility while increasing productivity. It has also provided employers with a range of benefits.

According to Forbes, mobile companies enjoy improved productivity by replacing long, outdated processes with more effective mobile models. Mobility also increases employee engagement and overall happiness when compared to companies that don’t prioritize mobile. Happy, engaged workers are simply more productive.

Eliminating mobility challenges

According to research by MarketsandMarkets, the enterprise collaboration market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.2 percent between 2016 and 2021. Unsurprisingly, there is a growing suite of applications to address enterprise mobility challenges and collaboration needs.

This growth will come mostly in the form of cloud-based mobile apps. There is already a significant number of mobile apps on the market and in use by employers. However, as app use increases, many employers are also beginning to tap into the following additional mobile app features that can further enhance workplace collaboration while helping to resolve mobility challenges:

Push notifications

Consumer-facing apps have used push notifications to connect with customers for some time. Enterprises are now beginning to tap into the value of this feature as well. Though push notifications do require employees to opt in, they can provide a highly effective way to communicate if employers can get them to do so. This lets employers inform or alert employees to important issues or communications even if an employee isn’t actually using the app.

Companies can increase the value of push notifications by targeting segmented groups based on geographic locations or personas. For example, using location-based push notifications can be helpful to communicate severe weather alerts or office closings to employees in a certain geographic area.

In-app banners

Banners provide another way to alert or inform employees about important changes or to provide useful information. However, unlike push notifications, banners are only displayed in-app, so employees will only see these types of notices when they are actually using the app. Though this may limit their effectiveness in some cases — because banners don’t require employees to opt in — they may be seen by more employees than push notifications.

The other value of both push notifications and in-app banners is their visibility. With employees’ inboxes overflowing, it’s easy for them to lose track of important email communications. Since push notifications and banners pop up on screens, they tend to be more visible to employees and can often be a better way to communicate.

Navigational features

Businesses with large campuses or dispersed employees can also use mobile apps to make navigation easier. Employees can now use features within their mobile apps to book meeting rooms, navigate from one place to another in large, multi-building campuses, or even to help find the right conference room.

Some advanced applications can use geolocation technology to identify where an employee is located, making it easier for employees to find and engage each other when collaboration is necessary.

The real value of mobility is that employees remain highly productive — and the only way this can happen is when teams can still collaborate and communicate as efficiently and effectively as if they were all in the same place. Fortunately, there are plenty of mobile apps and features that help solve this challenge. And, if the growth in the enterprise collaboration market is any indication, more great solutions are on their way.

Written By

Becky Lawlor

Technology Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer specializing in mobility, cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration solutions. She develops and writes content that helps technology buyers understand and evaluate technology solutions, modernize their IT infrastructure…

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