In today’s digital age the preferred way to access the Internet is via mobile devices. In 2016 the average European Internet user daily spent about two hours on their phones. These numbers are only expected to increase with mobile affinity on the rise.  We believe that the usage of mobile devices can increase employee engagement if you do it in the right way.

Although mobile usage can supposedly have negative effects on health and workplace productivity, more and more sources claim the opposite. Should employers promote the usage of mobile devices at and for work? If so, what are the smartest ways to do this that helps engage employees?

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Do we drive technology or does it drive us?

With the information industry ahead of mobile adoption, Forrester found that 66% of the employees in this sector use at least two devices at work. The data was obtained from a study conducted in North America and Europe. However, the data collected varies among countries, sectors, and enterprise maturity. Moreover, different work ethics and policies impact the use of mobile devices during work hours.

Employees who typically have their phones or mobile devices close by (regardless the environment) might find it difficult not to become distracted by incoming messages, emails, and notifications. This phenomenon can be explained by simple natural human biology. However, the risk for addiction is real.

mobile-phone-affinity-employee-engagement

In fact, a recent OpenMarket study showed that 83% of millennials open their received messages within only 90 seconds after receipt. This constant 24/7 availability requires high multitasking capabilities, which are commonly associated with high stress levels.

Furthermore, the constant access to work resources while at home or during family time can negatively impact the work-life-balance. This can eventually lead to reduced job satisfaction and performance.

Although the disadvantages to being “constantly connected” are very real, there are also some advantages that cannot be ignored. In fact, some studies have shown that increased mobile usage is a value for employee engagement.

There is a definitive line between mobile use and misuse that requires careful attention and consideration. After all, smart technology is only as smart as the user.

Turn invasive into engagement

Mobile devices grant employees more flexibility. Work-related information can be made accessible from any location. This flexibility has allowed employees to better manage the work-life balance. Errands no longer need to be postponed. Commuting to client meetings no longer have to be cut short. Employees no longer need to use personal or vacation time for doctor’s appointments.

According to Forbes device supported mobility improves workflows by 30% and even increases productivity by 23%.

When we think about it—hasn’t the conventional 9-to-5 fixed schedule become a thing of the past? More flexibility increases happiness—and happy employees work more efficiently, which makes employers happy. Now that everyone seems to be satisfied, it is interesting to think about how we can get even more out of this trend.

Benefits from mobile real-time insights boost employee engagement

You want to know what they think. How do your employees feel about the latest company reorganisation? Do employees have concerns about the upcoming peak season? Are employees feeling stressed about their current projects or workload? This is data you can’t afford to miss out on… According to the Engagement Institute, disengaged employees cost companies $550 each year. So, timeliness matters.

Today’s tight relationship with mobile phones is an opportunity to obtain real-time results. According to the ADP Research Institute, HR information via mobile can be 60% more engaging than via PCs. We have noticed popular networking platforms, such as Linkedin recently undergoing major mobile optimization. More and more business services are preparing for daily mobile access. The time to align employee engagement with user preferences and increase effectiveness is now.

Want to make use of mobile adoption and empower your workforce?

Then this is what you should keep in mind:

Promote mobile affinity.

Although mobile affinity in 2018 might be highly prevalent, some workers are still reluctant towards the mobile change. The availability of a private device does not necessarily correlate with the extent of mobile applications usage.

Encourage your employees to higher application tolerance. This can be done by ensuring access to technical advice and sharing knowledge. Any concerns need to be addressed. Invest in tools that stand in line with the required security standards. Apps should be implemented as solutions to tighten collaboration and communication between teams and management.

Communicate the benefits and optimise the user experience.

Choose a platform that is intuitive and that also provides the highest level connectivity. If your aim is to sustainably collect high-quality data from employees, then you need to build a modern and easy-to-use experience. Employees should be able to see immediate benefits (e.g. reward in the form of the learning experience, acknowledgement, higher transparency or visible improvement) in order to see the value and purpose of an application.

Some employees may have privacy concerns with using a work-related device. Employees should be encouraged to use two devices to help them keep their personal and work matters separate.

Choose the right timing and frequency.

While you don’t want to miss out on essential data, it’s important to avoid being too pushy. Pick the appropriate timing and frequency to dispatch employee surveys or other interactions.

If you are unsure of where to start or how to approach your workforce to obtain high-quality data, then reach out to experts who can help you with set up.