The advancement in technology has significantly changed many aspects of life including how work is done. Nowadays, it is possible to have people work from remote locations or as they commute and have no need to go to physical premises. This has seen the rise of the mobile workforce.
Mobile workforce defined
A mobile workforce is a workforce that is made up of individuals who carry out their duties from other locations but not within a physical office. Although a mobile workforce is comprised mainly of those who work from home, it also includes desk-less workers like insurance salespeople, retail staff, and gig workers such as Uber drivers. This workforce is most common in industries where workers are mostly in the field and not in the office and are called desk-less or field workers. Such industries include manufacturing, retail, construction, healthcare, and others.
Besides being a type of worker, a mobile workforce is also defined by the technology that is credited with facilitating the working of the mobile workforce. The workforce is a good indication of the transformation happening in the mobility of data and location to enable the working from any location anytime.
Cloud technology is one technology that has promoted this mobility as workers can access data stored in the cloud from anywhere, so they can be connected while still mobile. The mobile workforce is also known for flexibility thanks to work scheduling technologies that reduce pressure due to the nature of the work and tight shift timings of hourly workers.
Mobile workforce management
Since the workforce outside of the physical office needs to communicate with fellow staff, get work schedules, receive work updates, and other such things, mobile workforce management (MWM) software is necessary to help them with these tasks. The software also assists in invoicing and work order management. Companies seeking mobile workforce management software should look no further than Synel Americas, a global leader in providing workforce management software solutions. They offer first-class software for effective operations.
MWM solutions come in different types. Some provide specific tools to manage field staff while others avail tools with wider applications and can manage off-site, temporary, and contract employees. The solutions nowadays are highly needed to cater for staff out there in the field, working from customer’s premises while interacting directly with them.
Benefits of mobile workforce
Some of the benefits of having a mobile workforce supported by the appropriate technology include:
The cost of physical buildings to house staff is significantly reduced. The biggest and most critical cost becomes that of technology and gadgets to effectively manage the mobile workforce.
· Accessing talents from remote locations
Businesses can access and make use of top-notch talents from the remotest parts of the globe within a short timeline and at relatively lower costs.
· Improved customer service
Deskless workforces are equipped with mobile apps and cutting edge devices that enable them to stay in touch directly and promptly with customers, enhancing the customer experience as well as that of the employee.
Data security concerns of mobile workforce
The increased use of mobile workforce has increased data security threats such as:
- Cyber-attacks on personal phones and laptops that hold company data if left unattended in cafes or connect to public Wi-Fi
- Physical theft of devices like laptops
The growth of the mobile workforce has been hindered by the risks it poses to company data. Organizations facing such threats need to reinforce their IT infrastructure and secure the apps and gadgets used by off-site staff.
The following measures can help to reduce data security risks:
- Sensitize staff about the possible risks of cyberattacks and breaches and let them be aware of the actions to take in case of an incident.
- Store sensitive data in the cloud instead of physical devices. Blocking or deleting the user can be additional steps to safeguard the data, especially if it is highly sensitive.
- Have in place provisions to delete hard drives remotely in case of theft of devices.
Due to the growth of technology and changing lifestyles as well as the need to cut costs, the mobile workforce is expected to become more common and many companies will have to adopt it. The most important thing is to prepare for it by getting the right infrastructure and systems in place.