How would you use your mobile digital workplace? Do you need information urgently on the move? Or is your work app based? Whether you’re always switched on and making the most of your downtime, outputting to a second screen to monitor alerts and notifications, or you’re a BYOD user with no other available options, these are the critical scenarios to consider when taking the digital workplace mobile. Defining the way that remote users access their intranet software is key to defining a mobile digital workplace strategy.
Should you go mobile first?
There’s a very real sense that many organisations are not making the most of the full potential of a mobile digital workplace. The desktop experience is still seen as primary although patterns of work, and the nature of work itself, are changing. Building a mobile-first intranet acknowledges that employee services and critical content need to be easily accessible by all employees, not simply by those sitting at a desk.
Mobile intranets that are forward facing with their app development are reaping the rewards of greater employee engagement, higher levels of adoption, and greater efficiencies.
Redefining mobile work
Organisations tend to think of mobile work as taking place away from the office, while travelling or working from home. Yet often, workers are mobile within the office but need to access information with the same urgency as an employee checking their flight times. For example, consider the employee needing real-time information on the location of a meeting room they’ve never accessed or the contact details of a colleague they’re about to meet.
Consider apps that can track the location of hot-deskers or deliver live maps based on your location. Redefining what ‘mobile working’ means for your organisation can help you develop the right suite of integrated apps for on-site and off-site needs.
Google define three types of user – the ‘urgent’, who need specific information now; the ‘repetitive’, who are constantly updating information; and the ‘bored’, who are simply killing time. A mobile digital workplace makes the most of those ‘bored’ moments to enable users to undertake monitor and review tasks like checking emails or starting a group chat about a project. Time spent travelling by train could be used to access corporate news and articles or to respond to help requests on social intranet software.
Review and approval processes are ideal for this kind of mobile app, particularly when contextualised with the relevant policy. Annual leave and expenses are ideal candidates for mobile app approvals.
Whether we mute those annoying notification beeps, there’s no doubt that our smartphones make a far better job of monitoring notifications and alerts than a laptop or desktop when the temptation is to simply output to another screen. Outputting those alerts directly to mobile is more eye-catching and avoids users filling their screens with a single application.
Using push notifications with mobile is the savvy way to enable real-time communication of important information. When you need to cut through the noise, then mobile notifications are an efficient way to get the message across. But be prepared for the fact that 80% of your employees may never manage their notification settings, so choosing the most appropriate tools for the job is critical.
Mobile content management in the field
Mobile content management is already saving lives and providing a revolution in social care. Organisations could do a great deal more to exploit dedicated work apps that use all the capabilities of smartphones including GPS to geofence sensitive information and augmented reality to deliver real-time instructions and information.
Building a seamless content management interface allows workers to both access and create content management when in the field. Apps for the construction industry that let employees photograph and geotag locations then export their on-site observations into Word are already a reality.
The only device
For remote workers who access the digital workplace through a BYOD policy, a smartphone may be their only point of access. In this scenario, the mobile digital workplace needs to be absolutely comprehensive from access to HR self-services and training to policies and guidelines.
However, there will be decisions to make about design architecture and whether your mobile intranet software is designed to be adaptive or responsive. Responsive websites optimise for any device and offer fast loading times. Adaptive sites rely on a series of distinct layouts for multiple screen sizes and may be the smart choice across larger organisations where the website needs to be optimised differently for different roles.
Be savvy about the role of video in a mobile-first website targeted at BYOD users. Instructions and training often work much better on a small screen as video rather than text.
Enhance the user experience
Ultimately, going mobile first allows your digital workplace to stay ahead of the needs of all your employees. By replacing tools designed only to manage infrastructure and not deliver user experience with responsive apps, you’ll build a smarter workplace that engages employees and fills the void between the desktop and the smartphone in your pocket.
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