Before we made a dramatic pivot in favor of remote work due to the coronavirus, a shift to the mobile workforce and BYOD was underway. According to research conducted in October 2019, the U.S. 70% of U.S.

employees no longer sit behind a desk every day, and there were already more than 92 million mobile-enabled workers in the United States. That’s where the mobile-enabled workforce has a competitive advantage.

Employers were exploring the extent of this change and how it was affecting the business and the bottom line.

Those who set up mobile workforce plans believed they would eventually be at a business advantage (though no one foresaw how quickly this would appear).

Beyond the qualitative benefits of workplace flexibility, it was estimated that employers can save $11,000 per year for each mobile-enabled worker by taking into account workspace leases, amenities, and more.

Clearly, not every business or employee can do their job or be fully productive while working remotely. Perhaps they need a special tool to perform their job duties or do not have an acceptable space to use for work.

But groups that often work in the field, mainstream office workers, and those in leadership roles should be enabled to work remotely. What’s more, those working remotely can be just as productive as those who are in the office.

Long Term Acting Thinking Short Term
That is, these businesses experience less severe declines in productivity, efficiency, and output.

It is important to remember that the benefits of having a large mobile-enabled workforce are not limited to situations such as the generation-to-generation response to . Even with fewer disruptions, such as a power outage affecting an office or inclement weather making office travel slow or dangerous, there are situations where being mobile-enabled is an advantage.

For business leaders looking to expand the numbers of their mobile workforce – either immediately or in the long term – there are cultural and structural changes that should be top of mind.

Culturally, organizations should find ways to limit the need for onsite presence as the norm. Preparation should include increasing the use of communication tools for collaborative work sessions and facilitating quick questions or back-and-forth discussions. In addition, businesses must set achievable goals when it comes to completing tasks during working hours in order to focus on the task at hand.

Structurally, the first and most obvious employee needs are the tools and equipment that enable them to do mobile work.

Those devices must be properly secured for remote work and extended periods away from the office, which can present challenges for IT and routine activities like patching.

For those who can work from home, employees must be provided what they need by the employer, or expenses to pay for coverage at their home address – that is, reimbursement for mixed-use property – can be legalized. should be taken into consideration.

Reimbursement is important and will be an exciting development to follow as businesses and the economy adjust to this period of increased remote working. Over the past few years, emerging trends in employment law have required employers to recognize even small tasks performed by employees on their own devices as work.

Employee work includes quick duties such as clock in or out – amounts of time that were previously thought to be too small to track. As a result, unpaid BYOD programs have recently exposed employers to lawsuits.

In the recent flurry for remote working, those legal considerations may take a back seat to the physical barriers preventing remote working — whether that case continues as businesses see a return to the norm.

There are issues beyond the company’s control, and they are causing dramatic effects during this outbreak.

For example, manufacturing and shipping of goods is one area where companies are facing massive disruption, even those that migrated from China before the spread of the coronavirus.

Disturbances in global supply chains are unlike anything seen before. The tourism and travel industries have also been most directly affected during the height of the viral spread.

Still, there are some issues the company can control. This is where businesses can focus their efforts and benefit from building flexibility.

Implementing a reimbursement program can help encourage employees to upgrade their home Internet service so they have better video quality in virtual meetings.

By communicating clear expectations and guidelines for working in remote settings, companies can reduce employee stress in this transition period.

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