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Is your business really ready for mobile working?

September 4, 2019

Work used to be somewhere we went, rather than something we did – but no longer. According to IDC, more than half of the workforce was ‘mobile’ in 2017. At the same time, being mobile even within the office is increasingly common, with the rise of hot-desking, co-working environments and smart workplaces which are technologically enabled to help us perform productively while on the move.

So what does mobile working look like? When visiting another office or event space it’s about expecting Wi-Fi and the ability to quickly connect to the office or venue infrastructure, plus a set up that’s designed for BYOD (bring our own devices). For a healthcare professional it could be about having the ability to access patient records while making a home visit. In education it might mean being able to turn any environment into a classroom. Increasingly, with the rise of space as a service, we can work effectively wherever we are.

Much has been written about the new digital nomads – millennials who travel the world using the internet to do business. But while many of us might not have a backpack, our workspaces can vary from day to day, fitting with our lifestyles with phones and tablets making us productive on the move. The commentary tends to focus on the internet, laptops, tablets and phones, but what about those of us who need to be able to print, scan and project as we go?

Think of a sales person: able to print out a quotation for the customer in real time, securely and wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet on a portable printer, using Wi-Fi in a clients’ office. The engineer able to produce an instant invoice. The teacher who wants to engage their students on a field trip by projecting onto a wall while the facts are still fresh. Or the nurse, scanning in patient information, knowing that it will be ready for use back at the clinic. Even as we hot-desk in our own environments, portable printers and other devices can now help us perform more productively.

The technology has developed fast in response to these new ways of working. For example, portable printers are now lightweight, fast and small with integrated batteries and USB charging – they can move with us as we work anywhere. If necessary, they work straight from a smartphone or tablet using apps from Google and Apple.

Mobile working is being taken seriously at the highest levels: Forbes suggests that 81% of CEOs see mobile technologies as strategically important for their enterprises. Giving remote staff the freedom to work effectively from within the community can relieve administrative pressures, boost productivity and streamline workflows.

We might not all be digital nomads, but we need to be productive on the move and portable technology can play a key role. It means whatever our job, our workspace is where we choose it to be.

Source: Meetings Industry Association

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