Tuesday, 31st March 2020

Unlocking employee productivity with mobile experiences

By Sally Sourbron, Senior HR Director, EMEA, ServiceNow.

In the last several years, the employee experience has become a focus of attention for many employers across the globe. Perks at work have become a source of pride and a competitive differentiator for businesses vying for top talent. Stocked fridges, catered meals, on-site fitness centres, laundry services and complimentary transportation are just a handful of popular perks companies offer to lure new employees. But if companies want to build an engaged and productive workforce, they must go beyond this.

The world of work is changing, and with one-third of our lives being spent at work, we want to be getting the most out of work and know that we’re realising our full potential. In fact, the top three drivers for UK workers in our recent research are doing a great job, carrying out work they enjoy, and learning new skills.

UK workers also want routine tasks to be simpler and faster to free them up to focus on the more challenging, essential and fulfilling aspects of their jobs. This is how value is created and productivity increases. Embedding the right culture and technology is more relevant than ever before to ensure optimal employee experience.

Added to that, employees now want their experiences at work to be more like their experiences at home – like having mobile technology at the fingertips to make finding information and accomplishing tasks simple, easy and convenient.

Today, almost our entire life is online and accessed through our mobile devices. We handle our banking, book taxis, contact our friends and family, shop online – all through a simple tap on a mobile device. In fact, globally, it’s estimated that we spend 48% of our time online via our mobile devices, and this number is expected to grow.

In the UK alone, the average person spends more than a day a week online, and people are online for an average of 24 hours a week – twice as long as 10 years ago. Britons are now so addicted to their smartphones that they check them every 12 minutes. No matter how you play it, we are all part of a booming mobile-first generation.

When it comes to existing technologies available in the workplace however, all too often it’s like stepping back in time. Right now, the tools and processes employers provide employees with fall short of creating an environment where they can work efficiently and painlessly. Employees are currently buried in approval requests, spending hours on the phone in order to get help for an IT issue, or wasting time looking for the answers to corporate policies from HR and finance.

In fact, according to recent research from ServiceNow, which looked into employee perceptions of their experiences and how it affects their work, more than half (54%) of employees expect their employers to offer mobile-optimised tools at work. And 64% have found it difficult to complete necessary paperwork on a mobile device before their first day at a new job.

It also uncovered that employees who have had experience using a mobile device to access tools from HR or other departments asserted that these solutions improved their ability to access information, resolve issues, and get work done to a greater degree than those with no experience using such tools.

This demonstrates an important point: organisations may not get requests from every employee for better workplace technology, but the research clearly demonstrates that doing so would greatly improve productivity.

So why aren’t employers offering a mobile-friendly experience for employees to navigate through our working day as easily as swiping through a Deliveroo order? While huge strides have been made to make desktop systems more consumer friendly, the same has not been true for realising the full potential of mobile at work.

The answer is a single cloud-based platform that delivers digital workflows and tailored, mobile-friendly experiences that can make almost any everyday work task easy to do. This means a centralised place from which employees can complete work-based tasks and easily get help from any department within their organisation via their smartphones, including functionalities such as push notifications, camera and swipes.

These consumer-like experiences makes our work lives as simple and easy as our real lives. Whether it’s fixing an IT issue with a computer, finding a conference room or booking a travel request – apps make it easy to take care of, no matter the employee’s location.

Mobile has never played such an important role in our lives. By 2020, new generations like GenZ are expected to make up 36% of the global workforce. These new entrants are digital natives who expect strategic use of software and technology in the workplace, as they are the first generation to grow up entirely in an internet-centric society.

If organisations want to ensure a happy, productive workforce and hire new talent, it’s vital to upgrade existing employee experiences in order to cater for this new wave of demands for native mobile experiences. Employees who don’t have access to mobile tools are spending too much time trying to access information they need to complete tasks better, rather than carry out work that is meaningful to them. By giving employees access to mobile technology, employers can make their work life as simple, convenient and easy as their personal lives. Why not start today?

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