August 30, 2021

Article
7 min

Mobile Workforce Management Tips & Best Practices

Mobile workforce solutions are becoming more prevalent than ever. This guide is here to give you some examples of best practices for your mobile workforce management.

What's Inside

Mobile Workforce Management Tips & Best Practices

Mobile workforce solutions are becoming more prevalent than ever. Just about any organization can benefit from the many advantages of mobile work solutions. With the right equipment and resources, employees can work from anywhere, just as they would in the office.  Managing successful mobile operations takes vastly different practices and procedures than in-house services, and it can take some time to adjust. Luckily, this guide is here to give you some examples of best practices for your mobile workforce management.

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What is Mobile Workforce Management?

Many different operations and services can fall under the umbrella of mobile workforce management. The common feature of all these services is that they occur outside of the standard workspace. Sometimes, a third party can offer mobile workforce management as a service package. Other times, in-house departments and staff can help regulate mobile work solutions. Regardless of how your organization handles mobile workforce management, it is vital to understand common practices and procedures.

Mobile Workforce Management Best Practices

Below you will find some standard mobile workforce management best practices that can be applied to virtually any mobile work solution. These ideas can create immediate improvements in efficiency or work as jumping-off points to develop more specific policies catered to your business. No matter what software or hardware you are using, these practices will help organize and streamline your mobile workforce solutions.

Plan & Design First

Implementing mobile workforce solutions takes careful preparation and planning. Mobile work without the proper protections in place puts sensitive client information at risk and can do more harm than good. Careful planning of mobile infrastructure design helps reduce risks and give budget estimates as well as standardize the setup of new mobile work solutions.

By having a clear idea of what you wish to accomplish with your mobile workforce, you can manage employees and operations more efficiently. Third-party providers can further assist you by evaluating your organization to find areas that can benefit from a mobile workforce. Top-of-the-line providers can even set up and manage your mobile work services for you.

Establish Working Hours

One of the most significant benefits of mobile workforce solutions is that employees can operate outside regular hours and locations. While this is true, it is also essential to establish standard working hours for both in and out of office employees. Setting working hours helps to maintain the feeling of being at work and promotes productivity for remote employees. Setting work hours also improves communication, because employees are regularly available and can respond rapidly during office hours. Another benefit is that having set working hours makes covering employee shifts and managing time off more efficient and addressable. 

Track Remote Time

How you pay remote and mobile workers can vary depending on the industry you operate in and the type of work being accomplished. Something that should be standard regardless of workload is the tracking of employee time. Worked hours can be tracked using automated programs, manual logbooks, or other software. This data is critical to properly paying and managing remote workers. 

Prepare for Constant Connectivity

While it is best to establish set work hours, remote devices and employees will need access to resources at all times. This means that certain services need to be available 24/7. Constant connectivity can create risks that were not present before, making protecting sensitive data more challenging than ever. Luckily, there are many tools, such as third-party management, that you can implement to help protect your mobile workforce resources and sensitive information.

Workforce management providers can use specialized tools and resources to monitor your network around the clock and guarantee the top level of protection possible for your employees both in and out of the office.

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Respond Quickly

While mobile workspaces can be more flexible regarding work hours, they do require rapid responses to function optimally. If an employee is out in the field and has a customer waiting, that worker needs the fastest access to information and resources available. The always-online nature of remote work solutions also means that they are susceptible to attacks and malicious parties at all times. Risks need to be addressed as soon as possible to mitigate downtime and reduce potential data loss. In either situation, the speed at which you respond will directly affect the quality of mobile work. 

Provide Equipment & Software

Remote workers who use personal devices are more susceptible to distractions and problems with productivity. Providing hardware that is strictly dedicated to work boosts the efficiency of a mobile workforce, because the equipment is free of unnecessary apps or distractions such as personal email or social media.

Company-issued hardware can also reduce setup times by coming preloaded with software or other necessary tools and components. IT departments can easily manage company-owned hardware and have replacements and troubleshooting solutions ready at a moment's notice.

It is worth mentioning that the use of personal equipment for remote work should not be ruled out completely. In certain situations, employee-owned hardware can be implemented quickly and provide opportunities for businesses not available otherwise. Using personal vs. provided equipment is ultimately up to you and the specific needs of your business.

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Touch Base Regularly

The significant freedom of mobile work solutions is both a blessing and a curse. The ability to work anywhere at any time can lead to increased productivity or unnecessary distractions. Communication is key to combating this problem. Checking in regularly with remote staff will help to keep employees focused and maintain a workplace atmosphere while operating outside the office. By touching base with remote staff regularly, you can improve working relationships and communication within your organization. Scheduled meetings are also a great place to set goals or milestones and discuss past and future work with staff. 

Set Clear Goals and Milestones

One of the most considerable challenges facing mobile work solutions is that the free-form nature of the work can make tracking progress and accomplishments difficult. A working hour in a cubicle can look vastly different from the same hour in a remote setting, and employees' expectations should be adjusted accordingly.

This problem can be easily mitigated by assigning clear and easily understandable milestones for your mobile workforce. This way, there can be two-way communication between management and employees, and realistic expectations can be agreed upon before work starts. Clearly setting goals will also give mobile workers incentives to work towards and help with time management and the allotment of remote work hours. 

Maintain Regular Office Interactions

Sharing a workspace does much more than centralize operations. Working in an office allows for many interactions that create an atmosphere of community and a better understanding of one's coworkers. A mobile workforce can easily miss out on these interactions and thus begin to feel alienated from other employees or superiors. Using communication tools such as chat apps or quick group video calls can help maintain regular workplace interactions even though you may not share an office. Group chats are excellent for communication and productivity but can also provide stress relief and promote a positive working culture through regular light-hearted communications. Remote work can quickly begin to feel lonely and communicating with coworkers helps reinforce teamwork and comradery. 

Try New Resources Often

Mobile workforce management itself can be considered a new resource. Ten years ago, the idea of almost every job being possible from anywhere would have seemed ridiculous. Through the clever implementation of technology and mobile workforce management best practices, remote workforces have become more common than ever.

One of the main reasons mobile solutions are so scalable and effective is the multitude of resources available to aid remote work. New software and hardware are becoming available every day, aimed at improving mobile workflow and efficiency. Many times, new resources will offer trials so you can try services before committing to costly contracts. This way, you can easily experiment and find the best solution for your mobile workforce. As time goes on, the needs of your remote workers may change, so it is common for organizations to regularly try new mobile work resources.

Summary

Mobile workforce management is ever-evolving and can be quite different from standard in-office practices and procedures. Working with remote employees can create new challenges that, if not addressed quickly, can be catastrophic to operations. Mobile workforces can also provide benefits not previously possible that exponentially increase productivity while reducing operating costs.

Even though a mobile workforce does not have a shared office, you can still have a shared office mentality through the clever implementation of communications software and regular meetings. Managing any workforce takes time and practice. By carefully determining the specific needs of your business and associated remote work challenges, you can be best prepared to manage your mobile workforce.