How Mobility Is Transforming the Way We Think About Productivity

Digitas

How Mobility Is Transforming the Way We Think About Productivity

Elise Kansky

Every day, I ride the bus to and from work; one person among the millions of daily public transportation commuters in the U.S. I use the majority of that time to check emails, stay connected to my team via productivity apps, and organize work calendars so I never miss a beat. I’m increasing the productivity in my day that doesn’t end, even when I leave the office. Good for me, but why does this matter?

The lines between work and home are no longer clear cut and companies are quickly adopting more mobile-friendly and remote work policies every day. In fact, global spending on mobility solutions is forecasted to reach $1.8 trillion in 2022.1

So how do companies stay competitive and ahead of the game? By investing in these solutions, they are joining the new age of business and appealing to the expanding workforce generations. Here are three trends we see rising to the top: 

1)   AI as a productivity tool

Many of us are accustomed to using apps like Trello, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Slack and Box (the list goes on) remotely to stay connected to our teams. But what about AI?

Microsoft has started implementing AI productivity tools like MyAnalytics into Microsoft 365 to help employees analyze and consider ways to work smarter.

“It might understand, for example, that your most productive times of day are midmorning and late afternoon, and suggest working on the tasks that require the most creativity and concentration at those times.”2

One implication of having such tools available at work is that we can plan our days around when we are the most productive. For example, if I am typically collaborating with my team late in the morning, I can adjust my schedule based on when I should be present in the office, set up meetings or balance personal needs in my day. This is just one of the new tools that empower employees to have more mobility while maximizing production.

2) Enabling work/life balance across generations

Being able to customize your day based on professional and personal needs is not only necessary, it is the way of the future. Simply showing up at an office is not a standalone measure of career success anymore.

Companies increasingly understand that life doesn’t exist solely between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. This goes beyond scheduling your dentist appointments – it means attending your child’s recitals in the afternoon or volunteering at the animal shelter on Tuesday mornings. It’s all about finding a balance and allows employees to avoid the all too common “burnout”.

Burnout is so prevalent in the workplace that the World Health Organization added the definition to their International Classification of Diseases in 2019.

In addition to providing employees with better balance in their lives, the ability to work remote has become the expectation of younger generations entering the workforce. This notion has been quickly catching on, resulting in a cross-generational workforce adopting mobile technology and using it to collaborate at their jobs. We see it every day, for better or worse, that people of all ages are constantly on their phones. Using those phones for personal and professional needs just makes sense.

”Three-quarters (74 percent) of millennial and Gen Z managers have team members who work a significant portion of their time remotely, versus 58 percent of baby boomers. By 2028, 73 percent of all teams are expected to have remote workers.”3

By having the ability to work remotely or adjust our schedules based on life’s needs, employees of all ages can tap into the mobility solutions readily available to help them stay productive and avoid burnout.

3)   Mobility benefits the bottom line

Companies worldwide are increasingly implementing remote work programs and giving their employees access to the tools to do so. The ability to increase productivity through mobile solutions goes beyond employee benefits – they enable businesses to expand their networks globally and save money while doing so.

“The mobility of the contingent workforce is allowing organizations to hire workers who work from home, and this can significantly cut down [on] overhead costs. In fact, the average real estate savings for a full-time remote worker is $10,000 per employee each year.”4

The implications are positive for both companies and their employees. By expanding the pool of applicants globally and remotely, companies save money while sourcing the best talent possible and improving employee retention. On the other side, the talent pool is able to cast a wide net when seeking job opportunities. 

When I applied for my current position at Digitas, one of the factors I considered was my ability to be mobile. By taking advantage of the apps available that allow me to do my job anywhere, I find a better balance between my life and career.

As companies increase their mobility spending, I encourage everyone to take advantage of the mobility-enabling tools they have access to. Ask about employee policies and available programs. Not only will you benefit from a more balanced workweek, but employers see the demand for access. It’s a win-win. 

Citations:

1.      https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS44259318

2.      https://www.fastcompany.com/90401814/microsoft-is-designing-ai-powered-next-gen-tools-for-the-age-of-distraction

3.      https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/05/how-millennials-and-gen-z-are-reshaping-the-future-of-the-workforce.html

4.      https://www.peopleticker.com/news-blog/every-cpo-should-know-these-7-contingent-workforce-trends

Elise Kansky

Elise Kansky

Manager, Project Management

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