The future of work is mobile. The use of mobile devices in the workplace is gaining traction to such an extent that by 2017, half of all employers will no longer provide devices to their workers. Instead, employees will be expected to bring their own device to work (Gartner).
Two-thirds of workers and HR professionals believe that companies with a flexible, mobile and remote work model have a competitive advantage over those that require employees to be in the office from 9am to 5pm, 5 days a week (Cisco 2014 Connected World Technology Report).
As more and more companies look to mobile collaboration technology to enhance their internal and external communications, we are moving rapidly towards a trend of remote working and telecommuting. As a result, the idea of the workplace as traditionally perceived has changed dramatically. Work has become more of a state of mind than a fixed location or place.
The deployment of mobile collaboration technology and remote working is now less of an IT issue for most companies, and it is now a more important concern for HR departments. Many companies with large remote workforces train employees on how to be a remote worker, providing them with the toolkit they need to thrive and be successful working from disparate locations, and so an understanding of the technology required for this is essential.
Video conferencing is an important tool to make remote workers feel more actively involved with their colleagues, and the business that employs them. It’s a tool that’s available on most mobile devices, but IT still has to grapple with making video communication effective across all devices and worker locations. At the same time, HR is looking at the policies and processes around remote collaboration in order to grow productivity and simultaneously support flexible working.
As such, it is necessary for HR and IT departments to partner together to help employees understand how to create and collaborate in a virtual workplace.
It is crucial that HR should involve IT in their processes and vice versa. HR managers should be at the table with IT leaders to understand the technology investment the company is making, so that both parties are better able to understand the HR agenda for talent recruitment, development and engagement and how video collaboration technology fits into this. IT and HR should jointly understand the organisation’s commitment and investment in new cloud-based technologies.
By collaborating with IT, the HR department will be empowered in a number of ways, including:
- Recruiting employees in new and innovative ways
- Moving from formal, face-to-face learning to social, collaborative and informal learning
- Communicating with workers in a more immediate and engaging way
- Building and nurturing high-performing teams
Read six best practices for building the right environment to nurture your own high-performing teams.
Image courtesy of Cisco