Mobile working has constantly been on the media agenda since the early 2000s. What was once a fanciful idea for technology analysts and ‘future gazers’ has become an everyday reality for millions of workers nationwide. From office workers who want the flexibility of working remotely, to businesses that want to drive productivity or monitor all types of labourers on construction sites, mobile working is touching pretty much everybody in the world of work.

One thing is for sure, technology such as tablets, laptops, mobiles and apps mean it’s now easier to work remotely than ever before. And businesses and employees alike are reaping the benefits.

Healthier work-life balance equals greater productivity

Introducing remote working policies gives employees the flexibility to work from any location, at any time. This ensures workers have an improved work-life balance, since they have the autonomy to fit their workload around other commitments. Aside from that, it’s proven that businesses benefit from a more productive workforce. WorkMobileâ recently conducted research that found nearly three quarters (72%) of mobile workers said they work harder now, compared to when they were not mobile.

This increased productivity among staff members has significant costs saving benefits for businesses. In fact, the biggest benefit of embracing mobile working is that it allows data to be captured in real-time from out in the field, and enables it to be instantly sent to back office systems. Not only this, there are mobile applications available that use GPS tracking technology, meaning businesses can ensure contractors or employees are on site when they are meant to be and are completing the correct hours on their timesheets.

Improved efficiency and accuracy

Gone are the days of manually searching through endless files of paperwork, with paperless solutions now allowing huge networks of data and information to be digitally stored. Taking away the paper element and using mobile forms means that jobs can be carried out quicker and more accurately, reducing the risk of mistakes that could unknowingly make a business incompliant. Green – reduces driving around, filing cabinets. Expectation to use tech, millennials.

Using cloud-based data capture services allows users to record any type of form-based information such as customer orders, signatures, videos and photographs, on any smartphone or tablet in real time. WorkMobileâ is an example of such a service and helps to speed up processes, ensuring back office systems get information in a structured way, while also eliminating user error and preventing delays.

Any data or information inputted on to such systems can be safely stored in one place and automatically backed-up, reducing the risk of losing important information and improving job accuracy. Employees can access important documents from anywhere, on or off site, meaning that data can be captured and decisions made on this information immediately. Therefore, customers and clients can benefit from a faster, more streamlined service.

Using mobile devices in this way also helps to eliminate the need for physical paperwork, which as a result can reduce business costs and improve efficiency.

Attracting and retaining top talent

Employees are demanding perks and moving jobs more than ever before, and in today’s digital society, many now expect companies to be innovating and adopting new technologies. Therefore, business owners need to be open to embracing new devices and flexible processes, as doing so will help positon the company as a progressive and forward thinking business. In turn, this will attract and retain a happy and motivated workforce and, consequently, happy customers.

BYOD, otherwise known as bring your own device, is one popular variation of the mobile working trend where employees can bring their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones into the workplace and use them to access company information, data and programs. In addition to being a flexible way of working, when an employee can use a device of their own choosing, it’s more enjoyable than being forced to use a corporate-issued device. This all makes for happier and more productive users and improved staff retention.

Moreover, a flexible and mobile working structure enables companies to hire talent that may not want to relocate if the company’s existing facilities are far away. Similarly, organisations are able to retain key individuals by allowing them to relocate away from the central office while remaining an employee of the company.

Many businesses are actively looking for ways to reduce operating costs and stay ahead of competitors, especially given the current economic climate. Introducing remote working makes it possible to reduce corporate overheads, such as rental costs and the costs of handling physical paperwork. These savings can then be passed on to the consumer, making the company or brand stand out in an often saturated market place. And in today’s competitive job’s market, embracing new technology and devices is also an effective way to attract and retain valuable staff members.

As we move further into the digital revolution, businesses can’t afford to ignore the mobile working trend. Those companies prepared to adopt new ways of working will give themselves a number of advantages over the competition and set themselves ahead of the curve.

By Dr Moneeb Awan, managing director at WorkMobile