Firstly, let’s define ‘Mobile Workforce’. Your mobile workforce refers to the ability of the talent in your business, to work in an agile, remote way, without productivity or efficiency loss.
Today’s workforce, by its very nature, is flexible, dynamic and – believe it or not – super collaborative. This is a trend that was building prior to the era of COVID. And over the last 18 months, as we have learned to live with the pandemic, the hand of business has been forced to adopt lasting, meaningful mobile workforce strategies.
Today, I’m going to take you through key aspects of your mobile workforce, for optimum productivity (the bonus being your peace of mind about your team’s performance….you’re welcome 😉).
1 The Era of Work From ANYWHERE!
Does the idea of your workers on a beach, with laptop open and coffee in hand give you heart palpitations? It shouldn’t.
The era of working from anywhere is well and truly established today.
By implementing a robust work-from-home (WFH) policy (great examples here and here), you’re empowering your workers to get the job done in their own personal environment. The worker focuses on the work. Not on the commute, going for coffee, or other unproductive distractions of traditional office working.
2 Broaden Your Talent Population
A mobile workforce offers your business a great opportunity to broaden the scope of your talent population. Access to global talent means you can tap into critical skills without the roadblock of their remote location.
As long as you can manage timezone differences, this is an opportunity to attract specialist skills and expertise not otherwise available in your local market.
3 Grow Talent Diversity
The advantages of a diverse workforce are many. These include higher employee engagement and innovation, improved creativity, a greater variety of perspectives and lower employee turnover. Expanding your labour pool via a mobile workforce offers the opportunity to tap into these and many other advantages of talent diversity.
And the outcome? Mobile workforce + talent diversity = commercial advantage.
4 Mobile Workforce: Builds Trust and Empowerment
Remote working implies additional freedoms. These include a less structured day (compared to on-site working), a lesser need to present well, and the ability to work – within reason and business demand – at any hour of the day. The implication here is, the business trusts the worker to get the job done. And with trust comes a greater bond between worker and organisation. The worker feels empowered to do the job, more so on ‘their’ terms.
Managed carefully, and you’ll have a highly engaged – and productive – workforce on your hands.
5 Encourage Managers to Share Workers
In a truly agile working arrangement, one that can respond to market shifts and scale on-demand, middle managers are open to sharing talent across their organisation. And this becomes a cultural imperative. The manager’s expectations are that their teams are impermanent: that workers are engaged in a team for a period, as determined by project and business demands.
In this scenario, managers also understand and adhere to the value principle that quality talent must be visible across the organisation. They accept that workers will move around the business, thereby contributing to the greater good of the organisation overall, not just their individual department.
Remember, a mobile workforce doesn’t suit all job types and personalities. So, exercising flexibility and empathy is well advised. Inclusiveness of all workers in your operation is key, as is open communication channels.
And finally. I’ve sourced this useful roadmap from Deloitte, with great advice on workforce mobility. Make sure you bookmark it. Of course, if you’d like to discuss your workforce mobility policy and practices with me, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.