Mobile Working In The Public Sector

21 November 2018
Rachel Wood

The rise in mobile working is continually changing the way businesses and workforces operate. Businesses are now encouraging their employees to have a choice; empowering them to make their own decisions as to where they work, how they work and what time they work, but knowing if a shift in workplace operation is beneficial is often a matter of opinions or existing preferences of those within the workforce itself.

As mobile technology becomes more sophisticated, governments and public sector organisations are well positioned to utilise enterprise messaging to enhance staff productivity, reduce costs and improve how services are delivered.

Are workforces fully mobile?

Many organisations are well on their way to being fully mobile, and for some, even things like desktop monitors and desk phones are a thing of the past. Applications can run directly from the cloud, allowing employees to work from wherever they want.

Finding the right cloud solutions will drive your business forward and make you work more efficient than ever. Specially designed Google communication tools, such as Hangout, which make face-to-face meetings far easier to arrange and execute, as you can hold the meeting no matter where your colleagues are. Collaborating on documents in real-time by using Google Docs means everyone is quite literally working from the same page. Using collaboration tools allows you to reach your colleagues wherever they are, and “Does 10.30 at the café suit?” now turns quickly into “let’s jump on a Hangout”.

Shrinking workspaces

There are, perhaps surprisingly however, shrinking work spaces throughout businesses as a result of this digital shift. The rise in working remotely or from home means there is now more requirement for users to be empowered and make choices surrounding how and where they work. Not being confined to the standard nine to five office hours may be appealing for certain employees, but what it does mean is that they must have a firmer control on how their own time is spent.

The right mobile technology

Often, as a mobile worker, everything you do nowadays is on an app, so in many cases not a lot else is needed. However, in some workforces, some roles can be quite divided. For a small part of their role, employees may have a certain type of hardware or a different piece of kit, but for the majority they won’t, so there are perhaps cheaper options to still be explored. Google’s ‘Grab & Go’ technology in particular is something which Google itself has rolled out for Chromebooks, following their own internal development, giving workers an easy way to share devices.

Within the office itself, many workforces now work solely from laptops which, in theory, means work can be completed anywhere and is not restricted to just the office. Shifting from the Windows environment to G Suite has had a major positive impact on the way certain workforces operate, as they can now connect in any way. In switching to the use of Chromebooks, businesses have gone from working on a few hundred pounds’ worth of hardware kit to much cheaper alternatives which still, in theory, have the same lifespan. Built for everyday use, Chromebooks are perfect for collaborating with others, ensuring teams can work faster, smarter and more securely.

This change is what’s really enabling this shift to mobile working and driving its flexibility – people are able to choose a device that suits them, in a place that suits them too.

The right cloud-based tools

G Suite’s App Maker with Google Script element is almost like a JavaScript language that can sit behind documents. This means that if you have people within your workforce who can write JavaScript, or even just know a little bit about it, there’s a lot of rest API. This allows you to take a spreadsheet, for instance, that you might normally manually move things around on, format things, and even still make a macro.

Some businesses now have processes in place where somebody can fill in a Google form, which will automatically populate a spreadsheet with the answers. Normally, that would be the end of it, but the new script will look at the questions being asked and make further decisions based on the answers, such as creating workflows and more. For example, ‘if it’s this, do something over here, if it’s that, do something over there’, ‘send an email to these people’, ‘make a PDF of this’ – and it does all of this without you having to touch anything.

Adapting to a smarter, more agile working way

If you’re going to implement new technology, it’s important to make sure you have the capacity to train your workforce. Change is a difficult concept for some people, but it’s constant, and we’re all going through it. A lot of people don’t like change and so it’s important to help people; show them the benefits, explain the changes and demonstrate it to them. Providing your teams with the right tool and then showing them how to use them is a good way of doing this. Start writing in a Google Doc and ask them to collaborate in it with you. This will allow them to see live changes as you’re both doing working, which can often be the lightbulb moment.

However, it’s no secret that some businesses are still showing reluctance to work with video. Benefiting from video meetings will allow your team to contribute in important discussions from anywhere. With Google, you don’t necessarily have to be in a room on a video call either, and for those who don’t necessarily want to be sat in front of a webcam, you can turn the video off and just display an image instead. It’s easy-to-join video calls, where you can meet face to face without the added cost of travel.

Providing you with controls so you can monitor who in your team has the right access to relevant documents, with either ‘view only’ or ‘edit’ access functions so the right people can work on the right projects.

 

Find the right options that are tailored to your needs and budget, whilst still having limitless capabilities and functionality that covers all areas of your business. Speak to one of our experts on +44 (0) 161 871 0330.

 



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