Managing the Mobile Work Force
David Clemons and Michael Kroth, Ph. D.
It seems the world is getting smaller by the minute, and originally you may have thought it was the Internet that was leading this shrinkage. In fact, it's mobile phones.
Given that in 2008, more than 3.9 billion mobile subscriptions existed -- a number “predicted to reach 5.6 billion by 2013” -- authors David Clemons and Michael Kroth feel that the world of business needs to chip away at its age old brick and mortar approach to managing their workforce.
The mobile workforce is best described as “individuals who are not physically located within a centralized physical building and those who move between work locations within a centralized location, and who are able to access company resources through private networks, the internet, and mobile networks.”
For most businesses, this model has endless potential ranging from the financial relief of having to supply real estate to house staff, access to high calibre talent... if not the best talent in the world (wherever they may be) and of course a highly committed workforce who are happy to work more productively whilst eliminating their commute. All this is fine and dandy of course... if the employer can establish trust.
“Establishing trust mobilely is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to accomplish as a leader, and yet it is the key to long term success”.
Clemons and Kroth state that this is not a new paradigm to adopt, but rather a model that is “unavoidable”. Mobile technology is changing not just where we think people should work, but how that work gets done.
The naysayers suggest that working away from the office will kill your career because of the lack of visibility, this is unfounded. Using the example of Deloitte Chairman Sharon Allen, we see someone at the top of the pyramid, who has excelled because of the mobile approach to doing her work...something Deloitte refers to as Mass Career Customization.
Being in professional services myself, I have certainly benefited from the freedom and flexibility that comes from not being tied to an office. As my BlackBerry continues to provide constantly advancing mobile support, its not hard to envision the business world of 2013. This book is your guide to mobile workforce 101.
– Craig Lund is the President Elect of the American Marketing Association’s Toronto Chapter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/craiglund.