Mobile device usage is increasingly becoming an integral element of the human experience—97% of Americans own at least one cellphone, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center. Smartphone ownership is also high at 85%, a 242% increase over 2011.
For your hybrid workforce, breaking down the barriers between work and mobile use can help ensure they can comfortably do their jobs no matter where they are.
Mobile Use and the Growing Hybrid Workforce
Working with a mobile device is not only convenient. In fact, it can spell the difference between a fully enabled workforce and one that’s hampered, tethered to desktops and laptops.
Here are some of the most compelling benefits:
Communicating in real-time is essential to maintaining an agile, flexible workforce, especially for those outside the office. With mobile devices incorporated in your employees’ workflows, you can help them stay connected through multiple convenient communication options.
It can be difficult to whip out a laptop when on a bus. But sitting for hours during a business trip or while waiting to take off at the airport, it’s easy to take out your phone, answer an email, or troubleshoot an issue with a coworker. Unified communications systems provide more options as well. They make it possible for workers to communicate through email, text, videoconferencing, and live chat all within one system.
But without the option to use a mobile device for these interactions, employees may feel restricted. Ensuring they have a seamless experience regardless of the device they have makes it easier for them to connect with teammates, resolve issues, brainstorm, and ideate on the fly.
The cloud has made it possible for some of the most important computing processes to happen anywhere you have an internet connection, and by incorporating mobile devices in your employees’ workflows, you can take advantage of the options the cloud enables. This includes core business applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and customer relationship management (CRM) software, as well as custom apps designed for your company’s specific needs.
Each employee who needs to connect to your system can do so as long as they have a smartphone or tablet and an internet connection:
- They can use whichever device they happen to have on them at the moment, which is especially helpful when a specific challenge or task needs to be handled right away.
- They can go from one device to the next—starting a task on their tablet, for example, and finishing it on their smartphone.
- You have more options when it comes to the kinds of devices to provide to employees, which can free up funds for other important endeavors. For instance, you can save money by providing hybrid workers with mobile devices instead of laptops or desktops.
The increased portability of mobile devices is one of their biggest benefits, particularly because it gives employees the option to keep their most important work tools with them at all times.
Even though hybrid workers, like traditional employees, still need to “unplug” for a well-deserved respite, having the ability to connect to handle a business issue—no matter where they are—can give them more peace of mind. At the end of the day, employees want to demonstrate their value and fulfill their responsibilities, and if they can do this wherever they happen to be, they gain the confidence they need to excel.
Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to a truly portable work experience for employees is less the device and more the peripherals it needs to connect to, such as a printer. Employees who are comfortable with typing, designing, and creating on a tablet or smartphone can—if they’re able to print remotely—deliver high-quality documents regardless of where they are. In many cases, this can be the differentiating factor between a workforce that’s free and available and one that’s tied to cords and desks.
Increased Employee Availability
Regularly getting in touch with your employees is one of the most crucial facets of an effective hybrid work environment. For some companies, not being able to walk a few steps to someone’s cubicle for a chat is enough to stick to a traditional, in-person work setup. But with mobile devices, you can connect as well as—or even better than—you would in the office.
With a mobile-enabled workforce, not only can managers and decision-makers readily reach employees when they need to, but this increased availability is also good for employee morale. Because hybrid workers can’t be in the office as frequently as other workers, they can suffer from FOMO, or the fear of missing out. They may feel removed from the crowd, excluded from important company activities, and generally disconnected. But by being available when necessary via a mobile device, they stay connected with colleagues, customers, and partners.
In the case of mobile printing, you overstep a key technological hurdle when you give workers the ability to submit print jobs securely and easily where they happen to be.
The Different Types of Mobile Productivity Tools
There are several mobile devices that can be incorporated into your employees’ workflows, and each has unique benefits:
- Laptops. Thanks to advances in processing power, for some workers, a laptop can do everything a desktop can, especially if it connects to cloud-based applications.
- Smartphones. Smartphones, while sometimes limited in the amount of storage and memory they can handle, can manage the vast majority of work-related tasks. Modern smartphones have all the computational power of laptops and desktops from the early 2000s.
- Tablets. The line between tablets and computers gets more and more blurry every year. When armed with a keyboard, a tablet user can create and communicate as freely as they would with a desktop.
- Wearable tech. Wearable tech gives you the ability to track location and performance metrics, as well as the physical well-being of employees as they complete demanding tasks.
Mobile Printing in the Modern Workplace
The ability to print from a variety of locations is essential in the workplace, especially in a hybrid environment. Some of the key benefits include:
- Productivity. Workers can produce documents and print no matter where they’re located.
- No need to set up multiple printing stations or additional infrastructure. You can use a central cloud-enabled interface to route printing jobs from all of your allowed mobile devices.
- Faster printing for a better customer experience. When you remove the need to physically position employees next to a printer in order to print, you save them valuable time and create a more convenient experience.
- Enable printing from anywhere. Workers can submit print jobs from planes, trains, and automobiles, in addition to hotel rooms, shared work environments, and their homes.
Elements of an Ideal Mobile Printing Solution
The key elements of an effective mobile printing solution are accessibility and security. An accessible solution gives employees the freedom to print when and how they like it. And by ensuring security, you reduce the risk of data breaches or hackers taking advantage of your print infrastructure to propagate malware.
Here’s what the ideal mobile printing solution should look like:
- Submit-from-anywhere capabilities. Employees should be able to submit print jobs whether they’re at home, on the road, or elsewhere. In this way, you create global links between workers and your organization’s print infrastructure.
- Simple setup wizard. With a simple setup wizard, you make it easier for admins to enable employees’ mobile printing capabilities. This saves them time and effort, making it possible for workers to stay on task or return to business-critical projects as soon as possible.
- QR code release options. These make office printing secure, enabling employees to release a print job at the printer by scanning a QR code with their mobile device. In this way, confidential documents aren’t left sitting at the printer for anyone to see or grab.
- Print tracking. You can track the status of print jobs, as well as the kinds of jobs that get sent in, giving admins an overall view of printing performance.
- Automatic updates. With updates happening automatically, employees aren’t inhibited by cumbersome and time-consuming update installations that have to be done manually.
- Support for multiple operating systems and devices. When you make printing available on more than one operating system and by enabling your print infrastructure to connect with several different devices regardless of operating systems, you give employees the freedom to print from whichever device they’re most comfortable with.
- Compliance with local data privacy laws and regulations. With the right setup, there’s no need to sacrifice security to accommodate connectivity, and this is especially important when complying with data privacy legislation.
Secure Mobile Printing with Pharos
The use of mobile devices creates a seamless experience for employees, whether they’re in the office, at home, or on the road. They benefit from real-time communication, greater flexibility, enhanced portability, and increased availability regardless of the mobile device they use. This results in greater productivity, faster printing, and the ability to print from anywhere.
With Pharos Mobile Printing, you get all the options you need to support a hybrid work ecosystem, such as QR code release, the ability to securely submit from anywhere, print tracking, automatic updates, and a simple setup wizard. Experience it for yourself by requesting a demo today.