The way we work has fundamentally changed. Today, individuals are empowered with tools and technologies that enable them to work from anywhere, at any time, without losing productivity or efficiency. The nature of work itself is more flexible, dynamic, and collaborative than ever before –welcome to workforce mobility.
A mobile (often used interchangeably with “agile”) workforce is one that can communicate, collaborate, and work as effectively outside of the office as it would inside the office.
Breaking it Down
Today’s workforce is more diverse than ever before. The concepts of workplace flexibility, streamlined processes, and digital connectivity are now an expectation of the modern workforce, and employers are racing to keep up with these developments and their associated levels of employee satisfaction.
Increasingly, we’re seeing collaboration span far beyond organizational boundaries, and teams are becoming more and more globally distributed. The collaboration landscape is rapidly evolving to accommodate this new diverse workforce and their elevated expectations. According to Microsoft, the typical worker has experienced the following collaboration developments:
- Workers are taking part in twice as many collaborative teams as they did five years ago
- The average information worker has seen the time spent on their day-to-day tasks increase by 50%
- Companies that invest in collaboration and teamwork are five times more likely to be high performing
This last bullet point is particularly important. Not only does agile working provide a multitude of benefits to your employees – improved work-life balance, self-determination, and increased job satisfaction and personal productivity, just to name a few – but it’s also a boon for organizations. Businesses that invest in workforce mobility can recognize significant cost savings, as well as an increased ability to attract and retain high-quality talent.
It’s not a convoluted connection – an agile workforce is a productive workforce, and that’s good for everyone involved. But why is it so important right now?
Business Continuity is all about ensuring your company and your employees can remain productive when there is a substantial deviation from normal working conditions.
Why Workforce Mobility is Critical Right Now
Business Continuity is all about ensuring your company and your employees can remain productive when there is a substantial deviation from normal working conditions. “Substantial deviation” can mean many things for your business. Weather events are a frequent cause for disruption – tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, lightning, high wind, and snow storms can either damage your physical office space or keep your team stuck at home for an extended period of time, depending on the severity of the weather event. However, recent events have brought our attention to another, perhaps less common (but equally important), cause of business downtime–widespread illness/pandemic.
The recent Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has wrought serious concerns on both an individual and an organizational level. As the virus continues to spread within the United States, companies must contend with emerging issues of business interruption in the form of employee absence due to illness or isolation requirements. The Center for Disease Control has published a series of recommendations for managing people with potential COVID-19 exposure by risk level and symptoms.
According to the CDC, you don't need to have personally contracted the virus to fall under the high risk and medium risk categories that may encourage home isolation*:
- Travel from the Hubei Province, China, presents a high level of risk. A medium-risk level is associated with the following travel situations: (1) Travel from mainland China outside of the Hubei Province, (2) Travel from Iran, (3) Travel from a country with widespread sustained transmission other than China or Iran, and (4) Travel from a country with sustained community transmission.
- Living in the same household as, being an intimate partner of, or providing care in a nonhealthcare setting for a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection presents a medium-high level of risk. The severity of the risk depends on whether an individual has abided by the CDC’s recommended precautions for home care and home isolation.
- Close contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 presents a medium level of risk.
- Being seated within 6 feet (approximately 2 seats in each direction) of a traveller with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection presents a medium level of risk.
*Home isolation/quarantine recommendations vary depending on an individual’s risk level and whether the individual is symptomatic. Please refer to the CDC’s guidelines for further direction.
Thus, even if a member of your team has not been directly infected with a form of the virus, there are several other ways they could inadvertently encounter COVID-19 and face isolation requirements.
By implementing workforce mobility solutions for your organization, you can help reduce the risk of infection for your employees by allowing them to work outside of the office. Additionally, as isolation recommendations for travellers and moderate risk individuals continue to increase, those quarantined (but not necessarily confirmed infected) employees can continue their work from home.
Protect Your Employees & Your Company
There are two things that Envision can do for you right now to help:
- We've prepared a business continuity guide and had it vetted not only by our own technology and business experts, but also by experts in Accounting & Business management and by a company that is focused on Viral Immunology. The guide provides a framework for you to use to think about Business Operations, Technology Solutions, and Employee/Personal Health Protection relative to COVID-19 or any other Pandemic Illness in the future. You can download that for free on our website at: www.envisionsuccess.net/prepare.
- If you feel you don't have the tools you need to be able to effectively have your staff fully work from home, we have designed a Workforce Agility Jumpstart engagement to get you there fast. We can start within 48 hours of your request, and we can complete it in as little as 1 Week. If you need the tools to have your staff largely (or fully) remote, we've done the legwork to decide what needs to be focused on, and what can be retrofitted after the fact.
Explore our digital transformation services to find out how you can modernize your workplace.