Adopting the SharePoint Mobile App to Beat Remote Work Challenges
With a booming increase of mobile workforce and the global spread of remote workplace, enterprises hurry up to adopt mobile-friendly productivity solution, such as SharePoint. Let’s discover what benefits it brings to employees’ everyday working life and how it improves enterprise workflows.
2020 gave a spur to a new working-from-home economy, says Nicholas Bloom, Economics Professor at Stanford. His research shows that as many as 42% of Americans now work remotely full-time, and this number will likely keep on growing in the months ahead.
It is to say that some employees had been dreaming for a long time to work remotely, so they are quite happy with the new reality and hope to preserve the same working style after the lockdown is over. The percentage of those who adopted remote work painlessly is quite impressive.
At the same time, even though many employees have no problem working remotely, they can still run into multiple issues when switching from their office-centric workflows and starting to organize their daily routine. Broken schedules, mixed-up timetables, confusing communication, and lack of human interaction are frequent pitfalls of the new home-based work patterns.
In this context, organizations turn to technological solutions to adjust their standard workflows and provide employees with effective tools for remote work. Mobile solutions are among the fastest adopted ones across various industries.
The Rise of Mobile Workforce
IDC forecasts that the number of mobile workers in the US will increase from 78.5 million in 2020 to 93.5 million in 2024, representing almost 60% of all US workers in just four years.
But the popularity of mobile technologies alone doesn’t mean that the remote work issues will be solved in the blink of an eye.
On the one hand, businesses are to provide their employees with relevant mobile solutions that will help them perform their duties effectively. On the other hand, the shift to mobile technologies means that software providers should pay more attention to the development of quality mobile apps or make their web solutions mobile-friendly. First of all, this concerns popular enterprise web systems, such as SharePoint, which wasn’t considered a mobile-first technology initially but now comes with a ready-to-use mobile app.
The effectiveness of SharePoint as a desktop application has been praised many times, but what about its mobile version? As SharePoint consultants, we will focus on the SharePoint mobile app’s capabilities to understand how businesses can benefit from it to make remote work a success.
Keeping Productivity Up
The stories of dwindling remote work productivity are now commonplace. Some organizations, like Cisco, report a visible increase in productivity among their employees. Others, like Eventbrite, affirm that their teams are well below the usual productivity level, mostly because the employees aren’t able to take a timely piece of advice from a colleague or get other critical information.
All in all, there is a well-observed tendency for customer-oriented businesses to suffer from productivity losses more.
How Does SharePoint Mobile Help?
Since the inability to quickly discover the needed information poses serious problems to employees, it’s essential to provide them with relevant sources and tools for finding the right content at the right moment.
A SharePoint intranet is a well-known web solution for its enterprise-level search capabilities that allow finding content and people across SharePoint-based and connected resources. Luckily, the mobile SharePoint kept this feature, thus enabling users to dig through batches of content and pick out the most valuable pieces of information.
The ability to find correct answers is even more critical when employees work in isolation and there are no colleagues around to help them out. The SharePoint mobile app adds the freedom of looking for information while on the go or away from the full-size SharePoint web version.
Within the SharePoint mobile app, employees can search, create, share, and discuss content. The versatility of content management features is one of the SharePoint benefits that eliminates the risk of falling out of the working flow even when there is no chance to be in front of the PC during working hours.
Burnouts are yet another consequence of the global remote work. While some people admit feeling constantly tired, others find themselves in a state of a permanent panic attack. All in all, almost 70% of US employees report going through burnout symptoms during their remote work period.
Quite often, burnouts are characteristic of those who try to do their work and manage home and family activities at the same time. But they also result from employees’ fear of missing important work updates, forgetting tasks, or having little time to fulfill their duties properly. Logically, workers never disconnect from corporate resources and keep on polishing the tasks for much longer than they would in the office.
How Does SharePoint Mobile Help?
Obviously, SharePoint can’t take care of one’s children. However, it can add more transparency and order to everyday working activities, while providing employees with tools for controlling their workload and keeping up with corporate updates.
When in SharePoint, employees can keep track of all the activities on the SharePoint team, communication and hub sites they are subscribed to, while leaving aside information noise that is characteristic of social network-like collaboration tools. Preset notifications will inform employees on all the updates they are interested in, thus eliminating the risk of missing an important announcement, document or shared piece of knowledge.
Teams that use SharePoint project sites can have project snapshots and check up project timelines at any moment. They can also see their actual load and control active, late, and future tasks if they use SharePoint within Office 365 Groups that come with different collaboration applications, Planner among them.
The Save for Later feature allows users to filter the content they are ready to consume at the moment and explore less important updates from the Me tab when they have more free time.
Battling Social Isolation
While some employees might find it hard to find a quiet place to hide from children, noisy neighbors, and sounds of road works to stay productive at home, others find themselves in complete isolation. Unsurprisingly, as typical workers were spending 8+ hours a day in the office, today this important part of their lives is confined within the walls of their houses. Add social distancing to the mix, and this leaves no chance for people to replace the absence of social interaction in the office with outdoor activities.
The result hasn’t been long in coming: today loneliness is one of the top problems of remote work, being far ahead of the difficulties of finding a reliable Wi-Fi connection or staying motivated.
How Does SharePoint Mobile Help?
The good news is that the mobile SharePoint can help companies address this purely psychological issue through multiple built-in social features. It’s unlikely that employees will spend some extra time on online social activities at their computers, but the SharePoint mobile app can work as the good old social networks that we all scroll through when we have a free minute.
By prompting employees to join social communities and groups on SharePoint, organizations can provide them with a great opportunity to share and discuss their interests and hobbies beyond working duties. It’s also a chance for employees to find new connections without being limited by the contact list with mostly their teammates from the SharePoint team sites.
Helping employees find their colleagues quickly for work-related purposes, The People tab can also be a channel connecting people from the same social communities.
Sealing Off Security Defenses
The global shift to remote work has also urged organizations to review their existing cybersecurity policies. As the number of home workers keeps on growing, so do the reported cyberattacks targeting employees’ devices and software. According to the March 2020 survey by CSO, as much as 61% of organizations expressed their concern about attacks targeting employees working from home, while 22% hurried up to acquire new security solutions and services to be better prepared to withstand real attacks.
Businesses’ concerns aren’t groundless since, being away from their office workstations, employees might use unprotected personal devices and unverified applications, and forget about the most basic information security rules, particularly when they happen to use personal smartphones or tablets for work purposes.
How Does SharePoint Mobile Help?
By providing employees with corporate collaboration tools, like the SharePoint mobile app, businesses can be sure that end users leverage reliable solutions with built-in security controls.
To add more, SharePoint security has two vectors. On the one hand, the mobile app comes with essential features for protected collaboration; on the other hand, it provides SharePoint experts with a user-friendly environment for controlling in-app activities and the security level of SharePoint components. For example, it is always up to SharePoint admins to add extra protection to selected SharePoint sites that contain sensitive data.
Hitting Tech and Social Goals at Once
Typically, by implementing a technological solution, organizations aim at hitting business automation goals and make their daily processes faster and more productive. Interestingly, with the SharePoint mobile app, companies can not only cover the technological needs of remote workers but also address such purely human-related issues as work-induced stress or solitude.
Another big advantage of going for the SharePoint mobile app is that businesses don’t need to invest in mobile development from scratch. At the same time, it’s always reasonable to spend an extra effort on carrying out a dedicated training session for employees on how to use the SharePoint mobile version securely and effectively. It’s also critical to inform end users on the new features so that they use their SharePoint mobile app at its full potential.
Let’s get it right for your company.
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