Mobile Employees Frustrated with Collaboration Roadblocks

Kachina Shaw
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Five Predictions for the Connected Enterprise in 2014

Not all mobile employees are traveling or even outside the employer’s main physical site. Thirty percent, according to ExecutiveBoard research, are working in a mobile fashion within the work site. They need to collaborate, and they do much of their work in a number of locations, from conference rooms to other employees’ offices to any corner they can find.

These employees are also unhappy with their mobile capabilities. Seventy percent of this group, ExecutiveBoard finds, need IT to expand its ability to support their collaborative, mobile work, and to recognize what the site calls the “Collaborative Mobile Employee.”

Whether planned or impromptu, many of these employees are no doubt spending many hours each week in virtual meetings, which IT Business Edge tackled in a recent IT Download: The Virtual Meeting Checklist. Collecting specific information on what repeatedly goes wrong or makes virtual meetings, as one example, inefficient or downright ineffective, should shed light on the unique needs of the collaborative mobile employees. Hint: The problems are often technical.

If the IT group is finding that numerous employees are turning to consumer-oriented or rogue apps to complete collaborative tasks, it can add to the list of questions to answer on this topic: Are employees using these tools inside the office because the alternative is ineffective?

Both the CIO and the IT department are increasingly expected to adopt a more collaborative role within the larger organization, and with that shift ramping up, this very set of impediments to productivity may be right under IT’s nose (frustrating collaborative meetings or projects, anyone?). Torpedoing these roadblocks gives IT a chance to knock two out of the park at once: Better support employees' collaborative work, no matter where they land within the office, and demonstrate focus on collaborative work as a high priority for the department.



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