If the 80s was the era of the faceless corporate enterprise, then today’s workplace is defined by the identity of its workers. By next year Generation Y, which is to say those born between1981 – 2000, will outnumber Baby Boomers (1944-1960), Generation X (1961-1980) and the first of Generation Z (2001 – present) entering the workforce.
The modern and digitally native worker values freedom and choice above all else. For her, the ability to work flexibly on the mobile devices she chooses and with her preferred mobile operating systems could determine whether she stays with a company or not. If her expectations aren’t met she is more likely to leave within two years.
Businesses can meet the needs of the modern worker by creating a Bring Your Own Everything (BYOx)-friendly workplace, where x can stand for anything from devices, to apps, to data, to operating systems.
Employees have the freedom to bring their identities into work, as well as the tools to operate effectively from any location, enabling them to work more flexibly and productively in the process.
For employees, having this flexibility can mean more of a chance to balance work and personal commitments, as well as more control over their working lives. And this can mean higher morale, improved satisfaction and better staff retention as a result.
A recent European-wide flexible working study found that 64 percent of UK businesses have already had a flexible working policy in place for more than a year, followed closely by companies in Germany at 57 percent. The same study found that 80 percent of HR-based respondents in Belgium reported improvements in productivity when employees worked outside of the office.
To support device flexibility and more flexible working practices, however, businesses need to first put the right mobility strategies in place.
While these can vary from the traditional corporate provisioned device and service, through to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model, having the right policies and processes is critical to supporting better connected employees and enabling flexibility.
BYOx-friendly and flexible
1. Start with smart policies
To give employees greater device choice and more flexibility over how they work, IT departments need to provide a clear framework for the devices and operating systems that will and will not be supported.
Tools should be set up to measure against compliance and most importantly, policies should be managed and communicated regularly with employees, placing an emphasis on the benefits to the end user.
2. Safeguard with security
With the right measures in place, employees can access the apps and operating systems they need without compromising the security of the business. Cloud-based security services can ensure all traffic to and from devices is scanned to safeguard against malicious attacks and block inappropriate content before it reaches the device.
Mobile device management services mean devices can be managed and locked remotely, while device content can be erased if the device is lost or stolen. While mobile threat management services can be used to prevent malicious attackers from intercepting sensitive data and password protection and data encryption can be set to support device security.
3. Stay open minded
By establishing a robust mobility strategy with clear policies and considered security measures, companies are in the best possible place to listen to the needs of employees to let those employees define the best way to make their contribution to the business.
By Gary Adey, Commercial Marketing Director, Vodafone Global Enterprise