Millennials are forcing Canadian firms to up their mobile game

Companies know they need to better integrate mobile technology in the workplace—but many lack a formal strategy

 
Business people reviewing blueprint in office

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Canadian companies need to accelerate their adoption of mobile technology, and not only for the productivity gains it can drive. A robust mobile strategy is increasingly necessary as both a recruitment and employee engagement tool, suggests a new report.

“50% of Gen Y full time employed Canadians are willing to sacrifice something in order to work remotely more often.” That’s the reality of today’s workforce, according to a recent study out of Ryerson University called “Transformation of Work.”

Millennial employees expect more connectivity in the workplace, and managers need to be able to provide them with the flexibility and support for their use of technology in order to bring in and keep new talent. One manager at Ernst & Young noted that “bring-your-own-device” is now, for many firms, table stakes: “You don’t want to be the company without BYOD.” Many businesses now install corporate apps into their employees’ own mobile devices instead of providing them with a corporate one. BYOD policies, however, are only implemented in 30% of Canadian companies.

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Mobile technologies (wireless internet & mobile devices, network infrastructure, web-based collaboration tools, cloud-based IT solutions, etc.) affect where, how and when employees work. They’ve also improved access to information, reduced costs, increased communication and collaboration among employees, and raised employee engagement and satisfaction in the workplace according to the study. The good news is that the Canadian workforce is becoming more mobile. The bad news is that only half of the companies in the study reported having an organization-wide mobile strategy, while the rest are still figuring out how to put the technology to use.

 

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The report found that in order to incorporate mobile technology into wider business practices, it needs to be implemented in all aspects of the company to create an unified system, and senior management’s knowledge and support in the implementation process is extremely critical. Research found that companies that successfully adopted mobile technologies nourish a culture of technological innovation, and are open to new activities that challenged their habits. Regular training on mobile technologies is required to enhance the different skills necessary for an organization to be truly mobile in the workplace today.

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