We put forth the concept of the New Workstyle at the beginning of the year and the ten characteristics we described created quite a bit of debate and discussion. We fundamentally believe that the way we work is transforming and that high performance organizations will embrace these changes to further empower employees, realize the benefits of new innovation, and outpace their competition.
The first characteristic we included was being “mobile” and that this meant “always on and aware.” This does not mean being a workaholic and failing at balance in your life as some of the comments reflected. It’s quite the contrary actually. Being mobile and being enabled with tools to share, communicate, and collaborate regardless of location unlocks new approaches to work and life.
We see four things driving this mobile workstyle:
1. App marketplaces – where people can search, download, and run applications on their own without the need for IT support or training. The applications available span work related tasks like time reporting, sales pipelines, and project management to non-work ones like games and photo sharing. The line between these two categories continues to blur as apps thought of for fun translate into new and innovative ways to market, sell and support. Most importantly, the technical aptitude of anyone who uses a smartphone and makes app choices goes up with each new app and each new experience.
2. ”Screening” – interacting with information through various devices be that a phone, tablet, or laptop connected to a wireless network and accessing a multitude of cloud-based applications and content regardless of location or device. You can easily create a document with Google Apps on one device, share it with others, and then access and edit it on any device connected to the Internet all with proper versioning and access controls built in.
3. Multiple communication channels – seamlessly switching between an email, a phone call, a text message, and a Facebook wall post creates a new dynamic in communication and the ability to share and reach people in your network. The choice between both synchronous and asynchronous channels depending on the need and urgency opens up a new and more efficient approach to communication.
4. A true on/off switch – while it may seem counter-intuitive and requires an explicit choice on the part of the individual, being mobile and fully enabled creates more freedom to work when and where you need to most. News, information, updates, and content are always there and available so having the discipline to structure when and how you use them is essential.
What do you think? Are there other drivers of the mobile workstyle? How has your work evolved as you have become more mobile?
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This post was written by Robert Pease, former VP of Marketing at Gist and now marketing guy at RIM. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions, feedback, or if you just want to say hello – gist.com/robertpease. Be sure to check out my personal blog Reply To All or follow me on Twitter: @ReplyToAll.