A mobile workforce is a group of employees or freelancers not bound by a central physical location.
Unlike office workers, mobile workers have location independence and can operate from different places using technology to execute their roles and connect with colleagues and clients.
A mobile workforce enjoys many benefits, such as greater flexibility, better work-life balance, and an improved employee experience. Businesses also benefit from lower overhead costs, improved workforce efficiency and productivity, and greater agility and adaptability.
Thanks to technological advancements, the uptake of remote working, and the prioritization of global mobility, the viability of working from anywhere has risen significantly.
As the world becomes more connected, mobilizing a workforce and supporting global mobility are anticipated to become more crucial for business success. Companies that embrace a mobile workforce and develop a global mobility strategy will better adapt to the new world of work.
However, there are some challenges as companies transition to a mobile workforce, such as the greater risk of data security breaches and increased pressure on companies and workers to comply with legal and regulatory frameworks as workers move between jurisdictions.
Why is the mobile workforce growing?
Modern businesses can mobilize a workforce thanks to the following evolutions:
- Technological advancements: Thanks to new mobile technology and software like smartphones, laptops, and cloud computing, mobile employees and contractors can operate from anywhere and no longer rely on on-site equipment
- Acceptance of remote working: The COVID-19 lockdowns and other social distancing measures forced companies to embrace remote working. Due to the effectiveness of remote working, the remote workforce has continued to grow even after the pandemic
- Changing worker preferences: The modern workforce prioritizes flexibility and work-life balance over traditional 9-5 office-based jobs. Millennials, in particular, are more selective in their job choices, opting for companies that allow remote working, flexible schedules, travel and relocation opportunities, and work-from-anywhere policies
Benefits of a mobile workforce
The benefits of an effective mobile workforce include the following:
Companies that embrace mobile work avoid the costs of operating a central workspace.
Increased efficiency and productivity
A study published in Forbes during the pandemic showed that remote workers are on average 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts, and have an output increase of at least 4.4%.
Additionally, performance was shown to increase. With stronger autonomy via location independence, workers produce results with 40% fewer quality defects.
Access to a broader talent pool
Organizations that embrace a mobile workforce can tap into a more extensive talent pool since they aren’t restricted to their local vicinity.
Improved talent acquisition and retention
The modern workforce is attracted to organizations that support remote work, location flexibility, and flexible work arrangements.
Mobile workforce and data security
The mobile workforce trend has increased the risk of data security breaches. Mobile devices such as phones and laptops with work data left unattended in public work environments or connected to public Wi-Fi networks are susceptible to cyberattacks.
Businesses must bolster their IT infrastructure and ensure the security of their employees’ mobile apps and equipment to complete their work outside a central workplace.
To decrease the likelihood of a data security breach, companies must do the following:
- Educate team members on the potential risks of cyberattacks and data breaches and what to do in the event of an attack
- Ensure remote workers connect using virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs secure corporate data and enable strong encryption even across dubious networks.
- Create plans to remotely erase hard drives if your mobile workforce’s laptops or phones are stolen
- Save private data in the cloud rather than on local devices
- Safeguard crucial information by controlling or implementing authenticated access
How do companies manage a mobile workforce?
Mobile workforce management software is a SaaS solution that helps organizations keep tabs on and manage a mobile workforce.
Integrating a mobile workforce management solution, such as Deel HR, can enable companies to:
- Streamline virtual onboarding and background checks
- Provide visa and immigration support
- Monitor and optimize employee engagement and employee performance
- Manage global payroll and tax compliance
- Provide equipment, app provisioning, and workspaces
- Offer equity, benefits, and perks administration
- Ensure international compliance and localized contracts
- Automate HR workflows with integrations
- Provide 24/7 support for remote employees and contractors