Most housing providers have embraced mobile technology for their field-based staff and contractors, such as job-scheduling systems, repairs reporting and inspections. However, fewer have extended mobile working to their general workforce; this is usually the result of a management culture that values ‘presenteeism’ over actual productivity.
Yet the technology to support flexible, mobile working is well-established and cost-effective. Unified communications, remote access to email and business applications, and ubiquitous broadband availability mean that staff can communicate with colleagues and customers whenever and wherever they are. And as we have covered in previous issues, the members of ‘Generation Y’ who are about to enter the workplace will simply expect flexible working, potentially making it a significant advantage when recruiting.
Mobile- and home-working increases morale as well as productivity; a recent report on permanent home-working or ‘homeshoring’ found that call-centre staff turnover fell from 35 per cent to less than 10 per cent when workers were based at home.
As the saying goes, ‘work is an activity you perform, not place you go to’.