In recent years, the idea of mobile phone use at work has spread globally. This topic is controversial, as some companies allow their workers to use their cellular devices, but others have strict policies prohibiting them. One of the main reasons that companies encourage employees to utilize their mobile phones during the workday is because phones may provide learning resources and allow people to access a wide range of information on the go. The need to embrace and exploit mobile device use in the workplace has never been greater, and the opportunity to do so has increased over the years.
Why Should Companies Consider Allowing Mobile Device Use?
According to a 2014 study, about 22% of the world population had smartphones and 38% of those phones had internet data connections. It is likely that if a study were conducted in 2019, it would find the number of smartphones owned with internet access has drastically increased. A major issue with increased smartphone use globally is the amount of time people spend viewing social apps and not using them for learning purposes. However, some companies have decided to embrace their employees’ smartphone use and take advantage of it by allowing smartphones strictly for learning purposes. Often, it’s companies that highly value employee learning that allow use of mobile devices in the workplace, including phones, tablets and other handheld devices. The desire for companies to have their employees utilize their mobile devices for learning is greatly expanding and proving to provide positive benefits in many ways. Even though companies are allowing employees to use their mobile devices for learning purposes, there are high expectations that must be met in order to continue this type of learning.
Testimonials to Mobile Device Use in the Workplace
A 2013 report noted that mobile users in the workplace not only increased the proportion of staff in learning and development programs, but also improved productivity, manager perception of additional business benefit and revenue when compared to non-mobile users. There were significant benefits in improved staff behavior and engagement, which allow a company to have increased productivity and better communication among individuals. Notably, those using mobile learning are at least twice as likely as non-users to exceed benchmark values and increase financial productivity. If a company is contemplating incorporating mobile learning in the workplace, there are three things to consider when getting started.
1. Is the demand for mobile learning driven by business need?
In order to figure out if there’s a business need for mobile learning, you have to analyze the market and perhaps conduct market testing to see if there is any variability in business conditions. It’s important to keep employees informed about new products or changes to existing ones through mobile learning. It’s also important to compare actual productivity levels to productivity goals using specific company metrics to analyze whether or not employees are currently performing over or under a company’s performance goals.
2. Is this something that your learners are requesting?
The learners’ perception of mobile use in the workplace is also something to consider, since they are the ones producing and adding value to a good or service. Depending on their needs, as well as the company’s needs, mobile learning should be implemented to increase productivity or decrease training costs.
3. What types of mobile devices are your learners using and are they willing to use them for work-related purposes?
Many companies today are using more than just smartphones in the workplace. Devices such as tablets, smart watches and more are utilized for learning and development purposes. It’s important to determine which specific mobile device will be allowed in the workplace, as well as if employees are willing to use them. Whether or not employees use their own personal devices for work purposes is controversial. Some companies have a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) program, meaning employees are able to use their own mobile devices with work-related information. Others provide mobile devices for their employees in order to separate work and personal content. There are pros and cons to BYOD and providing work phones strictly for work-related information like messages, emails and more.
These three items to consider regarding mobile device use are merely starting points in the conversation about how mobile learning solutions can meet a company’s needs. Want to see where you can apply this style of learning in your company? Click here to contact a CoreAxis specialist to give you professional insights into mobile device use for learning and development in the workplace.