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Mobile Apps Unify Employee Experience in the New Dynamic Workplace

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Across our global Modo customer base, in companies from all industries, we saw Human Resources organizations take a leadership role in managing the complexity of remote work throughout the pandemic, and in the safe return to office. For HR staff tasked with these cross-departmental efforts, mobile workplace apps became a mission critical tool for unifying the workforce, fostering corporate culture and maintaining productivity. 

With a year of remote work re-shaping the workplace, mobile apps are becoming even more valuable in providing a unified employee experience. Many companies now rely on a workplace app to make it easier for employees to navigate through the workday with a seamless digital experience, wherever they are. To make that experience successful, HR leaders tend to construct their mobile apps around these basic concepts: 

  • Collaboration – Empower employees to collaborate with and schedule in-office time with their colleagues.
  • Connection – Ensure employees feel connected to their work, colleagues and the company culture, globally and locally. 
  • Management – Help employees navigate the workday, from finding parking and transportation options to choosing where to eat, booking workspaces and locating co-workers.
  • Access – Provide equitable access to information and resources and ensure employees can contribute equally regardless of location or time zone.
  • Influence – Drive healthy choices and behaviors with nudges, polls, and other services
  • Information – Build employee confidence by delivering real-time localized mobile alerts 
  • Engagement – Provide satisfying experiences, on par with how employees engage with other mobile apps they use in their everyday lives.

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent in the New Dynamic Workplace

Data supports what we’ve encountered with our own customers; that employee expectations have changed dramatically following the pandemic. One survey by the professional network Blind discovered that employees at top Fortune 500 companies would choose working from home over a $30,000 salary bump; by a large margin. The survey, summarized in The Business Journals discovered that 64% of respondents would forgo the raise to work remotely, with 67% of Google respondents preferring permanent work-from-home, 64% of Amazon, 62% of Microsoft, 69% of Apple, 76% of Salesforce and 47% of JPMorgan Chase employees.

Without the ‘cash or remote’ work proposition, what we’re hearing loud and clear is that the flexibility to work in-office and remotely is what employees want. In a recent Modo webinar, Okta’s Head of Dynamic Work Sam Fisher put it this way, “Knowledge workers really have the autonomy to make decisions about how and when they want to work so they can balance delivering the best products with their personal lives. It’s not an either/or  ‘I’m remote or I’m in the office.’ It’s dynamic.” A Modo audience poll echoed the trend, with 96% of respondents saying they believe their employees will want flexibility in the workplace (vs choosing either in-office or remote). 

92 percent of HR leaders say the “employee experience” ​is a top priority in 2021. Mobile workplace apps are quickly becoming the framework for those experiences in the new dynamic environment. Top talents appreciate the fluidity of working with companies that provide innovative, easy-to-use technology that gives them a single, predictable experience of the organization no matter where they are. They want more than a job. They want an experience and flexibility in work hours and location without sacrificing the opportunity to connect with peers. And while companies have always prioritized security, employees today need assurances that the company will keep them, their information, and the people they care about, safe — physically and digitally.

Employees move about the office differently now, too. They avoid crowded conference rooms and elevators and make decisions about where to go and when to come into the office. And they now come in for a purpose — whether it’s to collaborate, mentor, meet with clients, or simply to connect. To support that level of engagement, companies are building mobile workplace apps that:

  • Provide access to key resources – In addition to connecting to tools commonly used for scheduling conference rooms, including a dashboard in the mobile workplace app lets employees track progress on their open tasks. The app is also an effective way to drive healthy behaviors and solicit timely feedback. These “nudge” opportunities can remind workers to wash their hands, take a mental-health break, or engage with others by showing workers when their colleagues and managers will be in the office, helping to drive the organic collaboration and hallway conversations that feed innovation.
  • Serve as a trusted source of information Mobile apps are perfectly suited to automatically deliver information tailored to individuals based on their roles and locations, while also broadly communicating to all employees more quickly than emails. To simplify management, the mobile app platform should make it easy for anyone in a company – such as HR – to keep the app updated and use it to deliver consistent communication.
  • Inspire confidence that they will be safe coming to work – A mobile workplace app can prepare employees with what to expect when coming into the office, helping reduce their anxiety. Some organizations use it to serve up virtual tours on how to navigate the return-to-office, deliver wellness assessments and health check-ins. An app can also provide status on when buildings and workstations were most recently sanitized.
  • Empower employees to safely navigate in-office life From the palms of their hands, employees can quickly find needed resources and navigate new office layouts and protocols. They can confirm when it is safe to exit an elevator and when to approach a colleague’s work station, or request that their desk or a conference room be sanitized.
  • Provide equal opportunity to participate in the business — It’s a common experience for people joining meetings or initiatives remotely to miss out on the decision-making that happens in the room after the meeting ends. Mobile apps can include tools that foster participation and empowerment regardless of location.

Meeting Employees Where They AreOur mobile devices are already our primary communication and connection tools. On average, we pick up our phones ​58 times per day, and more than half of those times are during working hours. Building the employee experience right into that mechanism is a huge win. And deploying a mobile app need not be a tech-heavy endeavor requiring outside consultants and massive investment. With a mobile app platform offering out-of-the-box ready app building tools and handling device compatibility and infinite system and data integrations, HR leaders can spend their time focusing on the employee experience. When those elements come together successfully, the result is a workplace app that is embraced by employees and talent because it delivers on the experience they desire.

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