The way we work is changing. Just look around any coffee shop — at half the tables or more, someone’s working on a laptop. On buses, trains and in airports you see people in every direction doing business on tablets and mobile phones. And in how many of your meetings lately has someone been at the other end of a phone line? Thanks to continuous advances in technology, it is easier than ever get things done just about anywhere.
For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs,) staying competitive means being open to this new mobile workplace, and choosing business solutions that are not only mobile friendly, but are also easy to use and save time and money.
How are SMBs coping with the new face of the workforce?
SMBs are embracing this new way of working. Check out these telling stats (and fun chart) from SMB Group’s From Manual to Mobile: Speeding Business Success for SMBs perspectives report.
- 30% of SMBs are now supporting telecommuting for 20% or more of their employees, and 18% expect the percentage of their telecommuting workers to increase in the next year.
- 57% of SMBs say that a fifth or more of their workforce travels for work, and 14% expect this number to increase in the next year.
Now, that’s a lot of time outside the office.
The real benefits of mobility
With cloud-based, mobile solutions, workers have access to real-time information, regardless of where they are. This makes collaboration easy and keeps business moving without interruption. Mobile apps and software are moving beyond the typical productivity and collaboration solutions. There are now mobile software options for customer relationship management, time keeping, expense reporting and any other business process you can think of.
Take expense reporting for example. For SMBs, every dollar spent impacts the bottom line. And all too often, manual expense reports, such as templated Excel or Word documents with stapled receipts, are the norm for tracking expenses. It’s a cumbersome process that relies on employees being physically in the office where the paper is. SMBs must move on from these outdated expectations to stay relevant to today’s workers and ways of doing business.
What to do instead? Automate, in the cloud, where everyone who needs it has access to the data right away. For example, Concur Expense replaces manual expense processes with an automated system that makes it easy to submit and approve expense reports on the go. All travelers have to do is take a picture of receipts and the app takes it from there. It’s easy, quick and error free.
Mobility gives SMBs the competitive edge in the talent game
While mobility and automation let businesses get work done faster, get a clear view into cash flow and make decisions more easily, one of the biggest benefits is the impact on acquiring top talent. When SMBs can hire the right people, regardless of where they live, it’s game changing. And millennials, now the largest generation in the workforce, simply expect to be able to get work done, anytime, anywhere. Offering tools to allow that is especially important for SMBs, since they are often at a disadvantage against larger, better-resourced companies. Now, more than ever, is the time for SMBs to begin the switch to a mobile workplace.
Is your business ready for this new way of working? Download From Manual to Mobile: Speeding Business Success for SMBs. This Perspectives Report by SMB Group, sponsored by Concur, explains the many ways mobility is changing the SMB marketplace.