November 30, 2021 | Blog

The Playbook for Managing Devices When Work and Personal Collide

It’s happened to all of us.

You check a work email on your phone and then you’re drawn to your team’s Slack channel or your company’s intranet site. Before you know it, you’re catching up on the news or texting a family member.

Mobile devices are essential to the way work gets done today, especially for the 80% of the global workforce not tied to a desk. However, they have also entangled our work and personal lives to an unprecedented extent, severely impacting productivity and, in many cases, even the health and safety of workers.

So what’s the solution?

Companies cannot simply clamp down on device usage, an act that would risk employee morale and work performance. Instead, employers must manage mobile devices in a way that gives their workers all the tools they need to get the job done at a given moment, and nothing more that could distract them. 

When this is done successfully, mobile enablement is achieved, allowing companies and workers alike to achieve their full potential.

 

Work and Personal Are Colliding, So What?

The value of mobile devices as business tools cannot be understated. Their limitless potential for connection has transformed how work processes are designed and executed. However, that same connection means workers are rarely ever truly “off the clock” in their work or personal lives. What is preventing a family matter from distracting someone at work, or a work emergency from pulling them away from home? In too many cases, it’s solely up to an employee’s self-discipline to manage these distractions.

Attention is a resource in short supply and high demand. Mobile devices left unchecked or under-managed are a gateway for distractions to constantly vie for that attention while employees are on the clock.

This creates an obvious potential for productivity loss. It can take your brain nearly half an hour to regain focus after just a single interruption, so imagine the total time lost when considering the number of notifications we receive per day.

However, when that distraction occurs in a hazardous environment where focus is critical, as is the case for many deskless workers, the consequences can become much more severe. Field workers often drive to multiple job sites throughout their day, and the dangers of distractions behind the wheel are well-documented. How about a warehouse or factory floor? Each environment has unique dangers that make undue distractions especially damaging.

Mobile devices are essential to work, but it’s absolutely critical that their associated risks are mitigated. So, how can you do that?

 

Enablement, Not Impediment

When considering how to manage devices, it’s important to start with the goal in mind: Mobile Enablement. Enablement means empowering workers with exactly what they need when they need it, and nothing extraneous. More than that, it means doing so in every context in which they find themselves throughout a workday.

The easiest mistake for employers to make when managing mobile devices is focusing too much on what workers don’t need, rather than what they do. By starting with impediment rather than enablement, you end up severely limiting the potential benefits of mobility for your workforce.

Instead, start by identifying what workers need to get the job done efficiently and effectively, and focus on providing that to them.

 

What’s the Playbook? 

First, consider what your workers do throughout a given day. What tasks are they trying to complete? What does a successful workday look like?

Then, consider where they’re working. Do they stay in one place or move between environments? Do these different contexts present different hazards? What tasks are associated with which location?

Lastly, consider how they get the job done. What tools, software, and apps do they use to accomplish different tasks? Where do these tools need to be available to ensure maximum productivity?

When you’ve answered all these questions, effective mobility management takes a clearer shape. By understanding what tools are essential, it’s easier to identify potential distractions, and in turn help to un-blur the line between work and personal life for your employees.

 

Achieving Mobile Enablement

When workers are set up for success with only what they need, and nothing that they don’t, your business can reap the full benefits of mobility. Mobile enablement makes employees safer and more productive and ultimately leaves them with a better work-life balance. Effective mobility management can truly transform the employee experience into something better while also benefiting your bottom line.

However, you can’t simply just enact a device usage policy and expect behavior to change. Human nature is powerful, and habits are hard to break. It takes a coordinated approach in both changing the company culture and tools to help enforce policy. Many businesses deploy MDM or Enterprise Mobility Management software solutions to manage the content on employees’ devices.

TRUCE Software’s Contextual Mobility Management solution allows the content on a device to be adapted in real-time to match the terms of your policy. To learn more about how CMM can revolutionize the way you manage mobile devices, read our eBook: “Context is Everything: Embrace the Benefits of Mobility, Without Sweating the Risks”.