Sometimes we talk about mobile workers as if they were a subset of the overall employee population. Actually it’s more likely the other way around, with cubicle workers becoming a subset of the mobile population. The truth of it is, we’re all mobile now.

Many predictions foresaw mobile worker populations of over 1 billion by 2015, and it’s probably safe to say we hit that mark. Do you know any colleague who doesn’t own a smartphone? Most knowledge workers are mobile at some time or other.

You might be a mobile worker if:

  • You check your email from your smartphone when you’re waiting on kids at soccer practice.
  • You respond to a request by text when you’re locked in a meeting.
  • You log on to the company network at night from your hotel room.
  • You fire up the coffee maker en route to your home office, shush the dog and settle in for a conference call.
  • You work from your laptop or tablet in the airport terminal waiting out a flight delay.
  • You listen to a webex from the doctor’s waiting room.
  • You take meetings from your car, logging into the meeting platform from your smartphone app.

Each industry has its own version of the mobile or untethered worker. In the insurance sector, an agent completes a claim on site, taking pictures of an accident and uploading them in a digital claim form. In the medical field, tablet-toting nurses and doctors access your medical files and take down your information, and today, it’s even possible for surgery to be performed remotely. In education, teachers hold regular classes remotely via online instruction models. Students can get degrees in a mobile way without even being in the same state or country as their school.

Mobile Is Part of the Digital Transformation
Capabilities like these are transforming the way businesses work, and that will continue, because we’re just beginning to see the impact of mobility in large enterprises. We haven’t reached the tipping point of tablets, “phablets”, smartphones and what now seem almost dated – laptops. Functionality once available only on premise are now easily accessible via the cloud, and this will continue as a major trend.

Along with the proliferation of smart phones and tablets have come new solutions that let us work with business documents in our mobile environments. A frequent traveler can get a jump on expense reports and meet company deadlines for filing them. She just sends smartphone pictures of the hotel folio and taxi receipts directly to her administrative assistant. It’s not just an alternative way to submit expenses; it’s a faster, more accurate business process.

When an executive needs to receive, review and sign a contract, he doesn’t have wait until he’s at his hotel to pick up a fax, read it, sign it and scan or fax it back. With a tool like Xerox Digital Alternatives, this busy executive can access, read, annotate, approve and share an important, time-sensitive document right from his tablet or PC. Another faster, better process.

The productivity enhancements emerging to meet the need of the mobile workforce are transforming the way we work. It’s a trend that’s gone beyond mobile print into the realm of information access and use. Continued innovation focused on mobile productivity and security will have tremendous impact on how we get work done on the road or wherever we are. The result will be offerings we may not necessarily think of as mobile solutions, but as part of the bigger picture of digital transformation.

To learn more about using Xerox Digital Alternatives to transform business, watch this video.