The nature of workplace is changing day by day with the coming up of technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and workplace trackers. It is predicted that these technologies will invade people’s life in such a way that it will present many challenges for employees, leaders and HRM. With emerging technologies, employees are more likely to use different apps to manage their work and professional life. It will also change the manner in which leaders and HRM can track progress and development of each employees. While some aspects of the technology might benefit the employees, it might also present challenges for leaders and HRM and vice versa. Hence, use of mobile technology can either have a positive or negative impact on work performance (Yueh, Lu, & Lin, 2016). The main purpose of this report is to evaluate the use of Apps by employees to manage their work and personal life and find out how this trend might have an impact on them as well as HRM. It will identify the advantage and disadvantage of mobile applications for the work process. Finally, the report will recommend solutions to address the challenge faced by each of them and develop innovative strategies to develop a cooperative work place.
Implications of mobile app use for employees
Just like mobile applications have changed daily experience of staying in touch with friends and getting entertainment, it will transform employees experience at work in the future. Business review report confirms that the number of enterprise apps is increasing every year and it is predicted that it will increase the productivity in the organization by 40% (Panepinto, 2017). Increased numbers of organizations are willing to equip their employees with mobile apps to carry out core business process. The mobile app will make it easier for employees to interact and collaborate with leaders and other team members in a virtual platform. They will be able to use scanner, notebook, presentation tool, personal assistants and many other apps to manage their job responsibilities. As employees personal and professional lives are dominated by usable mobile apps, employees expect work apps to be usable too. However many employees may face challenge in adopting to the new mobile apps for the workforce due to issues like facing difficulty in accessing key functions and smoothly navigating between apps. Therefore, it is important to have an app that allows easy data entry to address the problems of employee and increase work productivity.
One main disadvantage of the use of mobile apps by employees at work is that it will lead to security threats for organization. Employees will generally install malicious apps and the lack of precautions while using the apps will lead to security threats for the organization. In order to avoid loss of sensitive information via bring your own device (BYOD) apps, employees need to learn of ways to secure their mobile data in the future. In an attempt to improve work efficiency and productivity, operational methods of work and BYOD environment needs to be reviewed (Garba et al., 2015). Organization can take steps to address these maladaptive behaviors among employees by imposing restrictions on app download in the workplace. The work managers should give education to employees about mobile apps and encourage them to download apps from corporate app stores only. As increased use of app in workplace will lead to risk of insecure data storage, poor authorization, leak of sensitive information, developing custom mobile apps specific to the need of organization might be the solutions to address the problem in the future A. (Harris & Patten, 2014).
Market research indicates about 35% smart phones will be used for business purpose and the future aim of organization will be to provide mobile applications tailored to the needs of employees. The improvement in functionality of devices will help employees to use apps professionally. It will create opportunities for unified communication with employees via different media (Da Xu, He, & Li, 2014). However, the main challenge for employees in working with these apps at work is that they need to have detailed knowledge regarding the mobile communication channels and have the creativity to take innovative decisions. Secondly, they may face problem in using mobile apps at work due to poor pre-launch testing program at work. If the app is not reliable and do not provide positive user experience, employees are most likely to use abandon this app (Garba et al., 2015). Another problem for employees is that they expect workplace mobile apps to be usable, but issues related to crashes and device incompatibility might create negative experience for employees. Mobile apps will provide employees the option to work from anywhere, however some may find home environment unsuitable for office task. It is also possible that lack of employee’s physical proximity with employers might have an impact on their job performance and commitment. Forcing employees to work on certain devices might also cause dissatisfaction and unnecessary conflicts in workplace (Hsiao, Chang, & Tang, 2016).
The goal of future workplace should be to maximize the benefit of mobile apps in workplace by giving reliable user experience to employees. Investment in employee training will help to address security related issues of employees. Mobile app delivered with end user usability in mind will help to enhance employee performance and work flow. Employees commitment towards work will also help them to overcome work issues and engage in unified communication at workplace. Effective mobile strategy will increase employee satisfaction in the job and it also provides them better flexibility in their work environment. Improvement in mobile devices and workplace infrastructure will provide better work options to employees (Yueh, Lu, & Lin, 2016). Furthermore, employee will have to develop their skills related to mobile device management to effectively carry out functions like device administration, access control and surveillance reporting. This skill will also enable them to manage security aspects of the app (Neal & Weintraub, 2014). .
Implications of mobile app use for HRM
The rise in usage of mobile applications in workplace will have many positive implications for human resource management. With the increase in the number of organization in the 21st century, HR will play an important role in recruiting skilled human capital to gain a competitive advantage in business. The use of relevant mobile apps will help them to gain accurate information about current employees and talented new candidates at a fast pace. It would help them achieve good results in managing workflow and employees in workplace. Furthermore, an HR manager who is equipped with the mobile applications management skills can contribute to overall productivity of the organization. Different apps related to HRM system will help them to accurately store, retrieve, analyze and transfer information regarding the human capital in the organization. Mobile apps will help them to improve core competencies in employees, manage internal process and modify organization structure (Zikic, 2015). However, with the rise in new mobile app usage, new competencies are required by HR professionals to efficiently manage their responsibilities.
In the traditional system of workplace, HR managers had to manage a variety of paper-based documents which was a complex work. However, with the rise in mobile application use in future, the shortage of digital skills will become a major problem in workplace. The role of HR managers will become challenging due to shortage of skills to find solutions to HR related issues from mobile apps (Kang, 2014). Current reports points out that very few HR managers are actively involved in their skill development and digital skills development are mostly seen by IT division or functional teams (Ahmad, 2015). Hence companies need to take proactive stance to pass the message to HR professionals that traditional HR practices will not work in digital word and they need to have new skills to thrive in competitive job market.
There are many HR function areas which should go mobile and it will help HR professional to complete actions at a fast pace. For example mobile learning application will enable HR managers to share information of employees related to product release and latest marketing campaigns. Furthermore, a worker directory app will in easy handling of worker’s profile and updating recent goal of the organization. Employees do not tend to check emails or portals when they are away from office, hence HR managers can use workforce communication app to inform employees about latest stock acquisition or new developments in the organization (Lindeman et al., 2014). The digital skills development will help HR managers to use new ways to recruit employees and retain talented candidates in the job. Mobile app usage will also have great implications for facilitating innovative work process.
In the future, HR professionals will have to learn sufficient technical and mobile device management skills in the era of digital transformation. They need to complement these skills with their HR acumen. The true potential of the apps can be realized when HR use them to train an develop employees. Effective training by the use of mobile device will foster development of existing talents in the job and it will also turn out to be an effective way to manage people at workplace (Pande & Gomes, 2015). For example apps related to HR will act as a great medium for HR managers to inform new candidates about upcoming interview schedules and other recruitment information. Therefore, after acquiring new technical skills related to mobile devices, HR professionals can prepare themselves to move towards a paperless administration and achieve process human resource data at high speed. The other important scope of mobile devices for HRM will be that it will help them to get instant access to HR data and categorise information. It will provide them the opportunity to achieve consistency and accuracy in HRM. The improvement in quality of HR service will reduce cost of the organization and improve productivity (Hoendervanger et al., 2015).
Implications of workplace change for leaders
As it is predicted that in the future, employees are more likely to use mobile applications to manage work and personal life, office staffs and executive manager must have a system in place to conduct business systematically. When employees will be using mobile applications, better collaboration is needed with other staffs and managers to access real-time information about work. Without effective interactions, it will be difficult for the workforce to operate efficiently and at optimal levels. The mobile applications will create demands of a mobile workforce and it will become a challenge for leaders to implement strategies that allows employees to work from anywhere and on any device (Reber, 2014).
In the future, it is possible that one employee might be using many applications to do his or her work. In that case, a leader will have to completely modify his communication style to embrace mobile apps in work. It will become a challenge for them and some may resist incorporating the mobile revolution into the workplace due to communication or security issues (Arbore, Soscia, & Bagozzi, 2014). However, in the future, they will have to adopt mobile applications and think of ways to create a parallel infrastructure to remain connected with employees. Instead of struggling with the change in workplace due to mobile technology, leaders will have to work out strategies to embrace the mobile applications (Groves et al., 2016). It is predicted that smartphone user will rise by about 6.1 billion users in 2020, hence critical action taken by leaders to adopt the technology might revolutionize the work process and bring rich dividends for the organization (Kraft, 2017).
In order to move forward with the mobile future instead of lagging behind, leaders and workplace managers can use mobiles apps as a channel for information and interaction with employees. As organizations work with global partners, leaders may need to communicate with employees at all time. Transformation style of leadership is required to empower employees and support them in enhancing the organizational innovation (Mason et al., 2014). Leaders will have to modify their collaboration skills to get connected with the virtual team whenever needed and then disband. They will now have to work across boundaries to manage the change process and facilitate better collaboration with each employee.
The negative aspect of the use of mobile apps is that it will create a 24/7 workplace culture leading to frequent interruptions and increase stress due to the demand of being connected constantly through apps. In that case, leaders will have to work to create flexible work process and take fast-paced decisions (Alexander & Van Knippenberg, 2014). Although mobile apps will create opportunities to increase better relationship with other companies, a leader with an accountable attitude will help to nurture diversity at workplace. There is chance of great complexity in the work process in the initial phase of adoption to the mobile technology, therefore leaders will have to learn to deal with these complexity and stay focused even in stressful situations (Bryson, Crosby, & Stone, 2015).
Hence, the analysis of the change in future workplace environment due to the use of apps by employees suggests that leaders in the future need to be very dynamic. Work manager will have to work to modify the network structures and they need to have a relational attitude to manage a virtual team and encourage them to achieve business goals. They will act as a guide to train employees for successful work outcomes and support them to adapt to the new work culture (Zhang, Wang, & Pearce, 2014). A transformational attitude in leaders will be required to model new behaviors, balance work process and openly communicate with the team. Through their leadership skills and use of apps, they will establish trust with their team and ensure better team participation (Breevaart et al., 2015). Therefore, in a rapidly changing work environment, strong analytical and communication skills will help them to master new technology and achieve organizational success.
From the analysis of the future workplace change due to use of mobile apps by employees, it can be concluded that business organization will definitely get benefit from the digital revolution. The initial phase of transforming to mobile device from traditional approach of work may be difficult for employees, leaders and HRM. However, work in the areas of skill development will enable all of them to seize the new digital opportunity and enhance their professional performance in the job. The report gave implications of the workplace changes for HRM, employees and leaders and what steps they should take to overcome the challenges in adapting to the new technology. Companies should also prepare themselves for the future by having clear BYOD policies so that employees and HR professionals uses the app in a judicious manner. Leaders or work managers have to be careful to analyze any risk in business due to mobile app usage and take adequate steps to secure the organization’s mobile application. Hence, with critical actions taken to reduce the risk and challenges associated with adapting the mobile application, everyone can the benefits and enhance efficiency and productivity in the work.
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