How Office Managers Can Make the Most of Smartphone Habits in the Workplace

Businessman using smartphone and working

Smartphones in the workplace are often seen as a distraction. Understandably, employers don't want their staff to waste time texting or scrolling through social media. However, there are ways to incorporate smartphones into the workplace to streamline productivity and strengthen internal communications. Here are a few ways office managers can capitalize on employee smartphone habits in the workplace.

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Communication

businesswoman using smart phone

The purpose of a smartphone is first and foremost to exchange information. Integrating smartphones into office communications plans can improve productivity by allowing employees to instantly receive and respond to important emails and requests.

Office managers should consider using internal communications tools like Slack.

Slack is a team communication app that has different channels for specific work-related topics. The ability to message certain employees or teams instantly results in an average 48.6% reduction of internal email.

Rather than limit the use of smartphones in the office, managers can promote the use of internal communication apps. This way, managers can easily notify the team on meetings, office changes and other important updates without increasing the amount of emails employees have to address each day.

Collaboration

Alongside increased communication comes improved collaboration. There are multiple smartphone-compatible applications that help facilitate partnerships and teamwork. For example, using Google Docs on smartphones allows employees to quickly read and refer to documents, spreadsheets and presentations as needed. Facility management apps, such as cloud-based employee directories, help employees to confirm the location of staff and resources (e.g. printers or meeting rooms) as they move around the office, allowing coworkers to easily convene to brainstorm or collaborate.

Office managers should encourage the use of these applications on smartphones to help ensure that all employees can easily work together and have immediate access to the documents and resources they need at all times.

Connectedness

Brainstorming meeting with smartphone

Whether you have multiple office locations in the same city, state or across the globe, keeping team members connected is an important factor in productivity and morale. Utilizing company-specific intranet apps can keep employees in tune with larger departmental or company initiatives and changes. As offices increasingly employ both in-office and remote workers, managers are more reliant on digital tools to help teams stay connected. Conferencing options built into phones, such as FaceTime, give employees the ability to work together "face to face" in spite of geographical differences—allowing employees to save money and time they may otherwise spend on travel and ensuring that remote workers feel like valued members of their team.

Office managers can encourage the use of these tools while putting measures in place to keep smartphones from reducing workplace productivity. For instance, managers should consider establishing designated call areas where employees can take conference calls without distracting their coworkers.

By figuring out ways that smartphones can promote office communication, collaboration and connectedness, office managers can use mobile habits to their advantage. Smartphones can help employees stay informed, share ideas and collaborate with both in-house and remote workers. Instead of implementing strict rules for phone use in the office, incorporate smartphones into your internal communications plan to strengthen your team and their productivity.

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