Mobility is one of the single biggest changes to communications that has impacted the entire delivery infrastructure. When I started in business as a wee lad, mobility was the bank of pay phones in the hotel lobby or outside the main convention floor. At break everyone would race to get a spot in line to check in with the office. That evolved to cellular in the early 90’s with voice only and the early Blackberry’s in the late 90’s. While a great convenience then, I’m not sure that I, or most of us, understood the ultimate impact this would have on how businesses operate.
Today companies are using mobility in many ways and leveraging daily to make their employees more productive and more accessible to customers. This makes a lot of sense in the age of instant gratification. We measure response time in seconds and not minutes. Most businesses are now integrating multiple communications to the employee in a mobile format – email, voice, video, chat, etc.
However, where does it end? One discipline I most often see overlooked is the separation of the employee’s work life and personal life. There has to be a shut off valve and respect of the employee’s privacy and personal time when they are off the clock. This is hard when the mobile device is beeping 24/7 and especially hard when customers have your cell number.
A few basic things can help with this. Consider installing a communications platform that masks the employee phone number and provides a call center number for anyone in the field. Make sure you have clear after hour’s policies that your employees and customers know to follow so you minimize unnecessary fire drills. Probably the best advice is to let your employees know how much you respect their personal life and that they shouldn’t be engaged in work after hours on a regular basis unless an emergency arises.
Instant access is important in today’s business environment but not more important than creating a healthy balance for your employees. Got to go, it’s 10:47PM and my phone is beeping…. JK – mine is always turned off after 9pm.