It seems that just as we learn about a new business trend, another one follows quickly, nipping at its heels. Take, for example, the “Great Resignation,” discovered when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January that a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021. This was a phenomenon that we had not seen before, a societal symptom of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led more people to reevaluate what they want from their jobs and their lifestyles.
This led to the Great Renegotiation, where employees felt empowered to leave existing roles for higher-paying jobs or leave traditional roles for nontraditional ones. In July, McKinsey & Company reported, “For certain categories of workers, the barriers to switching employers have dropped dramatically. In the United States alone, there were 11.3 million open jobs at the end of May—up substantially from 9.3 million open jobs in April 2021. Even as employers scramble to fill these positions, the voluntary quit rate is 25% higher than pre-pandemic levels.”
Cue Quiet Quitting. As reported by CNBC in September, “Now, during the second half of 2022, it’s the quiet quitting trend that’s gaining momentum at a time when the rate of U.S. productivity is raising some concern. Data on U.S. worker productivity posted its biggest annual drop in the second quarter.” A viral TikTok video signaled a changing sign of the times when 24-year-old engineer Zaid Kahn observed, “You are still performing your duties, but you are no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentally that work has to be our life. The reality is, it’s not, and your worth as a person is not defined by your labor.”
Flash cut to the current headlines about recent layoffs across industries stemming from slower business growth and rising labor costs, and we may be in the midst of another trend taking shape, the Great Layoff.
One common thread remains throughout these developments. With more employees coming and going and moving between corporate and home offices, keeping track of mobile assets (laptops, phones, tablets)—and associated corporate data across sprawling networks and clouds—is presenting monumental IT challenges. According to a recent study, “94% of organizations shifted to some sort of hybrid work structure due to the pandemic.” To get ahead of the current pace of change and today’s modern workforce trends, businesses should rethink their existing mobile strategy for long-term success. Here are three trending practices to reconsider.
BYOD Vs. COPE
During the pandemic, permitting employees to “bring your own devices” (BYOD) to work became a popular, expeditious way to cost-effectively expand hybrid work. Now that hybrid work is becoming a longer-term standard, we are seeing a trend toward a more managed, corporate-owned approach. Offering a “corporate-owned, personally enabled” (COPE) approach can ensure that devices are preconfigured with security policies, as well as provide more holistic inventory and usage data to identify anomalies and alarms to questionable usage behaviors. Having the data to quickly inform smart security actions can be the key to mitigating damaging security breaches.
Opex Vs. Capex
Corporate-owned policies do not have to mean more up-front capital investment. In fact, with a device-as-a-service (DaaS) model, businesses can scale up or down by “leasing” the devices offered to employees. This affords more controlled, predictable monthly costs. Plus, this gives you the ability to have full visibility into your device inventory across your mobile fleet—which ones are active and which ones need to be wiped or disabled when employees leave an organization. Offering a vendor-agnostic selection of devices for employees to choose from to effectively get their jobs done also enhances productivity and overall employee experience.
Managed Mobility Vs. A Mishmash Approach
With mobile at the heart of every business, it is time to take a serious streamlined approach.
Managed mobility services (MMS) are highly recommended to gain visibility and manage and optimize your mobile workforce footprint. Look for a solution that involves ordering, tracking, paying, auditing and optimizing an entire mobile fleet while uncovering actionable insights for improved productivity and bottom-line savings. Having data at your fingertips is invaluable in terms of faster reporting, better decision making and optimizing your business.
Following the latest trends does not require jumping on the bandwagon. Rather, a constant reassessment of how to navigate change is needed to stay flexible in the midst of it—and, if fortunate, ahead of it. One of the biggest post-pandemic lessons is to build resiliency in your business. Make sure that you are reassessing, redesigning and transforming your mobile work environment to meet evolving demands and withstand the test of time.