Sayonara, nine-to-five; haloo, flexi-working! It’s quite a while since office life has been confined to office hours, or between cubicle walls: a globalized economy, project-based work patterns, and advances in mobile technology mean that we’re almost always on duty. Whether you’re working from an international airline departure lounge or from your own home, having mobile access to your emails and files is, these days, a prerequisite for success. And when a laptop’s not convenient or possible, smartphones rule the business day.
But they’re not just convenient: they’re game-changers. Here’s five ways that mobile technology is changing the way we work forever:
1. We can edit, access and share work, anytime, anywhere.
If you’re toggling between devices, the last thing you want is a mix-up between file versions. The Nokia Lumia family of smartphones comes loaded with Microsoft Office and Outlook so that you can create PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents on the go, then use Cloud services like SkyDrive, SharePoint or Office 365 save, sync and share them. The upshot is that you don’t need your PC to do your job any more: mobile tech lets you access and edit files across multiple interfaces, so you can work effectively as you travel.
2. We can work securely out of the office
You don’t have to worry about leaving sensitive information in plain view on a restaurant table if you’re working from a smartphone; because security is a primary concern for the office tech developers, your confidential files really will be for your eyes-only. Windows 8 phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 come with hardware accelerated encryption, secured boot, apps that guard against malware and the ability to remotely lock and wipe your phone on the off chance that it gets misplaced. Plus, the Active Directory Rights Management Services make sure only authorised users can access your email.
3. We can keep our business closer
There’s more to apps than Angry Birds: with business and leisure, don’t forget that mobile tech is all about communication. Downloadable services like WhatsApp offer free messaging, and your call package probably includes a number of free messages. What’s more, with Lync 2010 for Windows Phone, you can see which of your work colleagues are available, chat through IM and join Lync conferences easily with a single tap from your calendar entry. Which means that these days, no matter your location, you’ll never drop off the office grapevine again.
4. We can work smarter and more intuitively
Smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia range have been specifically designed to help make working life easier. In handset design and interface look and feel, the range has been optimized for great performance and ease of use. Live Tiles are perfect for faster web browsing and fluid multi-tasking. People Hub brings your business contacts, messages and content together in one place. You can choose the person to contact, then how to contact them, all from one place. While People Hub groups, mean you can connect with your key people with a single touch.
5. We can learn new skills faster
Bewildered? The Nokia@Work business twitter channel is here to help demystify the world of business smartphones. They’re running real-life master classes at Social Media week in NYC all this week, but if you’re not in the vicinity, look up @NokiaatWork and #SmarterEveryDay to get tips on how mobile tech and social media can help you work more efficiently. They’re tweeting advice on developing business apps for Windows 8, the power of online communities for local businesses, and more: and you can access all this info from your phone—bettering your business on the go!
Any other ways mobile tech is revolutionizing your nine to five? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.