Employee Apps: How to Use Them to Increase Productivity, Streamline Operations and Communicate Better

The mobile revolution has transformed the modern workplace in many ways. Some companies have fully taken it on board by enabling their workforce to work remotely and on-the-go, with access to live data that can be shared easily across teams.

Other businesses are not ready for such a jump, but they recognize they need to start making the most out of their employees’ mobility.

Why? Because the productivity gains are too large to be ignored. A study of over 200 American Federal workers in 2013 found that, when given access to mobile tools and portals, each employee will gain an extra 364 hours of productive time per year. Not only that, but they also reported feeling more efficient and engaged.

That’s where employee apps come in.

Mobile apps are a vital part of any business

Of course, we’d say that, right? After all, building enterprise apps is our business. But a study by Accenture showed that the overwhelming majority of executives agree with us.

Eighty-two percent said that enterprise mobile apps are an integral part of their organization and 81% believe mobile apps are key to unlocking vital data from across their business.

employee apps data

How do businesses use employee apps?

Internal apps usually focus around three main categories: productivity, operations and communication.

Productivity:

  • Turn commuting time into a productive time by offering remote and secure access to company news and industry news.
  • Offer Continuing Professional Development (CPD) tools for your employees to listen to/interact with during remote hours – quizzes, podcasts, training videos and other tools can be downloaded onto apps and be accessible even in situations without internet access.
  • Allow employees to book meeting rooms or other facilities services on the go.

Operations:

  • Enable an HR app for managers to provide feedback while commuting after work.
  • Prepare a reporting app for the C-suite and directors, so they can see key company stats easily during meetings.
  • Streamline cross-selling by providing an app with key details for the business’ products and services, so employees can prepare ahead of meetings with prospects.

Communications:

  • Allow employees to send instant messages to each other and share documents in real time.
  • Create live polls for teams to vote for collaborative decision-making and increased transparency.
  • Deal with crises more efficiently by having an app that notifies key stakeholders of PR concerns

How do mobile apps benefit business?

Here are just a few of the benefits enterprises have reported after deploying employee apps:

  • Increased productivity
  • Lower costs
  • Big data opportunities
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Optimize business processes
  • Improved communication

Let’s look at how some of these benefits are realised in the world of work.

Increase productivity

One of the biggest benefits of an enterprise app. A study by cloud computing firm Salesforce suggests that enterprise apps can boost your staff’s productivity by more than 34%

The term ‘micro-moments of productivity’ has been used to describe the phenomenon – allowing employees to work smarter and remain productive while on the go, and to make better use of downtime such as while traveling on the train, for example.

With international workforces and a growing trend towards remote working, enterprise apps will be the glue that holds everything all together, allowing teams to collaborate regardless of their location and increasing their efficiency.

employee apps

Big data

This is a term that’s gained impetus since the dawn of the digital age. Masses of data is being generated through the use of digital devices and when this data is used in the right way, it’s worth its weight in gold to businesses.

Mobile apps help you unlock the value in this data, providing quicker and easier access to information from across the entire organization. This data is then analyzed to improve operations and influence business decision-making.

Reduce paperwork

By equipping employees with business apps, you can greatly reduce the amount of paperwork you use over time.

For example, staff can scan documents using a mobile device and then share those images digitally rather than printing out multiple copies. Or business-critical documentation can be stored in the cloud and then accessed by selected staff and signed and dealt with via technology.

From taking digital notes to reducing paper receipts needed for auditing, enterprise apps can reduce paperwork and save money at the same time. All it takes is a little creativity to determine which benefits you want to gain from your app.

Employee apps and the rise of the mobile workforce

Today, mobile is ubiquitous. In 2014 the global estimate of mobile phone subscriptions reached almost 7 billion – there’s only around 7.4 billion people on the planet.

Meanwhile, in the UK alone, smartphone penetration soared from 52% to 81% of the population in the four years to May 2016, according to a survey by Deloitte.

Bringing your own device to work

Mobile has come to dominate our lives, both at work and in the home – so it’s no surprise that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a growing trend within the modern workplace.

There’s a compelling business case for BYOD. It taps into consumers’ obsession with their mobile devices and at the same time, reduces an organization’s maintenance costs, hardware spend and software licensing.

Back in 2013, the number of organizations that allowed personal devices to be used for work purposes was 60%, according to  research from Tech Pro. Today, organizations that haven’t implemented a BYOD policy are relatively few and far between.

What are the benefits of ‘digital first’ working?

A global study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that 60% of employees believed themselves more productive as a result of using mobile technology. Another 38% said that the ability to work anywhere at any time had the single greatest impact on their job satisfaction.

For employers, improved job satisfaction among workers translates to staff retention, improved work culture and a more motivated workforce.

employee apps

Digital leaders have an edge over their industry competitors

It’s also widely recognized that digital leaders outstrip their industry competitors. In a different report, Capgemini revealed that companies with stronger ‘digital intensity’ gain increased revenue from their physical assets, including employees and revenue. Businesses that don’t invest in technology risk being left behind, the organization said.

In spite of this, the EIU showed the UK to be one of the countries with the lowest flexible working maturity. Nordic countries came top, with 87% of companies allowing employees to work from home.

Embracing a digital workplace and flexible working

Companies in the UK should take note that the most competitive organizations are those which embrace the digital workplace. When all’s said and done, businesses in the UK stand to gain £8.1 billion in cost reductions and productivity gains by introducing flexible working.

Businesses are realising the value of enterprise apps in order to remain competitive. Find out how Fliplet makes it easier than ever to create your own mobile enterprise apps.