Social networking is the rage. Not a day goes by without the mention of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. What can we learn from the millions of people leveraging these technologies to get in touch, stay in touch and find new opportunities?
Well, first we learn that connecting with people and sharing information is a fundamental human need. From a historic perspective these new technologies promote communication and in many respects are no different from their predecessor technologies such as the teletype, telephone and e-mail. The advantage that these newer technologies offer is quicker access to a much larger group of people and support for multiple types of digital communication.
How does this relate to the mobile worker? Well first of all, I am not suggesting that providing a mobile worker with Facebook or LinkedIn on his mobile phone will increase his/her productivity. However, what I am suggesting is that improving the delivery of information to and between mobile workers and the enterprise will improve productivity and that there are a number of tools and technologies currently available to help. Technologies such as Push-to-Talk voice communication, mobile e-mail and messaging alerts enable mobile workers to be updated in real time. Additionally, technologies such as GPS tracking and Geofencing ensure that the enterprise has real time awareness of the locations of its mobile workers and assets thus providing the ability to deploy the most cost effective resources to a location. Finally, with the advent of high resolution displays and high speed wireless networks, mobile workers now have access to detailed information such as schematics that until recently was not possible. If you have a mobile workforce, it is important to ask the question: Are my mobile workers disconnected and working on their own? If so, how can you leverage technology to connect them and leverage the strength found in numbers?