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  • Mobility is key for HR departments

    A large number of registered mobile users are accessing their pay information through their company's mobile HR applications, according to a study from Automatic Data Processing.

    Mobile devices are being deployed by a large number of workforces.The survey from ADP, which serves 620,000 clients in more than 125 countries, shows that 37 percent of mobile users are accessing this pay information, compared to 23 percent of those who use desktops and laptops. Roberto Masiero, vice president and head of ADP, said this trend is due to mobile technology becoming the preferred channel of a workforce.

    "The human resources function is a key asset in today's business mobility landscape because of its ability to connect and inform the workforce in an easily scalable way," Masiero said.

    Masiero and other experts believe this is fitting because most employees want the ability to access relevant work information at any time and from any place. That's especially the case as more workers - 70 percent, according to Aruba Networks - want flexible work schedules.

    Masiero said moving HR functions from kiosks to desktops to laptops to mobile applications is the natural evolution of HR functions. "The HR department now has this phenomenal channel to communicate [with] and engage the workforce," Masiero said, which eliminates the need for employees to be tied to a certain physical location.

    Aruba Networks reported that 86 percent of respondents worldwide own two or more devices that can be connected to the Internet, while 64 percent own three or more mobile devices with connection capabilities.

    Don't be left behind
    
Paul Belliveau, managing director of Avancé HCM Advisors in Boston, told Workforce that HR professionals should welcome new mobile technologies, not avoid them. He claimed that mobile tools provide HR professionals with another method to boost productivity.

    "Mobile isn't a new strategy, it is simply a new way to support the same strategies that you already follow," Belliveau said.

    He stated that some people already have mobile devices that are more powerful than their company-issued desktop computers. However, some companies are still not allowing outside access of mobile devices.

    "Why wouldn't you want to leverage that technology?" Belliveau asked. "You can't censure access to the outside world."

    Belliveau is imploring HR leaders to offer the right kind of avenues for mobile users to enable employees to move effortlessly between their work and personal lives. He said when a company installs a firewall, all it does is vex employees and obstruct productivity.

    But Belliveau doesn't mean that a company should allow its employees to abuse its network. He said HR leaders need to come up with a policy for mobile-device use and offer guidelines for communicating on social media and rules for sharing company information.

    "Establish codes of conduct around ethical behavior, and make it part of their standards for performance," Belliveau said.

    Simple is usually best


    Mobile devices offer a great amount of convenience, but for long, drawn-out projects, they usually aren't the best technology to use. Steve Roth, senior director and mobile product manager for Automatic Data Processing Inc., told Workforce that too much data over a mobile interface can bog down a network and be cumbersome to use.

    Roth said HR leaders don't need to go overboard when allowing mobile devices on a company's network, as most of the tasks employees complete using their phones can be finished quickly while waiting in line or sitting around at the airport.

    "Most people want to use their mobile devices at work," Roth said. "But that doesn't mean every single piece of information on the company network needs to be accessible on their phones."