I read a great piece in Computer Business Review last month that looked at the growing mobile workforce in Europe.

According to the survey mentioned in the article, 32 per cent of the typical workforce is a remote workforce.

There are so many of us working from home or on the move that Riverbed Technology’s research revealed that a third of CIOs believe their IT departments spend 40 per cent of their time supporting the mobile workforce.

That’s a lot of man hours, but a price worth paying it would seem. The CIOs are agreed in that they recognize mobile working brings improved morale (58 per cent) and increased productivity (59 per cent).

At Huddle of course, we’re firm believers in the benefits of mobile working. The days of working 9 to 5 at the same desk, in the same office, are long gone and both private and public sector organizations are much more flexible in how they allow their employees work, even compared to as recently as five years ago.

The cultural and productivity benefits associated with mobile working are well-documented but what I believe is driving enterprise acceptability is a trust that employees now have the right tools to get the job done. Pinging confidential documents back and forth over a dodgy IP VPN doesn’t fill anyone with confidence, but improved connectivity (both wifi and broadband) and effective collaboration tools mean that geographically dispersed teams can work as effectively as if they were in the same building.

But what is the essential kit for today’s mobile workforce? It’s actually pretty simple and to start with, decent hardware is vital. Smartphones are the norm rather than exception for most businesses and the functionality on offer compares with the best laptops of a few years ago. Whether you prefer a PC or a Mac, there are some strong options for both and the rise of tablets – in particular the iPad – means workers can have secure and powerful computing for minimal cost.

You then need the tools to communicate and collaborate effectively – enter Huddle. As the cloud grows more popular, so do platforms such as ours and whether its for file sharing, document management, project management, whiteboards and discussions, or phone and web conferencing, Huddle is the collaboration tool of choice for more than 100,000 organizations around the world.

Having a mobile workforce is part of the very fabric of business life in the 21st century and, as long as a workforce is given the right tools for the job, more and more organizations will start to reap the benefits.

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