5 ways to engage and empower offsite workers with mobile technology


Almost everyone has a mobile device for personal use. Many people say they can’t live without them. Researchers say up to 60 percent of the people on the streets are looking down at them.

But do they make sense in the business world? If so, how do you ensure that important business tasks are not interrupted by personal smartphone usage, like social media or games? Simple. Engage your users.

Here are five ways to ensure employees will use your mobile apps:

1. They need to work

The marketplace has trained users to expect great quality from mobile apps. With mobile apps created by Apple and Google, people know they are going to work well as soon as they pick up their devices.

However, as explained in the online article KIFSU and the Mobile User Expectations, nearly 80 percent of users delete an app after using it for the first time. So if your mobile applications don’t work well, don’t expect employees to use them.

2. Make them look great

When using our mobile devices for personal use, we expect a certain quality, look, and feel. That’s why business apps need to look attractive to users. There are millions of mobile apps vying for users’ attention, so your business apps need to be able to keep users engaged.

Personal-use apps that come pre-installed on a device look attractive, so users have the expectation that all apps look this way. If you want your users to actually use the apps you develop for them, you need to engage them visually.

3. Make them easy to use

Mobile apps rarely have training manuals available for users to learn how to use them. Provide a modern look and a user experience designed with a focus on completing business tasks quickly and easily. Just like working well and looking great, if users can’t easily figure out how to use an app, they won’t try for too long.

If they go back to using computer programs, that can increase the time spent to take action on a business decision. Keep things moving by allowing business processes to continue through workflow when employees are out of the office.

4. Provide applications for all popular mobile device platforms

Let your users choose their favorites. That way, you’ll know that they will use the apps.

Our IS department recently made new smartphone choices simple by using the metaphor of driving stick versus automatic when comparing different operating systems. Think of ways to keep making life easier.

5. Maintain a high level of quality and security

Utilize your Quality Assurance team to ensure your mobile device management (MDM) solutions offer robust levels of security. Fixing issues quickly is key.

Taking these five steps will help you toward your goal of a mobile workforce. A workforce that isn’t stuck in the office, but is still engaged in work processes.

After all, the average mobile user checks her personal smartphone 221 times a day, in comparison to sitting at a computer 140 times per day, according to Digital Strategy Consulting. That means your workforce is ready to be engaged on this platform. Are you ready?

Brady Giles is an Associate test analyst at Hyland, Creator of OnBase. He joined the company in 2011 as a Quality Assurance Associate Test Analyst. Brady currently works on the OnBase mobile applications and is a part of a QA usability group ensuring consistency and usability throughout the OnBase product suite. Prior to joining Hyland, he obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Managerial Marketing from Kent State University.

Brady Giles

Brady Giles is an Associate test analyst at Hyland, Creator of OnBase. He joined the company in 2011 as a Quality Assurance Associate Test Analyst. Brady currently works on the... read more about: Brady Giles