45 years ago, Dr Martin Cooper, general manager at Motorola communications system division, created history. He made the first ever phone call from a mobile device - a device weighing in at a whopping 1.1kg - nearly ten times the weight of the iPhone X.
No one is sure how long the call lasted but it was most likely a matter of minutes. Fast forward to 2018 and the latest figures show nearly a quarter of 18-24 year olds spend more than 7 hours a day on their phones, although maybe it’s time we move past calling them phones.
Because, in reality, these devices we have in our pockets are much more than phones. These devices are so smart you unlock them with your fingerprints or through facial recognition, you use them to make video calls to friends or family on the other side of the world, you use them to order your weekly groceries, you stream movies and music through them, they’re probably the best cameras you’ve ever owned, they can fetch you a cab (and pay for it), you answer emails through them, they hold the only calendars you use, they will answer any question you ask them, they can control your home and, every once in a while, you might even make a phone call from one of them.
No instructions needed
For most of us out there, our phones are never far away, and it’s been the rise of the ‘app culture’ (an industry that’s now worth an estimated $77 billion USD) that’s made our phones such an integral part of our day to day lives.
But what is it about apps that make them both addictive and necessary? Johannes Nordman, Product Owner at Quinyx, explains.
“You never have to read an instruction manual with an app,” he says. “The best apps are the ones that make our lives easier, are simple to use, and look great. The best ones are super clear and, this clarity from when we first open them, means we enjoy using them.”
Whether it’s streaming music or videos, communicating with friends, or even shift workers checking when they are working next, the best apps don’t make us think. They work in a natural and intuitive way, usually saving us a huge amount of time through our use of them.
The use of apps, and the exponential growth of mobile phone use for a myriad of different tasks, are what fuels our mobile first approach to the development of our workforce management software. For a workforce management app to be successful, it has to be as easy to use as Spotify is for the end user. This means giving them the ability to see when they are working next, to punch in, and to attest their time, in the easiest possible way.
As Johannes says: “If we look at how our users work in our apps and learn from their behaviour in our future development, the app gives them a smoother and easier experience because the mobile view is simple, straightforward and tailored for their needs. As soon as they install the app, they can start using it.
“This means it’s possible for senior management to get all their employees up to speed quickly as they don’t have to explain how the system works. It also makes the employees happy. As we see in our reviews in the app stores for both IOS and Android, we have very strong scores which are rare for our kind of app.
“For me, having a mobile first mindset, means in every part of the system we develop we should be thinking how will this look in a mobile view and is this a function that’s applicable to a mobile phone?”
Revolutionise your business
For businesses, being mobile first takes on a even greater importance. If you’re still using a legacy system or have limited mobile functionality within your workforce management solution, you’re making your own life much more difficult and compounding this in your employees.
Most businesses now accept (as you can see in this webinar with leading global retailer Swarovski) employees will have their phones in their pockets at work. And, providing it doesn’t impact the work of the employees, most businesses welcome this. So why not take advantage of the fact your employees have a supercomputer in their pocket? Doing so has the power to revolutionise your business - from reducing labour costs through to improving communication, the use of a mobile-first workforce management solution brings with it a host of benefits, even as much as employees who use a workforce management app reporting they open it up first thing in the morning when they are working before any other app.
And it doesn’t end there. The future holds enormous potential for the development of workforce management apps. For example, geofencing will help determine where and when employees can punch in as will creating set rules where an employee can only punch in if they are logged into their business’ wifi network.
If you’d like to find out more about the future of workforce management, you can download our free guide below.