What Are The Tools That Will Empower Our Growing Mobile, Global Workforce? [Sponsored]

What Are The Tools That Will Empower Our Growing Mobile, Global Workforce? [Sponsored]

Developers are cashing in on a new slate of services and applications aimed at delivering seamless connectivity, productivity and efficiency to remote workers.

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 17 january 2012

The labor force defined by the current global economy is one that is widely dispersed and increasingly untethered from a traditional desk space, changing the ways companies and their employees communicate and collaborate. According to the Telework Coalition, 89 of the top 100 US companies already offer telecommuting, and IDC forecasts that by 2015, the worldwide mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion.

As a larger number of workers rely on their mobile phones and tablet computers to perform tasks from any location, the traditional office is transforming into a mobile, virtual workplace, which require a new set of tools to deliver seamless connectivity, productivity and efficiency. The marketplace has responded with a slate of services and applications to enable and empower this new style of worker, leveraging a combination of social, mobile and cloud technologies.

Social Messaging and Collaboration

The same instant-messaging technologies that consumers have been enjoying for the past ten years are finally growing in popularity amongst large enterprise-level companies.  Companies such as Jive and Yammer are offering a full-range of secure, social products that enable employees to collaborate in real-time.

Jive bills itself as ‘the first company to bring the innovation of the consumer to the enterprise… breaking down the barriers separating employees, customers and partners.’ To that end, their product, which is in its fifth generation, offers a number of collaboration tools that allow users to engage employees in internal communities, engage customers in external communities, and engage the social web by tracking social media networks.

Yammer is a direct competitor to Jive and offers a similar solution to enterprise-level businesses.  In just three years, it has amassed a user-base of three million subscribers and more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies are using the service.

Socialcast is an online collaboration platform that uses real-time activity streams to unite co-workers in a Town Hall style forum, offering additional features such as user roles and org charts to help employees understand who within their company is working on a particular project, and micro-blogging capabilities that enable collaborators to quickly share their insights. Through its mobile application, employees may connect with one another and share data while on the go. The concept is designed to help employees focus on meaningful work, share knowledge, and discover data all in real-time.

Virtual Meetings

The continued evolution of video conferencing, and the broadening appeal and familiarity with tools like Apple’s Face-Time has made video-based interactions a more routine occurrence. However, there are a few companies that are set to make virtual communications a much more immersive experience. The key to doing so is to create experiences that tap into the full spectrum of human senses, giving users the impression that they are in a shared space, while letting them experience sight, tough and sound.

NTT DoCoMo, the Japanese mobile phone company, has begun to share its ‘Future Station’ concept. The premise of the concept is to offer ‘mixed reality,’ 3D communication. The platform is able to put two groups of people into an artificial environment, where they can interact and experience communication that goes well beyond a traditional phone call or video chat. While the concept still requires the use of cumbersome technology such as large screens, projectors, 3D glasses and gloves that recognize hand gestures, the execution still points to a future in which remote participants can experience truly immersive communication.

The Bell Labs Immersive Communications team has the similar aim of creating truly immersive environments in which remote participants can have a shared experience. According to Bell Labs, to achieve an immersive community, a number of psychological barriers must be overcome. Any technology must, ‘properly convey feelings and emotions; leverage both verbal and nonverbal communication — such as gestures, body language or posture, facial expression and eye contact; hide underlying technical complexity from users; include a contagious user interface; and offer a joyful experience that is dominated by ease of use.”

Cloud File-Sharing and Printing

As a way to augment the storage capacity and functionality of mobile devices and help ensure accessibility across platforms, developers are building applications that leverage the power of the cloud. This additional layer of connectivity is enabling workers to seamlessly exchange files and tap into a wider network of available services.

Pogoplug is a service that offers cloud-based storage for all of the media content on your mobile phone. One of the most interesting features offered by the service is the ability to stream any of media directly from the cloud, which means that users can watch all of their movies, view all of their photos and listen to all of their music from anywhere that has a mobile connection. With this offering, Pogoplug is competing directly with iTunes Match.

Breezy is a new breed of service that allows users to print from the cloud.  When a user comes across something they would like to print, the file is uploaded to Breezy’s server and then downloaded by your computer, which automatically prints the document.  This service competes with some of the larger players in the space like Google Cloud Print.

What new tools are you using to up your work productivity?  Join the conversation on Twitter at #IntelEmp

A big thank you to our partner Intel, who is supporting this multi-part series about the role technology plays in all of our lives. Intel is dedicated to delivering the cutting edge tech innovations that allow us to turn our ideas and inspirations into reality.


Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology Yesterday

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Yesterday

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Johanna Bjork

Sponsored, Work & Business, Design

Food Yesterday

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed november 22, 2016

Digital Strategist: Why “Big Sensing” Is Key To Retail’s Future

Bud Caddell, Founder of NOBL, shares why the most capable and useful asset in any retail environment is the workforce

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Yesterday

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Yesterday

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Yesterday

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Yesterday

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Yesterday

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.