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It’s the time of year when lots of experts are writing about trends to watch in 2017.  We’ve been reading a lot of those articles, and we bet you have too. And I think we can all agree on one thing . . .

Those trend-callers are saying that 2017 will be the year when more companies must master the skills of managing remote workforces.

Many Experts Agree

In “Top Trends for Digital Transformation in 2017,” an article in Forbes, trend-watcher Daniel Newman writes that embracing the remote workforce will become more critical for companies. “Mobile technology and bandwidth proliferation allow businesses to connect with (and retain) top talent anywhere in the world,” he writes. “Contract and freelance employees appreciate the ability to work from home or while sitting on the beach. Companies benefit from having the ability to hire the most talented employees available in any time zone.”

Over at Inc., Leonard Kim wrote an article entitled “10 Business Trends that Will Grow in 2017.” One of his top trends is that companies will have to focus more on training remote employees.

And that’s not all. IBM has published the Remote Workforce Report, a whitepaper that you can download for free.  IBM states, “Our survey of over 600 companies and interviews with 30 mobile leaders suggests that less than half of organizations have comprehensive strategies in place to encompass the spectrum of their mobile efforts – even though mobile offers opportunities for new business models, revenue streams, and sources of data and insight.”

What Will the Rise of the Mobile Workforce Mean to You?

We believe it will require you to quickly develop or improve a range of critical new skills. To mention a few . . .

  • Improve and introduce technologies that can maintain close communication with large numbers of employees in remote locations.
  • Find new ways to hire employees in multiple regions – and to make them feel connected to your company processes and values.
  • Improve communications systems and priorities to deliver the right information to employees in a more streamlined way. (Note that our Founder Evan Hackel writes extensively about this in his book Ingaging Leadership.)
  • Revamp training content and deliver it more effectively on mobile devices to remote workers.
  • Create and implement new HR processes that address the challenges of employing workers who perform their jobs in far-flung locations.

How will your organization evolve? More experts are asking that question. Are the leaders of your organization asking it too?


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