Preparing for a workforce bred on mobile: Technology must become second-nature for firms to attract talent

Teletubbies are making a comeback – and, like their audience, they’re more tech savvy
In case you missed the news, the Teletubbies are returning to our TVs. And they’re sporting a new look – they are now complete with touch screen bellies. Considering that (most of) the audience won’t be able to speak properly yet, this is a telling sign that the UK is now fully immersed in the digital age.
The smartphone has become the poster-child for this paradigm, thanks largely to the generation that grew up watching the original Teletubbies in the 1990s – millennials. Interactive technologies are at the heart of how young people access information, and communicate with their peers and the companies that matter to them.

THE NEW TOOLS OF THE TRADE

With millennials making up a growing proportion of London’s workforce, employers need to ensure that they provide the tools and experiences to attract young employees and keep them engaged, by allowing them to make the most of their digital skills. Not only is mobile the platform of choice for millennials – for a significant portion (over a third), it is their only form of interaction.
This means that our challenge is to provide this generation with the most intuitive, hassle-free user experience possible in the workplace – because, although it is often said that millennials can make anything work, most will avoid inconvenience at any cost.
Enterprise apps will play a large role in this. According to a recent Oracle study, 32 per cent of millennials say they view “work apps” – from BaseCamp to GeniusScan – as essential in helping them to successfully do their jobs. For companies looking to attract and retain the best and brightest talent, delivering on this expectation is essential.

DNA OF THE MODERN WORKFORCE

Businesses can’t stop there. Mobile needs to be ingrained in every aspect of company culture. Combined with the cloud in particular, it opens up data access across the organisation, so that people can work in smarter ways, no matter where they are. Almost half of employees today say they are more productive at home or remotely than in the office, and businesses must adapt to this reality to boost productivity.
Leaders need to understand that technology must be an integral part of the organisation from the inside out – whether setting up internal business processes or developing new products and services for customers.

FURTHER DISRUPTION AHEAD

Many of today’s disruptive companies – like Uber, Paym, and Instagram – have been built entirely on mobile platforms. Others are taking advantage of mobile to find new ways of engaging with young customers – Spotify’s partnership with Uber is a prime example.
This is just the beginning. Millennials represent the first mobile generation, and the next wave of workers will be even closer to their mobile devices. Soon enough, the young children that are today swiping at their TV screens to zoom in on their favourite cartoon characters will grow up to join the workforce. I’m willing to bet that they will expect, at the very least, the same functionality from their work tools as that which is now standard in a Teletubby.
Neil Sholay is head of digital at Oracle Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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