The current financial crunch has taken a heavy toll on today’s business environment forcing corporations to seek innovative ways to reduce costs.
One of the heaviest contributors to total fixed costs is office space. Most people commute or drive to work eventually making their way to some sort of permanent working space whether it’s an office or a desk. For an office worker, typical deskwork includes processing documents, emails, and engaging in phone communication; daily interactions with co- workers take place through scheduled or ad hoc meetings in fixed meeting rooms, or other building areas.
Dealings with customers and suppliers are done through fixed building assets including communication and computing devices as well as meeting areas. Managing the warehouse presents another burden that translates to a fixed cost. General building costs which are always reflected in Year to Yield and annual income statements are in the short term independent of business reality and are thus always present whether in business, or quietly going out of business.
Mobile communication networks are moving to a common IP based transport technology that will eventually offer ubiquitous coverage, smooth interaction between different standards (connected anytime, anyplace) and converged communication services supported by a common network. This means for the operator reduced operational expenses implying a better price tag for offered services.
Ubiquitous radio access coupled with the fixed phone system means undisruptive location independent workflow. Documents can be processed remotely or through the company’s VPN, and location independent calls and conferences can be realized through mobile teleconferencing equipment while meetings can take place in posh cafes, restaurants or classy hotel lounges. Of course airline bookings and hotel reservations are already executed through wireless broadband web connections, while e-tickets are easily managed from a mobile access point. Support for back office applications such as CRM and ERP is taken for granted and just in time deliveries and mobile tracking systems can vastly improve inventory management and reduce, if not eliminate, warehouse requirements.
World Economic realities imply that financial efficiencies and corporate streamlining will continue to be a predominant force in the next couple of years. Luckily enough communication technology is progressing at such a rate that if present mobility trends continue, the mobile office will become an indispensible factor of day-to-day business, resulting in improved productivity and tamed office costs. Finally, a fully working mobile environment will enhance economic efficiency through reduced frictional unemployment, since relocation will no longer a major sourcing factor.
© 2013. Antonis Hontzeas, All Rights Reserved.