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6 ways your phone can be a useful workplace tool

From landlines to flip phones and Blackberries to iPhones, cell phones have had an incredible evolution. Today, we don’t just use our phones to call and text each other. We use them to take pictures, engage on social media, watch TV, and even navigate the workplace. 

Phones have always had a role in the workplace, but now they go beyond business-related calls. People use smartphones to enter buildings, chat with coworkers, book desks, verify health information, and more. According to a recent report by Zippia, 51% of employees use workplace apps on their cell phones. 

In this post, we’ll walk you through six ways smartphones can be one of the most useful tools for employees in the workplace.

1. Unlock doors in your workplace

At some point, we’ve all used a badge or key to enter a workplace—but badges can be easily stolen or get misplaced. A lot of companies today are shifting away from badge access and looking for other forms of entry such as smartphones. 

With access control software such as Kisi, Openpath, or Proxy, your employees can install an app that allows them to use their phone as a keycard. This gives them remote access to unlock doors without needing a physical keycard—and gives you control over what doors they should have access to. 

Employees won’t have to worry about carrying an extra badge when they go to the office. They just need to have their smartphone (which, let’s face it, who doesn’t always carry their phone with them nowadays). This makes it easy for them to enter the workplace.  

Plus, badgleess entry is a far more secure way to unlock doors. Since only approved employees and visitors will have the permissions on their phone, they’ll be the only ones who can enter your space. 

2. Reserve a desk 

Hot desking has become the norm this year. Instead of permanent desks, employees book their desks for the days they’re planning to come on-site. 

With a mobile desk reservation tool, employees can quickly pull out their phones, search available desks, and book one in less than 30 seconds. A desk reservation app is especially useful for companies embracing a hybrid work model because of how flexible and responsive it is. 

Your employees may decide at the last minute to go into the office that day and book a desk while walking up to the front door. Or maybe they know they need a desk every Tuesday so they make a recurring reservation. Or they might have to leave work urgently and can use the mobile app to free up their desk for someone else to use. 

Regardless of how your employees plan their schedules, being able to quickly use their phones to book a desk will give them confidence that they’ll have space for on-site productivity

3. Book a meeting room

Along with booking desks, you can use your phone to book meeting rooms and collaborative work spaces. Instead of walking around the office looking for a free room or opening up a calendar on your laptop, a mobile meeting room booking tool makes this easy. With a few taps, the app will show all available rooms and allow you to easily book the nearest one. 

Being able to book meeting rooms easily and on-the-fly gives your employees a chance to have planned or spontaneous collaboration time. Plus, it’s much easier to book the nearest available room on your phone, rather than run around searching for an empty space to meet.

4. Communicate with your team

Communication has always been a key feature of smartphones in the workplace. Along with texts and calls, your team can install mobile apps for Slack, Asana, Gmail, and other communication tools.

This is especially helpful for hybrid work since people work from everywhere. Your employees might be taking their dog on a walk or in a location with bad WiFi. Having a communication tool on your phone will allow your teams to stay connected. Since this is your employee’s personal device, make sure you’ve set up healthy boundaries by encouraging your employees to turn off notifications after the workday is over. 

5. Find teammates in the workplace

One of the best parts of returning to the office is getting to talk to teammates in-person again. Once you arrive at the office, the last thing you want to do is look lost trying to find where your work bestie is sitting.  

With a desk booking tool, your employees can see a map of the office on their phones. They can view where their coworkers are sitting at a glance—and see if there are available desks nearby. Sitting near teammates unlocks the potential for spontaneous collaboration, in-person problem solving, and healthy vent sessions. In fact, getting to collaborate in person and see work friends is one of the top reasons why employees choose to return to the office.  

6. Verify your health information

In the last few years, we’ve had to prove that we’re healthy in order to enter restaurants, stadiums, stores—and workplaces. Many workplaces have updated their health and safety policies to require a health verification in order to stay in compliance with the CDC and OSHA.

Instead of filling out a manual form or carrying a physical copy of your vaccine card, a smartphone with a health screening and document verification app can do the work for you. All your employees need to do is upload a picture of their vaccine card or negative COVID test, or fill out a few health questions directly on their phones. This makes it easier for your employees to safely and quickly enter the workplace—and it makes it easier for your HR team to keep the office healthy and compliant.  

Our smartphones have workplace superpowers. They’re a portal to connect with teammates, reserve workspaces, and enter different parts of the building. Integrated mobile apps and tools make the workplace easier to be a part of and allow your employees to have a better experience at work.

Considering a mobile solution to improve your employee experience? Start a free trial of Envoy’s workplace platform today.

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Maria Akhter
Author Bio Maria Akhter

Maria is a content marketing manager at Envoy, where she helps workplace leaders build a workplace their people love. Outside of work, her passions include exploring the outdoors, checking out local farmers' markets, and drinking way too much coffee.