A large percentage of consumers perform web searches on mobile devices. Therefore, businesses have started investing more on their mobile websites than they have in the past. One only has to drive by a bus stop or ride on a train to see that a large number of people are glued to their phones. Since companies know this, their mobile advertising has increased significantly hoping to catch the attention of those consumers with the intent that attention will translate into revenue.
Business communications have also changed due to the pervasiveness of cell phones and the fact that people with cell phones carry them with them generally at all times. This allows companies to contact their employees at any time, day or night, and basically anywhere in the world. This can take the form of a mobile phone call or by email.
And it works the other way as well as employees can check their company email on their mobile devices at any time. The always connected nature of company mobile devices has many positive effects on companies but also some negative effects as well. Mobile technology allows employees to potentially work with each other from anywhere in the world, whether it be through audio or video teleconferencing. Remote access helps employees connect to and work with company servers, files and databases when not at their physical work location.
This access can also allow employees to work from home which can be a great help to their company when the weather is bad or when an employee is sick (keeping the employees coworkers from getting sick if that sick individual goes to work). This always connected nature is also a potential detriment. In the past, when people left work, their work did not follow them home. People need time to decompress and rest after a long day at work. These days, work can follow you home as coworkers and management can connect to you even after leaving work. Many in management continue to respond to company emails and work issues even after going home for the day and also while on vacation. This can lead to over stressed and unhappy workers. Ethical communication can be defined as any communication medium that contains information that contains all relevant information, is truthful and not designed to deceive or trick the recipient of the message.
With the advent of social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, today’s companies have had to adapt and become more transparent. News per these apps travel very fast as evidenced by the Arab Spring uprising in many Middle Eastern countries over the last several years. Facebook and Twitter were instrumental in organizing and rallying massive numbers of protestors. The fact that many of these services were blocked in those countries, during those times, shows just how powerful of a communications tool that these apps have become. YouTube video of a passenger being dragged off of a United Airplanes flight ultimately led to the CEO being forced to testify before Congress and the incident also caused immense bad press for United and for the airline industry as a whole.
People these days are becoming more concerned with where their food is sourced from and where the things that they buy are made and under what conditions. Kathy Lee Gifford’s clothing line is no longer in business due to the public finding out her clothes were made using child sweatshop labor. That incident occurred in the 90’s when information did not travel as rapidly as it does today. So with the speed of information today, a company’s downfall or major loss of revenue due to an incident can be rapid. Some companies these days are trying to get out in front of bad news by bringing up negative issues before the public finds out, in the hopes that this transparency will help with damage control.
It does seem however, that most companies are still learning how to become more transparent or are not trying at all. They still would rather try to hide from the truth instead of being proactive and thinking of their customers first. Equifax is a perfect example of what not being transparent looks like.
Equifax’s databases were compromised for months while data thieves stole millions of Americans financial and personal information and the company hid this information from the public and government authorities for months. Whether or not this leads to reform of the three credit bureaus remains to be seen. An example of how mobile communication can be used in a business setting would be a situation where an employee that was a subject matter expert in a certain work area being on vacation when a major problem arises in that work area. Mobile connectivity allows for that company to reach out to the employee on vacation to get input and guidance to help resolve the issue. That employee may also be able to help correct the issue by remotely accessing the relevant databases or documentation needed to resolve the issue.