The limits of mobile working

With more than 100 exhibitors, M-Days, the conference and exhibition for mobile solutions and technologies, will open its doors for the 8th time on 5 and 6 February 2013. The two-day event offers insights into popular mobile applications in the strategy, marketing, media, commerce and enterprise areas of business. Over 120 speakers from Germany and Europe have already signed up to discuss many different aspects of the mobile world.

The increasing number of smartphones and tablet computers sold shows that such devices have become the norm in both the working and private spheres. The widespread availability of high-speed data networks permits a new and greater degree of flexibility in use. In turn, this has resulted in new opportunities and challenges for the human resources field. Self-services managers, mobile personnel marketing and recruiting, mobile learning and mobile administration are just a few examples. Thus, HR specialists are confronted by the question of what role they will have to play within the new communications structure and which mobile applications they should use themselves to increase the efficiency of their company’s operational procedures and recruiting processes.

“Despite all the benefits that mobile working will offer in the future, there is already an unequivocal need to use appropriate methods to safeguard corporate processes and employees from the rapidly vanishing working-time limits. This will be a highly topical subject at M-Days”, says Klaus Reinke, Senior Vice President of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. A 2012 study of 500 employers and 500 employees in the USA, Great Britain, Ireland, France and Germany on the use of technologies and patterns of work by the online backup service Mozy showed that the boundaries between work and leisure are becoming increasingly blurred. Regular working times are being replaced by new patterns of work under which employees spend more time at their desks. And this is independent of whether the employee is at the office or elsewhere because most of them not only start working earlier but also finish later. Dr Martin Nebeling, a lawyer specialising in employment law and partner with Bird & Bird LLP, will speak on mobile HR trends and the risks associated with greater working-hours flexibility.

The ‘Mobile Working’ Forum presents all technical features and organisational psychological aspects of the subject, from the success factors behind sustainable mobility strategies, via mobile security, to remote access and new leadership models. Leading experts, such as Prof Stephan Böhm, Chair for Telecommunications Technology / Mobile Media, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Stephan Grabmeier, Head of Culture Initiatives, Deutsche Telekom AG, Thomas Wendt, HR Manager Publishing, Axel Springer AG, and Thomas Eisermann, Interface Coordinator and Process Manager HR Operations, Axel Springer AG, will discuss the challenge faced by companies of making virtual working worlds more effective for the growing number of ‘digital natives’ and ‘mobile workers’ to remain attractive employers in the future.

Other scientific experts and experienced company managers will provide a variety of best-practice examples illustrating the potential of mobile applications for the HR sector and the role played by the personnel department in creating mobile working worlds. In this connection, emphasis will be given to new tasks and skills required by personnel specialists and the integration of mobile collaboration tools in existing processes.

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