Firms Need Better Grip on Mobile Workforce

December 22, 2010 ( – A survey from Runzheimer International, provider of services for workforce mobility management, finds effective management of remote employees (54%) is the biggest concern for executives in managing a mobile workforce.

Despite this concern, employee satisfaction (26%) and competitive advantage (25%) were also ranked as the top benefits gained with a mobile workforce, as well as cost savings.    

According to a press release, survey results indicate companies need to tighten management of mobile workforce programs.  While most survey respondents (60%) believe their companies are effectively managing mobile workforce programs, 33% of these same respondents said they have not yet implemented formal, centralized processes that can be tracked or benchmarked over time. Only 27% of businesses report having centralized management of mobile workforce programs in one department.  

Respondents said mobile device use and business travel are the fastest growing mobile workforce programs, and characterized virtual office/telecommuting and automobile programs/driving for work as steady/slow growth.  

Runzheimer International makes the following suggestions: 

  • As organizations develop their corporate strategies for the coming year, a detailed review of their mobile workforce programs should be on the agenda, including a close look at employee satisfaction, manager challenges, and cost/return-on-investment.   
  • Opening lines of communication by asking questions related to what employees and managers like or dislike about current programs and what would increase productivity can go a long way toward increasing employee retention and promoting higher levels of customer service.  Formalizing this process through an annual survey and employee reviews offers critical insight. 
  • Third party data that offers industry benchmarks on policy, costs and staff needed to support programs can offer valuable information.  An organization may discover that the number of employees supporting a travel program is above a typical organization by 30% and steps should be taken to tighten policy and automate to reduce administration time.  A comparison of business driver direct spend might reveal a spend 20% higher than the typical benchmark, which means an organization should revisit reimbursement policy.  


The Runzheimer survey polled close to 100 executives – director-level and above – from a range of businesses across the U.S. More information is at