Most of the time, business owners have very little tolerance for employees getting distracted during work, and understandably so. Personal phone calls, fantasy football emails and, especially, shopping during work are all sanctionable actions.
If you're a small business owner, however, you should be excited about the fact that consumers are increasingly shopping during their day jobs - provided it's not your own employees, of course.
Rising mobile workforce providing advertisers with golden opportunity
Over the past year, the mobile workforce has exploded, as approximately three-quarters of organizations allow their employees to use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones on a regular basis.
One of the motivations for enabling employees to work remotely is that it leads to a boost in production. I'm not sure whether that's true for work-related purposes, but it's certainly making them more productive shoppers.
A recent study from CouponCabin.com and Harris Interactive revealed:
- More than one-third of respondents work from home at least once a month, including 15 percent who do so weekly.
- Nearly seven in 10 people who work from home shop online during the workday.
- A quarter of respondents spend at least an hour every week shopping.
Tips for attracting mobile workforce business
I know what you're probably thinking right now: how do I make sure my employees aren't shopping when I allow them to work from home?
Unfortunately, I don't have a great answer for that one. But if it's any consolation, I do know how you can turn the increasingly mobile workforce into increased revenue - through effective online marketing campaigns.
- Tip No. 1 - Send email advertisements during the day. When I'm in the office, I very rarely have my personal email opened up. My company's IT department tracks everything I do within its firewall - including every email I send or receive. At home, on the other hand, I can freely have both my work and personal email accounts open simultaneously. People tend to notice very quickly when they have a new message in their inbox, so if you send email advertisements out during the workday, you increase the likelihood that it'll get noticed.
- Tip No. 2 - Market to social media users during normal working hours, not just at night. Nearly half of respondents to the CouponCabin.com and Harris Interactive survey said they shop online at home because they feel they're less likely to get caught. For the same reason, remote workers are more likely to have personal Facebook, Twitter and other social networking accounts open when they're outside the office. Therefore, your social media campaigns should be just as active from 9 to 5 as they are at night.
Turn mobile workforce into money
Three-quarters of organizations already allow employees to work remotely, and the number of mobile workers is only expected to grow going forward, regardless of the recent news made by Yahoo!.
Take advantage of their shopping tendencies by marketing to them online during working hours.