Multi-screen experiences are crucial but they aren’t just for the consumer that has his tablet open while watching TV.  The multi-screen experience is just as important for employees within organizations and is a necessity for the future of work.  Let’s take at a realistic scenario:

  • Tina wakes up in the morning to check her email on her iPhone and update her co-workers on the presentation they are doing today.
  • After getting her coffee and eating breakfast she sits down at her personal computer (a PC) to edit a document for her team.
  • Now it’s time for her to leave for work, she grabs her work laptop (a MAC) and her iPad and heads off to the train where she opens up her tablet to read about some of the things her peers are working on and stays up to date on some company news.
  • She gets to work and hooks up her work laptop to get the day started.  She finishes working on her document and her presentation that she started at home a few hours earlier.
  • Tina gets called into a meeting where she takes her tablet to post a few relevant meeting notes for her team who couldn’t be there.

For many organizations today the scenario above can become quite complicated if not impossible.  Employees need to send dozens of emails to themselves and to others with multiple versions of something and oftentimes not all of their devices can even get access to the information or the people that they need, this then causes chaos.  At a recent client presentation I saw all the employees in the room (around a dozen) open up Outlook and start taking notes.  Then these notes would be sent to everyone and one person would compile them and send them to everyone else who could then make any edits or changes and send them back to everyone else… stop the madness!

Many employees have to hang onto their work computers like they are made out of a precious stone because if that computer gets lost, their world is over.  I’ve seen people get more upset about their work computers getting stolen then having their cars broken into or losing an expensive piece of jewelry because everything sits on that one device!  That’s because traditionally companies focused on the single screen experience, the “work” screen that the company provided.

Today that is no longer the case and the smart companies that are leveraging social and collaborative technologies to empower their employees are focusing on the multi-screen employee experience.  Not just that, but this information no longer sits on a device it sits in the cloud.  In other words you can get access to anything and anyone at anytime and on any device.  This means that the information and the experience needs to be consistent, reliable, and practical across multiple devices to enable employees like Tina to get work done.  If Tina starts editing a document on her iPhone she needs to be able to keep working on that document on her tablet while she is on the train and then later when she plugs in her work computer.

Platforms such as Jive, Mango Apps, Yammer, and dozens of others out there make this possible so that regardless of what device you are using you can stay up to date with your team and company and stay connected with everything and everyone.  More importantly is that this transforms our concept of the traditional workplace.  You used to have to go into an office to get work done, but with the multi-screen experience you can accomplish the same thing from home, while at a hotel, or while sitting in an airplane 35,000 feet in the air.  I was on a conference call a few days ago with five other people and every single one of them was working from home because they could.

So the question is are you evolving your organization to focus on the multi-screen employee experience or are you still stuck in the single screen mindset?  Your work is no longer in an office, it’s anywhere you can get connected, all you have to do is “connect to work.”