The number of mobile workers continues to grow, with the global mobile workforce set to reach 1.87bn people by 2022.
As the name suggests, a mobile workforce is constantly on the move, visiting job sites or customers’ homes to deliver a service or product.
Without regular face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult for managers and workers to communicate effectively. This results in organisations adopting new technologies to support and manage their teams.
Mobile workforce management software is designed to improve business processes via the collection of valuable, real-time data directly from the field - helping businesses stay ahead of the competition.
Here are the mobile workforce management trends to look out for this year.
1. Effective Mobile Workforce Management can Improve Employee Engagement
Field service technicians often work alone, which can lead to a feeling of isolation. This is due to the lack of communication with colleagues compared to office-based staff. The segregation from the rest of the team can result in a mobile worker becoming disengaged from their role.
In the UK, only a third of employees would describe themselves as engaged at work. A number of studies show a positive link between engaged employees, and productivity, absenteeism, employee retention, customer satisfaction and business growth.
Your field service team is the heart of your business; they are the face of the brand, interacting with customers daily. Therefore, it’s essential they feel engaged and empowered to deliver great customer service.
Businesses are utilising digital tools to improve employee communication and engagement. Mobile workforce software allows team relationships to grow, thanks to real-time reporting between office staff and field technicians.
2. Bring Your Own Device
The mobile workforce currently consists of four generations - all with varying degrees of acceptance and knowledge of digital processes. However, as the older generation begins to retire, the number of younger workers increases.
Millennials will soon comprise nearly half of the UK workforce, but finding skilled field service staff is becoming a challenge for many businesses. This leads to organisations outsourcing contractors.
Although external contractors aren’t technically employed by the business they are working for, they should still be treated the same as company employees. Do they have all the resources they need to complete the job? Contractors should receive full training for any software they need to use, and be informed on cybersecurity guidelines.
Many businesses choose to enforce ‘bring your own device’ for contractors as it saves the business spending lots of money on short-term employees.
It saves the contractor time because they are familiar with their own device and don’t need to visit the office to collect and return a company phone.
3. The Rise of the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality within Mobile Workforce Management
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a growing list of devices that are connected to the internet and can “talk” to each other. It can include anything from sensors and smartphones to fridges and thermostats. Many industries also have machinery that is connected to IoT.
It’s predicted that the rise of IoT will reduce the number of site visits by field technicians. The increased connectivity between smart devices in homes and businesses will allow 10% of customer callouts to be resolved remotely.
Less site visits will allow field workers to dedicate more time to complex jobs, which will improve customer satisfaction and first-time fix rate.
Augmented reality technology will also have a place in mobile workforce management. An example would be smart glasses that can display instructions to guide a technician through a product repair. This will be a more efficient alternative to paper manuals.
4. Mobile Forms Software
A common trend within mobile workforce management is the transition from paper processes to mobile forms software.
Gone are the days of transcribing information, illegible handwriting and missing forms. Mobile workforce managers are adopting digital processes to collect data.
Filling out digital forms is quick and easy - your workforce can spend less time doing admin and more time doing the jobs that matter most, which increases on-site productivity.
This process also saves your business time and money. Admin staff will no longer need to print out copious copies of paper forms and tediously transcribe data into the computer system. Digital forms are synchronised to the back-office application where the information is available for further processing.
Mobile forms software can collect more detailed information, including rich data like photographs - giving businesses powerful insights that can contribute to important business decisions.
At Triangle, we have created Formulate, a mobile forms software application designed with your mobile workforce in mind. It provides streamlined workflows, increased workforce productivity and reduced business costs.
We understand every business is unique and Formulate is a fully tailorable solution that can precisely meet your business needs.
To find out more about how we can help, contact us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org