9 Things Wearables Can Do for Your Field Staff
Your field staff already carries plenty of equipment. They may be using cell phones, tablets, and even laptop computers–likely rugged models–in order to stay in touch with the office and track their daily tasks. The recent rise in wearable technology, however, has provided a number of new options for your field staff. Having wearable technology like smartwatches can offer a number of key benefits.
1. Improve Communications with the Office
Many field technicians need to be in regular communication with the office. It’s important that they answer phone calls, texts, and emails quickly, especially if they pertain to their current project. Unfortunately, field workers may, for whatever reason, not be able to access their phones as quickly as they’d like. They might leave them in their vehicle, set them to the side and forget to pick them back up, or simply turn them to silent while in the office and forget to turn them back on when they head out for an assignment. Wearable technology, on the other hand, is right there on the individual’s wrist. They’re able to easily take note of incoming messages in a way that they can’t help but notice.
2. Discreet Correspondence is Simple
In spite of the current prevalence of cell phones, most people still consider it rude to check a phone in the middle of the business day–even if they’re communicating with the office. Smartwatches, on the other hand, allow discreet correspondence, from checking to see who’s calling without having to pull out a phone to reading full-text messages. Some models are even designed to make it possible for the individual to respond to a text without ever having to pull out their phone.
3. Location Settings Make It Easy to Track Workers
Many smartwatches are designed to connect with the GPS on a phone to quickly display an individual’s location. For companies with many workers in the field, this is an ideal way to keep track of exactly where all of their employees are. Trusted field workers are often left without oversight, but that lack of oversight has its disadvantages–for example, the possibility that a worker will spend the day somewhere else, rather than on the job site. Location tracking can even make it a snap to tell when a worker takes breaks, how long they’re gone, and where they go when they’re on the clock–the perfect way to keep up with a worker who is constantly marked as late coming back to a job site after lunch or who constantly takes longer than the rest of the team to arrive. Bad traffic, poor timing or bad luck with traffic lights, and driving slowly is one thing. Taking a side trip on the way to the job site is something else entirely!
4. Save Time and Energy
The convenience of smartphones and tablets has been unparalleled for years. With the device in their pocket, workers can easily stay connected to the office through talk, text, and the internet. They can receive important updates, look back at emails, and more.
Now, imagine that the convenience has increased: now, field technicians–especially those whose jobs require them to work with their hands–can easily check those important details without having to reach into their pockets and pull out a phone. Wearable technology also doesn’t require as many security steps as many of the smartphones on the market, which means that employees can save time. That means less time using their phones and more time working!
5. Issuing Reminders is a Snap
Field staff often face challenges in scheduling that they wouldn’t have to deal with if they were back in the office–and wearable technology can help. By setting reminders that will alert them via their smartwatches, field staff can remind themselves of everything from upcoming appointments or the need to leave one site at a certain time in order to reach another to important daily tasks, like putting in their time at the end of each day. This makes it easier for field technicians to stay on task and remember all of the things that they’re supposed to accomplish throughout the day, all while utilizing discrete technology that will prevent others from being disturbed by their alarms.
6. Make Travel More Convenient
Do your field staff have to go on business trips that take them out of their usual geographic area on a regular basis? Consider the convenience of scanning boarding passes and other vital information from a smartwatch, rather than having to dig out a phone or make sure that it’s charged throughout a long trip. Keeping that information on a smartwatch, rather than on the phone, can make it more convenient for your field staff.
7. Sending Information Back to the Office is Easy
Many apps and programs are designed to send information back to the office with just the press of a button. From requesting assistance to letting everyone know that a specific job is done, these notifications are one of the most valuable parts of the smartwatch technology. Field staff don’t have to take the time to send out a text or make a phone call; instead, they can simply press a button and move on, returning to the office or heading out for the next job.
8. Improve Safety on the Job
Many field technicians have to go out to do their jobs regardless of where it might take them. They may find themselves working in unsafe areas or in homes where they don’t feel comfortable. For these members of your field staff, wearable technology can offer an unparalleled increase in their overall safety. There is a wide range of apps that are designed to help improve safety for the individuals use them. They can track location, record and transmit audio collected by the user’s phone, and connect with either emergency responders or another location in the event of an emergency–the perfect solution for workers who might have to move into areas where they aren’t comfortable. Other technology, like smart caps, can help detect fatigue or sense other problems–making it easier to tell when a driver is too tired to continue driving or an individual in a high-intensity job is no longer able to continue performing necessary tasks.
9. Upcoming Technologies
The benefits of today’s current technology are remarkable. Moving into the future, however, it’s possible that they will shape the field more than ever before. Technology like smartglasses, for example, puts all the instructions a worker could possibly need right there on the screen in front of them, enabling them to complete tasks that they may not remember. They can also improve collaborative efforts, decreasing the cost of bringing in an expert or making it easier to take care of evaluations no matter which member of the team is actually on site. Constant healthcare monitoring, on the other hand, can help provide vital information about the health of technicians in hazardous or strenuous jobs.
Wearable technology continues to develop, and new uses for it arise every day. If you’ve been on the fence about how beneficial a smartwatch could be for your field staff, contact us to learn more about the rich benefits of this technology and how it could help shape the way your employees do business. Technology is growing. Don’t let your business be left behind.