In response to more secure and accessible devices, the U.S. mobile workforce has continued its steady growth. The International Data Corporation (IDC) 2015 report forecasted that by 2020 the number of U.S. mobile workers will increase to 105.4 million from its current 96.2 million levels. To put these figures into perspective, 105.4 million mobile workers would account for nearly three quarters of the total U.S. workforce. To adapt to the growing workforce trend, organizations need to implement technology measures, as well as Field Service Management (FSM) best practices, to ensure that their workforce is properly empowered.
Key Drivers to Mobile Workforce Growth
Successfully empowering your mobile workforce starts by understanding the key drivers behind the sector's growth. These key drivers include:
- Increasingly affordable smartphones and tablets that reduce costs associated with the workforce and improve customer-facing services.
- Improved use of cloud-based data solutions that are available throughout all corners of the country and globe.
- Enhanced connectivity between workers and employers via biometric readers, voice control devices, Near-Field Communications (NFC), wearable devices, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technologies.
Empowering a Workforce Is Cost Effective and Results Driven
The empowerment of both office-based and non-office-based worker populations will stem from technologies that improve communications, streamline efficiencies, and leverage the power of cloud-based data, all while delivering quality results at a higher volume. Below are four elements that can be efficiently implemented to optimize the effectiveness of your workforce.
1. Build a Framework That Increases Worker Agility
As workers use an increasingly large number of devices in the field, your device management framework must be agile. It needs to allow your workforce to communicate effectively inside and out of the office environment. For example, maintenance workers should be equipped with technologies that automatically communicate with the warehouse's inventory management system. These technologies will allow workers to more efficiently complete repairs, alert customers to out-of-stock items, and more effectively manage customer expectations regarding the time needed to complete repairs. By leveraging a framework that increases worker agility, employees can be more responsive when they are in the field.
2. Base Data Security on Roles
Data needs to be secure at all times. Role-based security creates a framework of flexibility that is not based on a specific person, but rather focuses on classifying the security of the actual data. This proven approach allows for the more effective deployment of relevant information to a wider range of devices, which directly increases the effectiveness of your organization's workforce population.
3. Increase Unified Communication Platforms Deployment
Communication is key to the empowerment of the worker population. Unified communication platforms remove communication barriers. These platforms allow for streamlined and secure communications anytime, anywhere, and amongst both office-based and non-office-based workers. One powerful example is a field service mobile app that provides direct access to office phone systems, faxes, and voicemail.
4. Encourage Sharing for Workforce Empowerment
Social media tools, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter have made it easier for a new generation of technicians to communicate. However, if you truly want to empower your workers, then inter-organizational information (that can't and shouldn't be shared via social media) needs to be stored in easily accessible and shareable formats. Cost savings, improved communications, and enhanced collaboration are just a few of the benefits that can be enjoyed when your organization's content strategy is designed to empower your workers.
The Bottom Line
Empowering your workforce will stem from the use of technologies like Field Service Management Software that enhance collaboration, streamline communications, and deliver real-time information to any device at the exact moment that an employee needs it.
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