At any time of the day, the mobile workforce is everywhere — they’re making a delivery, on a house call for a technical repair, or giving medical care at the home of a housebound patient. In most industries, mobility is rapidly evolving, and mobile employees are becoming more influential as the key customer-facing representative for your company.
But with rising transportation costs, along with heightened expectations of consumers, it’s vital that your mobile workers are armed with best practices and tools to help them do their job more effectively.
Even the simplest measures can make a difference in productivity and keep your mobile workforce performing at their best.
1. Keep a set schedule.
Although setting a schedule seems like a “no-brainer” to those of us who sit at a desk from 9 to 5, it’s another story for field workers when business follows them wherever they go. For example, customers could call a repair technician at any time, and it’s hard not to answer them. It’s important to remind your employees to make themselves as available as they can, but set boundaries. It’s smart to do business when your customers do and get the majority of work done during those core hours. Of course there are exceptions, but encourage offline hours.
2. Take a break.
Again, as a mobile worker, it’s easy to basically work 24/7. But it’s proven that taking a break relieves stress and gives an extra mental and physical boost. Make lunch breaks and coffee breaks mandatory so your workers can take a quick walk, eat lunch, or do something to take their mind off work. Even if it’s just for just fifteen minutes, it makes a difference.
3. Always have a to-do list.
Although each work day is different, it’s good to start with a clear list of tasks to be tackled. A visual presentation keeps the jobs top of mind and employees on task.
From a management standpoint: Take advantage of apps that can be updated so that an entire mobile workforce can know what their responsibilities are or what might be priority in real-time.
From a mobile worker’s point of view: Whether using an app or a paper list, checking off each job promotes a sense of accomplishment and fuels motivation to keep going.
4. Deploy appropriate mobile technology.
What are the best technology tools for your industry? Can consumer-grade devices work, or do rugged handhelds best suit the environment? Make sure you empower the members of your mobile workforce to succeed. Give them access to technical resources, customer data, stock availability, route scheduling, etc., so each interaction with customers is a satisfying one and an opportunity to win more business.
- Accuracy — Real-time access to data, service logs, etc. can eliminate errors in the field.
- Efficiency — Workers provide better customer service because they can effectively do their jobs on-the-go.
- Productivity — Reduce man hours, and visit more customers per day.
- Optimization — Improve workforce management with visibility.
The combination of integrated management software and handheld computers, the mobile workforce can be fully mobilized, informed, and productive. They bridge the gap between resources in the office and workers out in the field, creating a more productive environment overall.
Mobile workers are becoming more common in today’s workplace, across all industries. Offering basic guidance and utilizing modern technology helps keep workers on task and customers happy.