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Preventing ‘Quiet Quitting’ in Field Service


The statement “field service organisations are understaffed” is no new thing (unless you live under a rock… then we’ll let it slide). In the years before and following 2020, seismic shifts in the field service management labour market, and a Baby Boomer retirement wave, have compounded an already looming crisis in talent acquisition & retention. In fact, the Manpower Group conducts an annual talent shortage survey across 43 countries, encompassing over 40,000 employers. The goal is to understand the impact of labour and skills shortages on companies. Recent results suggest that 50% of large companies (defined as organisations with more than 250 workers) and 45% of mid-sized companies (between 50 and 250 employees) reported difficulties filling roles.
This may be a situation you are already familiar with, and it’s pretty dire. For field service organisations, the recent wave of “quiet-quitting” could profoundly impact the performance of a mobile workforce and, ultimately, affect the end-user or customer experience. Outdated rostering practices, insufficient pay, unacceptable levels of demand, an “always on” work culture and disconnected bosses are some factors pushing employees away, and more and more field workers are feeling it.

Field Service Management

So what about your team? Are you experiencing difficulty connecting with certain employees? Or do you find fewer and fewer essential skills available in your pool of mobile workers? The reality is that you may never be able to satisfy everyone. The good news? There are already steps every field service manager can follow to build happier, more engaged, and more productive mobile teams. Organisational & technological solutions exist, and in this blog, we will dive deeply into these issues and your next steps towards addressing key challenges affecting employee acquisition & retention.

What is “quiet quitting”?

The challenger: a movement called quiet quitting. The description: staff doing the bare minimum work required to stay on the payroll, coasting through daily tasks and consciously opting not to go above & beyond. The situation: sadly, it’s not just a handful of disparate people. Gallup research finds nearly 50% of the US workforce quit quietly, with marginally less dramatic figures found among UK workforces.
Quiet quitting is not about leaving a role but rather about doing no more or less of what a job requires. Employees who quiet quit no longer go above and beyond, unsubscribing from the notion of a “hustle culture” in pursuit of a better balance between work and life.
Setting healthy boundaries at work is essential—and something we feel everybody should take steps toward to avoid burnout. The “quiet quitting” culture is a step beyond set boundaries and is understandably concerning field service leaders and managers across industries. After all, there is a clear difference between setting work-life boundaries and disengaging from work. A thriving workforce is full of motivated, self-driven and engaged employees who find meaning and fulfilment in their work. Experts argue that doing less might feel good in the short term, but it could harm your career—and your company—in the long run.

Employees are burnt out. Centralising resources and data capture alleviates task stress. 

Leveraging the right field service management solutions provides service organisations access to a broader candidate pool. Field service organisations can hire great people and train them on the technical aspects of the job if they have access to the widest pool of talent. Solutions like Mobilise combine the wisdom of the most skilled workforce with folio information like work history, contextual information or maintenance feedback and workflows into every technician’s palm or connected device. Field workers will face fewer daily delays or struggles while having the extra time and mental capacity to deliver exceptional customer service. New hires will feel more confident with access to technical information 24/7. For the broader workforce, this information will alleviate the burden and extra work that often rests on the shoulder of more experienced staff.

Equip your workforce with the right field service technology to operate at their highest potential.

Increasing workforce productivity begins with higher workplace morale. Field service management should provide mobile technicians and teams with the technology, resources or tools to work smarter, not harder. Employees who feel they can complete their jobs quickly and efficiently are more engaged in their work.
Connected or cloud-based solutions, namely maintenance software, enable technicians to understand problems quicker and complete jobs without delays or barriers. In delivering field service, such solutions benefit all levels of an organisational hierarchy. Technicians with less seniority no longer need to lean as frequently on experienced techs for support to resolve a customer or technical issue. Senior technicians spend less time training new starts on simple tasks due to the consolidation & centralisation of asset resources into one place. Senior technicians now have more time to help junior technicians on the job, helping them grow holistically. Even a highly experienced workforce gets a boost with job details and repair resources held centrally and accessible via the cloud. Because such technology helps technicians across the board solve issues and perform repairs or installations faster, their day has more free time available to focus on other areas of professional development and training.

Measuring field service performance in real-time.

Knowing which workers are overperforming or underperforming is key to successful field service delivery. Pairing the correct technician to the right job, and understanding the root cause of their performance, is challenging unless you have the technology to analyse and measure field performance here and now. Specific field service intelligence & operational intelligence solutions exist, such as Insight, measures and track workforce performance objectively and in real-time. Leaders can leverage workforce performance to identify several operation-specific metrics for improvement. Metrics include workforce skill, training completed, travel times and distance, work-life balance, workforce scheduling optimisation to meet demand, equipment availability and performance linked to institutional failures versus employee issues. Ultimately, areas of poor operational efficiency are revealed and can be proactively addressed by management before the best employees leave due to frustration or unfulfillment in inefficient workflows.
Operational intelligence may even reveal the best candidates for mentors in the workforce, leading to promotions into new roles and fostering a positive workplace culture of role models and upward movement. These are pertinent factors for attracting and retaining top talent. Pinpointed field service intelligence offers the best of both worlds for organisations and employees who benefit from targeted training programs and recognition of high performance in the field.

Closing Thoughts

These minor improvements will help boost employee engagement, which is more critical now than ever. Service leaders need to understand where employees might fall short or why they’re disengaging and offer them the training, tools and solutions to complete tasks efficiently and stress-free. Disengaged employees are often the result of burnout, so leaders must get proactive before their employees check out.
Field service management solutions can provide the perfect complement to your workforce. Ultimately, your overworked technicians find the work-life balance they’re looking for and “quiet quitting” remains a buzzword existing only in the news. With the right field service technology, employers can help improve workers’ overall physical, mental, professional, financial, and social wellness… and thankfully, these claims aren’t baseless. To learn more about how Totalmobile solutions positively impact field service organisations and their employees, check out our client case studies here.
For further information on our products & transforming field service:
Edward Bell

Edward Bell, Totalmobile's Content Strategist, shapes and delivers compelling content spotlighting their unique SaaS solutions. With 6+ years in MarComs, his journey spans diverse marketing roles, driven by tech passion. Edward fuels Totalmobile's mission, educating and advocating for impactful solutions across sectors, ensuring ROI for customers.