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The world of work is changing; technology and creative developments have been transforming how we work and now they are finding their way into all corners of industry, from construction to utilities to facilities management.

Construction and Mobile Working

Recent headlines have celebrated the construction industry and its rapid growth, placing it currently at an all-time high. But with this good news comes the other side of the story and that is the huge skills shortage the industry now faces. With an increase in workloads in the first quarter jumping from 18 percent to 27 percent, it is clear that a change is required to maintain and grow the industry. Construction isn’t alone, utilities and facilities management face many of the same difficulties and with a growing and aging population the demand for these services is only increasing.

Investment in technology is the missing link, as a new and younger workforce emerges their expectations are high, buoyed by the fact that technology is present in every aspect of their lives. When it comes to work, they expect that technology to be present there as well. When it isn’t there the realisation is that their daily activities will be made more difficult and more stressful, which isn’t an attractive prospect for most.

By investing in innovative technology, such as a mobile workforce management platform, organisations will enable staff to keep up with increased workloads, reduce physical documentation and ultimately attract and retain staff.

Construction field Worker Planning with Digital Workforce Management

Mobile Working Innovation

Take a common example of lack of innovation – construction and Health & Safety documentation. Those vital processes have looked the same and have been managed in the same way since implementation all those years ago. But it isn’t easy to manage, especially for particular industries like construction and utilities who face high-risk roles. Maintaining the high standards expected by health and safety legislation can be a mountain for most managers to climb and it’s mostly due to the high volumes of paperwork that has to be physically completed for each task.

Couple this with also having to manage field staff, their tasks and ensuring that they too are following all procedures and filling out the required documentation, results in one giant, time-consuming headache.

There is also the added high risk of missing records and data due to these hectic schedules and simple human error. Statistics remain high for workplace accidents and lost working days due to work-related illness (30.4 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury), but to help lower these requires the closer analysis of working practices, particularly for those staff out in the field.

Using Field Service Management To Reduce Error

It can be easy to forget a form or to follow a specific procedure but with the implementation of software such as digital workforce management, it can help reduce injuries at work by allowing notes to be taken and stored on devices in real time. For example, a particularly dangerous area could be highlighted to a different workforce who may be attending the site the next day. By also implementing mandatory fields and forms, they can’t be missed. Photographs can be taken for easy evidence and signatures can be added for extra security.

Reducing both the amount of time spent filling out documentation and lowering the risk of human error causing injury, is an important and essential step to ensure that the difficulty in managing the high volumes of documentation is reduced and that field staff are working with the right technology to enable them to do their job more effectively.

It is the key step in developing and maintaining the construction and utility industries, it will attract a new workforce and help retain those already there working hard to maintain workloads but reducing the time they spend on documentation and allowing smarter ways of working – all whilst maintaining the high standards of Health and Safety that keep staff safe.

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