Nearly 80% of the global workforce are frontline workers in hospitality, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and other professions where there isn’t a work-from-home option. These workers don’t spend the majority of their working hours sitting in front of a computer. Even as many employees and employers pivoted to use technology as working from home became necessary, frontline workers either couldn’t come to work or experienced a more business-as-usual scenario even as the pandemic unfolded.
Now that the world is beginning to return to normal, frontline workers are experiencing record levels of work-related stress and burnout. Employers who want to alleviate some stress for their frontline teams are choosing to listen to these workers when they say they want more access to the types of advanced technology that could make their jobs (and lives) easier.
Who Are Frontline Employees?
When you think of frontline employees, healthcare workers like nurses and doctors may come to mind first because the press devoted a great deal of time covering the specific problems faced by hospital workers during the pandemic.
The checker at your neighborhood grocery store is a frontline worker, and so is the driver of the semi that restocks the store each night.
Frontline workers run the heavy machinery that unloads shipping containers at our ports. They may work in customs or dispatch trucks to pick up and deliver goods.
Emergency services workers like ambulance drivers, police officers, 911 dispatchers, firefighters, and EMTs didn’t get a break during the pandemic, either. These frontline workers’ jobs became more difficult during the pandemic.
Frontline employees are any workers that couldn’t stay home during the pandemic because the services they provide are vital to the health and wellbeing of every member of society.
How to Use Technology to Support Your Frontline Workers
Frontline workers feel overworked and undervalued. They are physically and mentally exhausted. Worker shortages in some of our most important roles in healthcare and manufacturing are contributing to widespread concerns about the future of our economy and life as we know it. Frontline workers want to feel supported by their employers, and one way to show support for our most essential workers is to provide them with technological solutions to common problems.
Clocking In Apps
Companies that employ mobile workers may need to track time remotely. For frontline workers, clocking in apps that are easy to access via an app on a smartphone makes keeping track of their hours much easier.
A clocking in app eliminates the need for cumbersome timesheets and provides real-time records of work completed.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
One of the most important field service trends involves using technology to transform how remote monitoring dictates maintenance schedules. Using the power of connectivity to run the work lives of field service technicians can reduce or eliminate unnecessary site visits. Remote monitoring using IoT allows on-site maintenance to evolve from preventative maintenance or break-fix solutions to condition-based maintenance.
Data collected from electronic monitoring of assets allows technicians to anticipate when maintenance may be necessary, instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all schedule. IoT connection allows for better customer service and could extend the lifespan of an asset.
Advanced Job Management With Technology
Certain front-line workers in trade businesses face special challenges when it comes to job management. For example, HVAC professionals may have to manage multiple technicians in the field. A remote digital job management system could eliminate time-consuming phone calls to individual techs in the field, allowing them to receive digital transmissions about their progress and the status of their next job.
Inventory and stock management is a major undertaking for plumbers, who are in constant need of a vast array of parts to complete repairs and construction projects. Keeping track of inventory and finding specific parts quickly is one process that can be easily automated and digitized, eliminating much of the frustration associated with getting the right part to finish a project or make a repair.
Technology Has the Power to Make Many Essential Jobs Easier
In the midst of The Great Resignation, it’s clear how crucial frontline workers are to our safety, comfort and health. Employers who want to retain as many essential frontline workers as possible are committed to listening to their employees and providing support in a number of ways.
While technology won’t solve every problem faced by frontline workers, it can help make some of the most frustrating and time-consuming parts of their daily lives simpler.