When it comes to having a finger on the pulse of the public, few companies do a better job of gathering insights than Gallup. The American analytics and advisory company is well-known for the opinion polls it’s been conducting for nearly 100 years. So, when Gallup released a report on hybrid work arrangements in a post-COVID-19 world earlier this year, people paid attention.
In that report, Gallup made several points abundantly clear. The first is that the percentage of American workers in remote or hybrid roles has skyrocketed prior to the pandemic. Those numbers have settled some as normalcy has returned. But Gallup still reports an increase from 8% to 39% for exclusive remote workers. It also boosted from 32% to 42% for hybrid workers when comparing 2019 to February 2022.
The second point is that we are likely never returning to where we were before COVID-19. A fact that is surprisingly true for field service companies who have found ways to support remote and hybrid arrangements despite historical practices. To make that work, field service companies are now deploying innovative technologies to enable remote collaboration.
One of the smartest things a field service company can do to facilitate remote collaboration is through digital knowledge sharing. There are a few different ways to do just that. Perhaps the easiest is by delivering documentation, photos, and videos that can aid customers in their time of need.
For example, a local lawn maintenance company could create a video series on how to set up sprinkler programs. If you want to take the tech up a notch, field service companies can also implement chatbots. Using artificial intelligence to answer customers’ frequently asked questions.
Though it sounds a little sci-fi-ish, today’s technology allows someone to watch and work alongside a colleague across the globe. This is, of course, thanks to wearable tech like smart glasses and head-mounted displays that transmit a crystal-clear picture. If a service call requires an in-person visit, these tools allow a field service company to limit the number of technicians it sends to a job site. That means one senior technician can view several different jobs through the eyes of several different technicians in a matter of minutes—all from the comforts of their own home.
While wearables score major points on the cool-factor scale, there’s another piece of technology that takes things to new heights. Field service companies like utilities and construction crews are realizing all the benefits that drones have to offer. Including the fact that these high fliers assist with remote collaboration. First, drones can give companies the type of aerial view that’s not always possible or safe for technicians to achieve. As a bonus, rather than sending multiple employees and a boom truck to a location, field service companies can dispatch one single employee with a drone and an attached camera. That footage can then be recorded or fed in real-time to an employee in the back office or a customer at home.
Virtual reality is a phrase most of us associate with video games, but this technology is revolutionizing the field service industry. These tools are good for not only training employees but helping customers solve problems, too. Depending on the device and platform, the most popular type of this tech involves an employee or a customer using a mobile device to mesh what they see with their own eyes with what they see on their smartphone or tablet.
Imagine being a customer with a clogged sink. Instead of a plumber making a house call, they would simply have you download an app on your smart device. Then, point their camera toward the sink. The screen would now feature a 3-D diagram of the sink’s inner workings and possibly show the location of the clog. Over the phone or through video chat, the plumber would walk you through how to properly disassemble parts of the sink until you reached the problem.
EnSight+ is a comprehensive field service management software that increases collaboration. Our software improves productivity and helps your field service company find new forms of efficiency.
With EnSight+, you can more effectively manage your mobile workforce via embedded modules. Modules specifically designed for work order management, scheduling, routing, dispatch, and more. Interested in learning more? Book your demo today.
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