How to effectively manage your field staff during Covid-19July 23, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted industries worldwide, with companies having to manage business continuity and face remote work challenges. Field service companies now have to adapt to new measures to protect their clients and teams. However, in the midst of ensuring safety for essential field staff during the pandemic, we should not overlook the importance of managing work productivity while also protecting our back-office team.
Below, we have put together a guide on IT tools and tips for field service companies and companies freshly transitioning to remote work. Read on to know how you can manage remote work and what technologies many field service companies are currently using to improve productivity.
Staff location monitoring
Remote work monitoring tools such as time tracking and location monitoring software are used for managing staff attendance. This is helpful if you have staff working at multiple locations and require an accountable way of ensuring they are at work and have not left their designated work sites. Manually checking staff attendance can often be time consuming. With location monitoring technology, your supervising staff can have more time for higher level tasks.
Digitalised scheduling & paperwork
With staff working in split teams due to Covid-19, companies may find themselves facing manpower shortage despite essential work being just as busy. Are your back-end staff constantly overwhelmed by paperwork? Or perhaps they are spending too much time going back-and-forth communicating schedules and tracking job progress with your field staff. Whichever the reason, it will surely cause a drop in productivity for your business.
To help your staff manage their time better and deliver higher quality service, it may be time to adopt technology which automates employee scheduling and digitalises manual work order forms and invoices. By doing so, you can then eliminate the problem of missing paperwork, manual errors and time wasted on manual encoding of paperwork once and for all. Furthermore, digital forms will help to limit contact between your field staff and your client in this time of safe distancing.
Work performance monitoring
Besides giving your staff the tools to work productively, knowing how well job progress is going is equally important. Now that companies have to adapt to remote work, job monitoring has become harder to do, with little accountability of task completions and visibility into operations.
If you are facing these challenges, you may benefit from investing in employee management software that comes with job progress tracking and team performance analytic features. Such software can help your staff save time on report generation by making performance charts easily accessible on the dashboard, and also enable better decision making through insightful, up-to-date data.
Face-to-face meetings are now a thing of the past. As of now, companies have to rely on video conference and cloud-based file sharing software to communicate between their internal team and with their customers.
For field service companies in the essential business sectors, you can minimise meetings with clients wherever possible through video calls such as Zoom, MS TeamViewer and Skype. At the same time, file sharing software like, OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive can offer staff a centralised way of retrieving and sharing data.
A good thing to note is to ensure your tech team can deal with possible IT connectivity issues and information security risks. Additionally, remember to set up guidelines on privacy issues when using non-corporate file sharing software to transfer files.
Creating a conducive work environment
Most of your staff are probably already working from home, or getting used to flexi-hour or split team arrangements. Being equipped with the right technology is vital in supporting operations, but what should not be overlooked is maintaining team productivity and employee morale. To help your staff work better anywhere, you can:
- Schedule weekly catch-up meetings to incorporate team engagement and task prioritisation
- Communicate clearly and keep staff updated on changes within your business
- Share tips on how to set up a healthy work routine and work environment at home
- Check in on staff health and well-being
Although current times are tough, fortunately we are living in an age where technology can support us despite the sudden changes to work conditions.
Being in the field of workforce management technology development, our team at V3 has had a smooth transition to remote work and many of our clients are field service companies using our Workforce Assignment & Mobility (WAM) software.
If you are looking for workforce management software that offers staff location tracking, automated scheduling, digitalised work forms, data analytics and a chat system, you can reach out to us to see if our software may be an ideal fit. Or, if you are a local-based SME, read up more on what WAM can do for you here, where we are offering WAM as a promotion under IMDA’s Digital Solutions Package exclusively meant to help SMEs manage business continuity.