The Top 4 Mobile Trends for Field Employees
Much like the rest of us, today’s field employees rarely leave home without a mobile device, whether it’s their own smartphone or a company-provided tablet. The mobile movement, in addition to appealing to millennials and increasing corporate communication across the board, has especially impacted field workers. With mobile devices in hand, field employees are better connected to home base and can choose from a slew of digital tools to help them do their jobs better.
As an increasing number of employees work remotely and rely on instant access in the palm of their hands, technology companies have taken note. For example, for the mobile employees who face long work days on the road with limited access to chargers, Apple’s latest iPhones pack bigger battery power, with the iPhone 6 predicted to last up to 10 hours on LTE or 3G browsing and up to 12 hours for the iPhone 6 Plus. But beyond better battery life, what tools are available for field employees and employers on their mobile devices? Here’s a look at top mobile tools that field employees are using to stay organized, connected, and productive while on the job.
1. Workforce trackers
For employers scrambling to keep tabs on where their employees are and where they should be next, a new employee tracking app called TeleNav Track allows for huge gains in mobile management. According to Entrepreneur, the app offers time-tracking and fleet logistics features to increase efficiency and productivity. While employers do need to think through the risks of infringing upon their employees’ autonomy and privacy with apps like TeleNav Track, the potential upsides are significant. Overall, the app and others like it are helpful tools to consider when managing a large mobile workforce.
2. Virtual meetings
Most field employees don’t just want to stay informed: they also want to feel included. Virtual meetings are an easy way to check-in with field employees and allow them a little face time with those back in the office or elsewhere on the ground. With increased computing power and better data connections of new mobile devices, it’s easier than ever to use video conferencing and virtual meeting services on a smartphone or tablet, instead of a laptop. Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts are free and easy-to-use, while virtual meeting software GoToMeeting.com and WebEx offer additional features. All of these tools can help solitary field employees feel like they’re part of the team.
3. Interactive, up-to-date reference materials
Forget PDFs–today’s mobile workforce deserves interactive content that’s always optimized for their mobile devices. With an end-to-end cloud publishing solution, you can integrate instructional videos or additional information within your plain Jane reference materials to ensure that your workforce has the best and most engaging information possible to get the job done well. But rich, interactive content is only one piece of the puzzle. Cloud publishing also allows for automatic content updates, which ensure that all of your employees have the most up-to-date information.
4. Mobile time cards
If your employees aren’t clocking in at the office, it makes sense that their time cards shouldn’t be there, either. Mobile time cards, or apps that allow employees to clock in and out on their devices, offer increased efficiency and a mobile twist on the original employee time clock. With mobile time cards such as TSheets, employees can digitally communicate the duration of a specific project or their day-to-day hours.
The bottom line:
With mobile-optimized tools and content, field employees are better equipped than ever to communicate with their employers, source the information they need, and track their location and hours. For employers, this means happier, more productive employees, and a unique opportunity to make a fleet of scattered field employees feel as though they’re just one step away from the office.
To learn more about how Inkling’s cloud-publishing solution can empower your field employees, request a demo from our sales team.