Wearables are an increasingly common part of everyday life, tracking everything from calorie burn to sleep patterns. For companies that employee field-service employees, these convenient devices have the potential to improve efficiency and increase productivity.
When employees know that a device is tracking their activity, they may automatically become more productive up to 8.5 percent, reports a study done by the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. The boost in productivity is, at least partially, due to awareness. When workers know their activity is visible, they may be less likely to waste time. Your company can achieve a similar goal by providing smart watches equipped with an app such as BetterWorks.
During service calls, busy field technicians can’t always respond to texts or phone calls. With a wearable smart watch, the technician can see incoming messages on the screen, without putting down a tool or removing gloves. Some devices, including the Apple Watch Series 3, are equipped with cellular service and voice commands, so field staff can make calls and respond to texts without a phone. This constant connectivity leads to better communication with the home office and enables workers to call for support in the middle of tasks.
Field service employees travel frequently for work, which means that traffic or accidents can cause scheduling issues. Wearables can display directions and details about traffic backups, making it possible for workers to change routes. What’s more, the digital voice capability built into wearables allows workers to keep an eye on the road and drive safely.
In the near future, smart eye wear has enormous potential for field service workers. Smart glasses, made by companies such as Oculus Rift and Vuzix, may be able to display useful information in a worker’s field of vision. Using the glasses, technicians may be able to call up manuals, diagrams, or task instructions.