The challenges of managing field workers

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The concept of mobile workforce is transforming our professional lives and our work place. According to the recent Strategy Analytics‘ Global Mobile Workforce Forecast, the global mobile workforce will increase to 1.87 billion people in 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the global workforce,
Managing field workers can be complicated and challenging. Finding a solution to this issue requires a great deal of planning and expertise. To remain competitive, companies need to regularly review their technology investments and adapt their focus to take advantage of new technological development and opportunities.

5 Mobile workforce challenges

Here we have 5 challenges of managing mobile workforce that entrepreneurs need to address to keep running their business successfully.

  • Provide a secure environment

When you are managing a mobile workforce, employees are the most prominent risk factor. One of the most outstanding challenges in mobile work is managing the human error risk factor. To address this issue, managers and supervisors need to build a secure environment for mobile work and encourage employees to follow security policies. Companies also need to provide security awareness training regularly in order to reduce the risk factor and to keep their workers well prepared in case for any eventuality.

  • Keep employees happy and motivated

Entrepreneurs need to understand the importance of employees’ happiness and satisfaction. After all, human capital is the risk moving your business forward. Without the social aspect of work, employees can feel, unappreciated, unsupported, and not a part of the team. How can you ensure your workers feels appreciated when you don’t have physical contact with them every day? Thanks to technological advances, now we have different tools to provide solution to this issue when you are managing field workers. Digital and mobile tools allow you to share messages of praise to your team, let them know the importance of their contribution and keep in touch with them at all times.

  • Maintaining effective communication with your employees

Maintaining open communication with everyone in your company can be challenging when you manage a mobile workforce. If you are not physically close to your team, you need to develop and show certain characteristics to motivate your workers and increase commitment and improve communication. It falls to the leader to realize that every interaction with the team has a huge impact on their performance. Your character, competence, compassion, and commitment must be on display clearly and emphatically in every interaction.

  • Tracking productivity

This task can be problematic when workers aren’t physically present in an office or factory. Actually, some workers may be less productive when they’re not under close supervision. At present, there are tools and software in the market that can help managers to keep track of mobile workforce productivity. There are mobile apps that can be beneficial to ensure that all relevant data is gathered when field workers complete their tasks, as well as making sure that the staff have easy access to the information they need to carry out their duties. These tools make tracking mobile productivity easier and more transparent.

  • Not capturing accurate information from the field

Coordination between in-field technicians and operations managers can be a struggle particularly if your workers are manually transferring information gathered in the field. By enabling your mobile workforce to capture data through mobile devices you can collect accurate and timely information about all aspects that are relevant for your business. Mobile technology can be very useful to manage field workers efficiently, keeping track of their performance and working hours, resources and equipment in order to improve productivity.

The bottom line


These are some of the challenges companies can encounter when managing a mobile workforce. And as we move towards a mobile life, we’ll see that digital and mobile transformation is bringing many benefits to businesses in terms of costs, employee satisfaction, and productivity. The “mobile era” is taking over and companies are slowly but surely making the switch.  A study carried out by Dodge Data & Analytics shows that software, specifically mobile software, can improve many facets of business.
Where do you think mobile workforce management is heading? How are you managing your field staff? What tools are you using? We would love to hear your thoughts.

DataScope is a platform which allows various industries to streamline, organize and evaluate the work of their field staffs thanks to online forms which provide real time indicators 100% adaptable to any field.

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About the author

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Sandra Melo

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