These days, it’s easier than ever to take your workforce mobile. The nitty gritty of how distributed and in-field team members communicate and collaborate can vary widely. It’s important when managing a mobile workforce to deeply consider your approaches to management, communication, scheduling, paperwork, and more. Let’s take a look at just what a mobile workforce is and a few strategies for ensuring your team is as agile, efficient, and organized as they come.
A mobile workforce is any group of employees that doesn’t work in one central location, such as a headquarters, station, or local office. Instead, they connect over the internet as well as through communication and workflow management apps to discuss project management, tasks, customer needs, and anything else that might come up in the course of a workday.
Some mobile workforces are made up of distributed workers doing the same jobs they would have done at a corporate office just now in a home office or coworking space. Other mobile workforces are those whose jobs have always existed out in the world at large. These are called deskless workers. A few examples of this latter kind of workforce are the following:
Whether they’re delivering groceries, serving up drinks, clearing out clogged lines, or couriering important documents, service industry workers do their jobs outside of an office and often on the go. These are considered frontline workers, as they spend their time working on the frontlines with customers.
Fleet services is the management of anything to do with a fleet, whether that’s selecting vehicles, maintaining them, optimizing them with modern upgrades, or overseeing the work that happens within the vehicles of that fleet. Fleets can be made up of trucks delivering food, private car services, or cars, boats, or trains delivering goods and services.
First responders, also known as mobile responders, are the first people on the scene at the site of an emergency. Paramedics, police officers, and firefighters are all examples of first responders. Dispatchers are the office workers who communicate with first responders out in the field, directing them to their next call and briefing them on the situations they’re about to encounter.
Mobile workforces are the heart and soul of economies the world over. As such, proper mobile workforce management is key not only to keeping these teams running smoothly, but also to the greater flow of economies at large. Here are a few ways to keep your mobile workforce operating smoothly.
It’s important to know where a mobile workforce is at any given time around any locality and delivery or service route. GPS tracking enables dispatchers and managers to get a quick visual of how work is currently flowing, where things are jamming up, how conditions in the field might require rerouting, and how to change up assignments based on shifting customer demands. Visibility to the whole team also means that individual team members can jump in to help out when they see other team members running behind. It also helps ensure that all workers stay on the job, and communicates a sense of how efficiently each worker is operating.
When used in conjunction with GPS technology, scheduling apps help dispatchers and managers ensure that the right people are on the right jobs. They help to optimize delivery routes for time and fuel efficiency as well. Mobile access is key here; workers that can access scheduling information directly on their smartphones are better aware of their workflow. What’s more, mobile communication gives workers their preferred method of communication, meeting them where they are. This is key for a distributed workforce, for whom connection and quick, effective communication is crucial.
Zello is the perfect tool for coordinating communication within a mobile workforce. It’s easy to use and is available right on the technology frontline workers, mobile responders, and deskless workers already have in their pockets. Since it’s a push to talk walkie talkie app, using it is as simple as pushing a button — and just like that, they’re connected back to dispatch or the main office, getting their questions answered and their next assignment ready to go.
Because Zello operates through cell networks, there’s no interference as there often is with radio channels as the members of a mobile workforce make their way through a crowded city. And because you can create separate channels for different teams and functionalities, it’s private in a way that radio isn’t.
For the same reasons, Zello works well in rural settings where radio bandwidth isn’t available. Many rural mobile workforces rely on Zello entirely for their mobile communication, or use it as a gateway to extend their radio network.
With Zello, there’s no need to spend exorbitant amounts to purchase equipment that you will then have to fix and upkeep. This is all the more crucial for industries where workers are added on an hourly or daily basis. Getting back walkie talkies and other expensive equipment can be cumbersome and difficult to execute so regularly and rapidly when there is high churn. In contrast, Zello turns phones that workers already have into a walkie talkie, so there’s nothing to chase down or return.