The pandemic showed us how unprepared some organisations are to major disruptions. With travel restrictions and social distancing rules, many companies in the industrial sector were forced to scale back productivity to ensure the safety of their frontline workers, equipment experts, project supervisors, and clients.
This is in stark contrast to knowledge workers who continue to work remotely. This reduction in efficiency across the workforce highlights the importance of a digital transformation strategy and how a Connected Worker approach can ensure business continuity.
While many industrial workers are deskless and unable to work from home, they can still be a connected worker with technologies that integrate them into their worksite and empower them with real-time information.
Here are 5 ways connected workers were able to maximise productivity during the pandemic.
1. Connected workers reduce operating costs
During the early months of the pandemic, health officials didn't fully understand the virus and testing was unreliable. Many countries advised and enforced a 14-day quarantine for suspected exposures and traveling plummeted. Unfortunately, many organisations had factories or worksites all over the world and relied on air travel to allow technical experts to maintain and repair equipment.
Organisations that deployed Realwear technology during these times were able to respond quickly when sending people to locations was no longer an option. A worker at location, even a lesser skilled or experienced worker, could wear a Realwear headset that enabled 2-way audio and video for a remote expert to guide the onsite team through a process and collaborate in real time. Not only saving the time and costs associated with travel, but the 28-day quarantined that would have applied.
Going forward, this shows how connected workers can reduce costs associated with travel, lost time, and extended equipment downtime through their own Connected Workers. Not to mention the training and up-skilling.
2. A single Connected Worker can support group interactions
Traditional site walk-downs are usually completed with multiple stakeholders travelling to a client's location. This simply wasn't a possibility during the pandemic with travel restrictions and social distancing.
However, a single connected worker can host a video conference and give remote stakeholders live virtual tours of the site. Questions can be answered immediately by the onsite worker or a remote expert participating on the call.
3. Connected Workers are safe workers
While the pandemic shined a spotlight on how close workers are to each other, there was always a strong emphasis on worker health and safety in industrial sector jobs. Many frontline workers are often surrounded by hazards, such as working in heavy seas, at great hights, in potentially explosive atmospheres, or next to heavy machinery.
Hand-free Realwear devices are the leading technology in the industrial sector's digital transformation. They are crucial in many frontline jobs where a worker must manually work with tools or manage safety equipment.
Organisations that are designed with safety in mind from the ground up gives workers the information they need without distracting them from the hazards of their worksite. Many smart glasses, in contrast, are not suitable for hazardous environments due to high failure rates and low battery life. The Realwear device in compatible with most types of PPE, including hard-hats, eye and ear protection, hazard suits, and more.
4. Connected Workers Achieve Faster Resolution Rates
Frontline workers can sometimes find themselves with hard-to-diagnose issues that require the support of a larger team. The pandemic made group gatherings impossible, but connected industrial workers have the technology they need to collaborate.
By being able to connect with specialists at the point of need and collaborate in real-time, connected workers can chieve impressive first-time resolution times and first-time fix rates. Some industrial organisations saw up to a 93% improvement in their efficiency with connected workers.
Remote collaboration was already around before the pandemic, but the pandemic proved that efficient knowledge sharing is vital to business continuity and should be a component of their operational strategy.
5. Connected workers are empowered workers
If knowledge is power, then the right knowledge at the right time is empowering. Connected Workers can access relevant information when they need it, whenever they need it.
The Realwear headset means workers can access and display most forms of multimedia, including documents, images, videos, and more. This allows workers to reference equipment documents, access important proprietary information, or hold a video call with a remote mentor. All in-situ without delay!