COVID-19 has left practically no corner of the business world untouched. From the heightened success of e-commerce sites to the downfall of movie theaters and performance venues, companies around the world have been thrust into a completely new environment. Unfortunately for many, survival now depends on adjusting to the pandemic. This means that changes need to be made, and some are complete overhauls for these businesses.
One industry that’s especially changing is field service. In 2021, it isn’t possible to operate normally when your business is based on entering people’s spaces. This has given rise to the trend of remote field service and with it remote management software. For more information on the subject, here are three reasons why remote field service is widely popular in 2021.
1. Accelerating Digital Transformation
Even before the pandemic hit, technological revolutions were underway. From Best Buy to Hasbro to Microsoft, digital transformations have been saving lagging companies from becoming obsolete. COVID-19 just fast-tracked and globalized these changes out of necessity.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation refers to the process of using digital technology to transform the way a business is run and received. This is usually done to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world. It may involve varying levels of change, from a small modification to complete overhauls, but it usually makes businesses more relevant in today’s world.
It’s important to make a distinction between digital transformation and digitization. The latter is just the transfer of information from manual to digital, such as scanning hard-copy documents or using a mobile app instead of paper. Digital transformation changes the actual processes of a company.
How Has COVID-19 Accelerated It?
For any company to remain relevant while people are stuck inside, it needs to be accessible from the client’s couch. Because of this, businesses can’t survive by relying solely on manual operations. For some, this has only required small changes. For instance, retail stores like Target have just put more focus on online shopping platforms.
For others, the change has been more severe. While some field service companies already began the process of digital transformation, many have been forced to suddenly adapt to providing assistance through remote communication. Fortunately, this acceleration may be a surprisingly positive change. The business world was already moving towards digital transformation, so the new state of things essentially forced hesitant companies to catch up.
2. Becoming Flexible
While many see business as a world of change and development, several sectors aren’t eager to adopt this mindset. It’s temptingly easy for companies, especially those that provide necessary services, to stay stuck in a certain methodology. When you’ve been working a specific way for years, change can seem like abandoning certain success.
However, now it can’t be avoided. With new problems and updates arriving each day, companies must become able to adapt and modify business practices regularly to stay afloat. These are some changes that businesses have been responding to:
• Social distancing and quarantining
• Economic collapse
• Heightened need for certain products
• Odd busy hours due to remote workers
• Vaccine distribution
• Political and social unrest over business policies
Because quarantining, in particular, is so contrary to regular field service, it demands a change at the very core of the industry. Instead of letting technicians do all the work, the professionals must instead collaborate with the clients. Remote field service apps are being trained for and have been implemented into company practices. While it can be a pain to learn a new piece of software, field service businesses can stay alive by giving advice remotely.
3. Remote Work Is the Norm
The customer should always come first. However, when it comes to safety in the workplace during a pandemic, employees need to be factored in too. After all, a virus can be spread by clients and providers. This is why remote work for employees has become not just a trend, but a necessity. While many businesses (particularly essential ones) are still asking workers to come in, several have been experiencing the alterations that come with working at home.
There are many different forms that these alterations can take. Here are a few:
• Making items available to buy online
• Creating videos for your content
• Using video calls and similar programs to communicate
For remote field service, communicating digitally is now how jobs are completed. This allows employees to stay safely at home while still providing sound advice. When it comes to maintenance jobs specifically, video chatting lets technicians direct clients with visual information. While this requires technicians to learn other skills, such as teaching and patience, it provides a welcome alternative to risking infection or becoming unemployed.
Since these changes have been implemented, employers are getting the chance to see how remote work operates. This means some businesses may not immediately return to completely in-person work. For instance, many people are protective of their homes and personal areas. It can be unsettling to have a stranger near you in such a place. Therefore, some clients may prefer this format of field service.
On the other side, technicians may find that working from home is better for their own schedules, especially if those individuals have another job or a family. While remote work has to be the norm now, it may continue this trend after the necessity has diminished.
Managing a pandemic isn’t easy for anyone. This past year has been a series of trials and tribulations, and the business world certainly wasn’t exempt. However, it’s useless to give up and refuse to change. Adapting to the current circumstances is vital for survival, so it can’t be avoided. It’s also important to remember that these changes may last for a while. Just because the pandemic ends, doesn’t mean that companies will snap back to normal. This process will take time, so it’s important to go with the flow. Keep the future in sight and prepare for what may be a long-lasting remote business world, even for field service companies.
If you’d like to know more about how Fieldpoint’s software can help during these difficult times, contact us today.