Technology has infiltrated every sector of society. Jobs were made easier because software programs and machines are taking care of simple, repetitive, and tedious tasks that humans once upon a time had to endure. Now, with technology providing assistance, employees can focus on using their time, energy, and skills toward doing more important tasks.
However, the conversation around the benefits of using technology has been mostly centered around the office. Different types of technology can also be integrated and should be encouraged in the field, too. The use of electronic devices, as well as cloud-based software programs and artificial intelligence, will improve efficiency and safety on-site.
Here are the ways technology can improve work outside the office:
The Internet of Things
The past decade has seen ordinary appliances become smarter. Samsung, LG, Google, Amazon, Philips, and other companies have introduced television sets, refrigerator units, lights, and speakers that can connect to the internet and share data with each other.
This is the Internet of Things (IoT).
The term refers to the system in which multiple independent electronic devices can communicate and work together to achieve a goal. At home, it enables residents to toggle with the settings of their thermostats by using their smartphone or command a voice assistant to turn on the lights.
It promises great comfort, convenience, and improved quality of life to those who want to integrate it into their homes. But, opting out may not be an option.
As of 2019, about 69 percent of households in the United States have at least one smart home product. Analysts expect that penetration of IoT devices will continue to grow in the coming years and the market will balloon to over $70 billion in 2026.
IoT allows users to program their devices to know and apply their preferences. Moreover, it enables households to monitor the status of their appliances, informing them when a failure is imminent. The system will also help maintenance workers find the fault and do the fix.
For example, problems with a smart washing machine’s supply and drainage connections will be spotted and corrected as soon as possible, saving homeowner and plumbing repair companies time to do other things.
Technology enables collaboration regardless of location. Utilizing the many applications available online, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, workers can share their knowledge, expertise, and skills with one another without physically being in the same place.
Portable electronic devices, such as a smartphone or a laptop, when connected to the internet can initiate the connection between two or more people, but they can be too inconvenient to use when on-site and while hauling heavy equipment. There are hard hats that have augmented reality head displays that are capable of two-way video phone calls. It frees the hands, allowing workers to multitask, and improves safety because it does not block nor distract from the environment.
Improved Health and Safety
The introduction of wearable devices into the workforce can improve the health and safety of each member of the team.
Smartwatches, for example, have the capacity to monitor the overall physiological condition of the wearer. Some can even detect signs that the wearer is experiencing high levels of stress and give advice on how to manage it. Moreover, it can detect accidents.
On a construction site, a smartwatch will be able to know when a fall has occurred. If it does, it will send immediate alerts to emergency contacts and rescue services, potentially saving their lives.
Falling is one of the most common causes of injuries on a construction site. Workers are often exposed to dangerous heights, holes on the flooring, and slippery ground. In addition, they carry heavy materials around, making them more prone to accidents.
A wearable sensor that can clip on the clothing can monitor the air quality for pollution or the presence of dangerous gases. The data they acquire from the sensor will guide them on how to approach the situation or what type of protection they need.
It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure the health and safety of their employees while working. Investing in gadgets will prevent any unwanted incidents.
Technology will play a bigger role in work in the future. Companies pour resources toward acquiring new electronic devices and software programs to make employees more efficient and to improve their output in the office. However, people on the ground will benefit from using new gadgets that enable them to immediately detect the problem, identify the fix needed, share data with colleagues, and improve their safety.