What is a connected worker?
A connected worker is an employee equipped with technology tools, such as smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The devices are used to stay connected and communicate with colleagues, managers, and the broader organization.
Connected field workers use these tools to access real-time data and information, communicate with their team members, collaborate on projects, and access training and support materials. They can work remotely on the go and from any location.
Connected worker technologies, in turn, enable organizations to collect data and analytics on employee performance, which can be used to improve productivity, enhance safety, and optimize business operations. Overall, the concept of a connected worker represents a shift toward a more flexible, collaborative, and data-driven approach to work. Most importantly, it empowers the individual worker while improving overall organizational performance.
Industries implementing connected workers
The concept of a connected worker is being adopted across various industries. Still, it is mostly used in industries that involve field or remote work, such as manufacturing, energy and utilities, construction, mining, and oil and gas.
In these industries, connected worker technologies can help workers to access real-time data and information, communicate with their team members, and collaborate on projects, even in remote or hazardous environments. For example, connected workers in the energy and utilities industry can use wearables and IoT devices to monitor equipment and detect potential problems, reducing downtime and maintenance costs. Similarly, connected workers in the construction industry can use these technologies to track project progress, improve safety, and optimize workflows.
However, the concept of a connected worker is also being adopted in other industries, such as healthcare, retail, and hospitality, where it can help to improve efficiency, enhance customer service, and enable remote work. Adopting connected worker technologies is expected to grow across industries as organizations seek to optimize their operations and remain competitive.
The most common tool used by connected field workers
Several technical tools and platforms are commonly used for connected worker solutions, and the choice of which one to use depends on the specific needs and requirements of the organization.
However, a connected worker's most used technical tool is mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They provide a flexible and portable platform for accessing data and communicating with colleagues and supervisors.
Additionally, cloud-based platforms and applications are widely used to manage and analyze data collected from connected worker devices. These platforms enable organizations to store, research, and share data in real time, providing a centralized location for all connected worker data.
Other technical tools and platforms commonly used for connected worker solutions include wearables such as smartwatches and safety glasses, IoT devices such as sensors and beacons, and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies that provide workers with real-time information and guidance.
Overall, there are clear trends in which technical solutions and platforms are used to enable connected workers. But with that said, it’s not sure that those are the ones most suited for your company. You should always evaluate solutions based on your organization’s unique needs and requirements.
The biggest benefits of a connected worker
The concept of a connected worker can help the industry in several ways. Let us go through some examples of how it benefits organizations:
- Improved productivity and efficiency
Connected worker technologies enable workers to access real-time data and information, collaborate with team members, and receive expert support. This can help them to complete tasks more quickly and accurately, improving overall productivity and leading to increased output and reduced downtime.
- Cost savings
Organizations can reduce costs associated with manual labor, downtime, and equipment maintenance by using connected worker technologies for problem resolution, training, optimizing workflows, and streamlining processes.
- Increased flexibility and mobility
Connected worker solutions allow workers to perform their jobs from anywhere, anytime, improving flexibility and mobility. This is particularly beneficial for construction, manufacturing, and field service industries, where workers are often on the move and need real-time access to information and support. It also enables organizations to respond quickly to changing market conditions, customer demands, and other challenges.
- Improved collaboration and communication
Connected worker solutions can facilitate cooperation and communication between workers, teams, and experts, regardless of location. This can help reduce misunderstandings, delays, and errors in the workplace.
- Improved employee engagement
Organizations can enhance employee engagement and job satisfaction by providing workers with access to training and support materials and opportunities for collaboration and feedback. It also increases employee satisfaction knowing they are working in a modern company with access to the latest technology tools.
- Enhanced safety
By providing workers with real-time safety alerts, remote monitoring, and other safety features, connected worker solutions can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Overall, a connected worker represents a significant opportunity for organizations to optimize operations, improve safety and productivity, and remain competitive in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.
Companies providing digital worker software
Many companies provide tools and solutions for connected workers. Here are a few examples:
- Microsoft - provides solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Power Apps, and Power BI that can be used for collaboration, data analysis, and workflow automation.
- Honeywell - provides connected worker solutions such as wearables, sensors, and mobile devices for manufacturing, energy, and utility industries.
- Oracle - provides cloud-based platforms and applications for managing and analyzing connected worker data and solutions for mobile workforce management.
- Cisco - provides IoT solutions for connected workers, such as sensors and beacons, and collaboration tools like Webex Teams.
- IBM - provides solutions for connected workers, such as the Watson IoT Platform, that can be used for collecting and analyzing data from connected devices, as well as for predictive maintenance and other applications.
- RealWear – AR hands-free wearable devices enable remote workers to access information and communicate with colleagues and supervisors.
- XMReality- providing a remote visual assistance solution designed to help organizations improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and enhance safety by enabling remote experts to provide real-time support and guidance to workers in the field, regardless of location.
As the adoption of connected worker technologies continues to grow, many more companies will continuously enter this space, offering new and innovative solutions to meet the needs of organizations and their workers.
Learn more on how XMReality works ->