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Monitoring Field Workers with Technology

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Technology has made everything easier for industries and businesses. There are a lot of workers who do not need to be in the office to be employed. Companies have found a way to hire people without needing to provide an actual physical office for them. But the problem is how to monitor the attendance of these workers. Regular workers scan their IDs. But what about field workers? How can an employer make sure that a worker is attending to his duties in the project site?

Geofencing

An efficient geofencing service is primarily used in the field of marketing, advertising, logistics, and security. But more and more, companies are beginning to use the geofencing technology for the monitoring of their employees. This service is used for workers who spend time off-site to do fieldwork. They can also be used for out-of-state employees, especially for mining companies. With geofencing activated, automated time cards will clock the employees in and out when they arrive and leave an area that has been virtually fenced off.

Time-tracking Apps

There are various apps where an employee can log in and out when they’re in the field. While most of these apps involved the participation of the employee—which means that they can manipulate the hours they spend in the field—these apps can be complemented by reports from the field manager.

At some point, you have to learn to trust your employees, so a time-tracking app could be your best bet. Some apps include location services. By asking your employees to turn it on, you’re also going to be sent where your employees are at any given time.

Photo Tracking

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Primarily used for merchandisers, photo tracking allows you to visualize what is happening in-store. If your head of merchandising is out in the field purchasing items for your company, they can snap a photo or two of the location where the procurement is happening. In the pharmaceutical industry, medical sales representatives use photo tracking to make sure that their bosses know they’ve presented to a physician.

Most of the time, a photo isn’t even enough for pharmaceutical companies. The physicians have to provide their signatures via a cloud-based platform. This acts as the “attendance” of the medical sales representative.

Live Feed

This may sound extreme, but employers who have out-of-state and out-of-the-country employees use a live feed to monitor their workers. It helps keep the workers productive even if they are thousands of miles from the actual office. The arrangement can either use an app installed in the employee’s laptop or a CCTV installed in the field office. After all, these visuals can’t lie in real time.

If you are worried about the legality of many of these systems, don’t be. While the landscape is always changing, many U.S. courts have already ruled on the favor of employers when it comes to tracking and monitoring their employees in the field.

Many employees don’t like the idea of being monitored even when they are working in the field. But micromanaging by employers is a reality that workers across all industries must face. This system of monitoring should be discussed during the job interview. The employers are advised to keep the employees informed about the process and how it can benefit the organization.

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