Across organisations, one particular fact tends to get overlooked, downplayed, or just not known — that is, frontline workers, who interact directly with customers or work on production, represent 80 per cent of the workforce across all sectors globally.
Despite this significant representation, many frontline workers still do not have access to the digital tools they need to complete their work optimally.
These digital tools are more than just laptops and phones.
Take the mining industry in Australia and New Zealand, for example. The majority of the in this sector who aren’t desk-bound rely on digital technologies to complete their work safely. Digital technologies can help transform the mining landscape with great advancement starting with fast, reliable connectivity to ensure secure data transmission around and between sites.
Specific uses of IoT in mining can include adding sensors to mining equipment to monitor and communicate data in real time to make workers safer and sites more secure. For example, automation could mean that huge driverless trucks and other vehicles that shift ore around a site can do so without putting human workers and drivers in risky situations and locations. Sensors can also be added to workers’ clothing to monitor their health by tracking and transmitting data about their physical condition and also raise alerts in the event of site accidents.
Despite these benefits, research shows that 41 per cent of frontline workers in non-desk jobs say they do not have the right digital tools to work effectively.
The real challenge for companies is, therefore, to provide frontline workers with a reliable digital environment to facilitate their work, enhance their performance and integrate them better into the company to reduce turnover. To achieve this, companies need to:
- Provide ergonomic devices
- Equip frontline workers with suitable and user-friendly applications
- Offer robust connectivity
- Ensure security in the face of the exponential increase in cyber risks
- Monitor the performance of implemented solutions