The New Normal
Post pandemic, new ways of working have become an expectation. Whether flexible, hybrid, or fully remote, employees now put high value on alternative working arrangements. This has been picked up by the UK government, who recently enacted legislation giving workers the right to request flexible working from the first day of employment.
In a 2023 CIPD survey, 71% of respondents said flexible working is important to them when looking for a new job, while 69% said remote working is important. The survey shows a rising trend in flexible working – 60% of respondents said they have flexibility in their current role compared to 51% in 2022.
There’s little doubt that flexible, hybrid, and remote working are here to stay. But what does this mean for the housing sector? How can senior leaders ensure they are best placed to manage workers remotely, and what role can technology play in facilitating new ways of working?
Redefining Remote Work
For housing providers, Field Service Management is one of the primary areas in which technology can play a significant role. Workers with specific skills need to be deployed to the right jobs, on time, and in the right locations. Advanced’s Field Service Management solution ensures this happens without a hitch, giving managers clear visibility of the process using an intuitive digital platform.
Service operatives get a clear view of the work to be carried out on their mobile devices, with customer data, service history, and online knowledge bases all easily accessible. Managers and operatives can see which jobs are scheduled for each day, ensuring maximum efficiency.
According to the Advanced whitepaper Field Service Management 4.0, this system leads to “… greater job satisfaction, and less day-to-day work-induced stress. People benefit from having more agency over the way they work, and as the pandemic demonstrated, can be more productive when offered a more flexible approach to when and where they work.”
Taking Time Out
Advanced’s Field Service Management solution saves time for everyone involved in maintenance and repairs, including managers, customers, and service operatives. For those in the field, getting stuck in traffic is a frequent occurrence, often leading to delays and rescheduling. With the Smart Travel feature, real-time street-level mapping ensures operatives are always given the best route to the job.
For managers, Resource Scheduling gives up-to-the-minute information on tasks, locations, and operatives, determining the best way to distribute work. When the system detects a problem, such as work overrunning or a no-access visit, work is automatically rescheduled to ensure that every job is completed in the most efficient way.
Field Service Management ensures customers are kept in the loop. With accurate and up-to-date appointment times, customers are free to get on with their day, while on-the-spot follow-up appointments increase access rates and improve the customer experience.
For people professionals, Advanced’s cloud-based Time and Attendance software makes it easy to keep track of employee data. Ideal for hybrid, flexible, and remote working environments, employees and managers can record and approve annual leave and absence from any mobile device.
With the Auto Rostering feature, HR leaders can apply templates to recurring shift patterns, and apply these templates to multiple shift patterns across difference departments. The platform gives instant access to employees and the different skills they hold, making rostering decisions straightforward.
Where enabled by management, employees are able to swap shifts with other qualified employees, offering them control over their working week. They can also request additional shift work and overtime, giving managers a clear view of availability.
Alternative working arrangements are here to stay. While hybrid, remote and flexible working patterns may have once been difficult to administer, modern technology solutions can do much to improve workflow and streamline processes. Digital Field Service Management saves time for workers, managers and customers through automation and real-time updates, while cloud-based HR solutions such as Time and Attendance simplify the management of flexible and hybrid working.
Discover Advanced’s full range of solutions for housing sector professionals.
If you would like to take a deeper look into what key factors have been playing a part in shaping the housing sector, then download your copy of the Advanced Housing Sector Trends Report here