As a manager, you might be concerned that the smartphones that employees seem to have attached to their hips might tempt them to spend time on Facebook or Twitter rather than tend to their job duties.
As it turns out, these small technological devices can actually help to keep your workers safe while on the job. Whether your employees bring their own phones to work or you have issued smartphones to everyone on your team to help stay in touch, check out the following ways that smartphones can help everyone stay safe:
Long Battery Life for Improved Communication
When it comes to hardware improvements, mobile phones have advanced a lot in recent years. A great example of this is battery life. If your workers are out at remote locations where they cannot easily charge their smartphones, a generous amount of battery time will allow them to stay in touch with you back at the main office. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge features 36 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time. Workers can use this flexibility to call in updates, report any problems they have encountered or simply check in to let you know they are okay.
Use the Camera as a Documentation Tool
New smartphones come with cameras that allow users to take still shots and videos whose quality rivals that of many professional devices. The smartphone camera is a terrific tool to use during inspections or investigations or anything that requires documentation. For example, if you are concerned with the way your employees are performing a particular task, you can snap a photo or take a quick video.
Put Social Media to Good Use
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can also be used to boost workplace safety. You can set up closed social media groups on the site of your choice that are available only to your staff. Employees who are working in the field can use their smartphone internet connection to access the social media site and communicate with other employees. This “virtual” office will let you see who is consistently checking in and posting updates; those who rarely show up in the closed groups can be given a friendly reminder to use the closed group to let everyone know where they are.
Harness the Power of GPS
Most newer smartphones come equipped with a GPS feature that can really boost the safety of your employees. In addition to helping ensure that your workers will be able to get to remote locations and/or clients’ homes thanks to GPS directional advice, the feature can also help you to keep tabs on where everyone is.
There are several apps that will allow you to track phones; these include Find My iPhone, the Android Device Manager and Find My Mobile. If you have not heard from an employee in some time and are getting concerned, you can use one of these apps to help track where the phone and employee are currently located. Or, if an employee is out in the field and he calls in to say that he is completely lost, you can use the tracking feature to see where he is and give directional advice on how to get back to the office or to the appointment.