Blue-collar workers are often constantly on the move and typically have limited interaction with laptops or desktop computers. As a result, IT departments may face challenges in providing them with the technology that could make their jobs easier.
However, the right technology can make a significant difference for blue-collar teams. It can help streamline their work processes and attract younger employees. In order to achieve success, IT departments may need to employ different strategies to support blue-collar workers.
How Blue-Collar Groups Can Benefit From IT Support
Digitally empowered first-line employees, such as field service personnel, maintenance technicians, and housekeepers, are three times more likely to achieve yearly progress compared to those who don’t receive the same IT support. Additionally, digitally empowered workers show around 20% more development on average than their non-digitally empowered counterparts[^1^].
Younger employees tend to be more attracted to employers who provide them with new technology[^2^]. Gen Z and millennials are generally less interested in blue-collar positions compared to older workers. Therefore, investing in tech support can make these positions more appealing to the younger workforce.
IT teams can leverage the right technology to make blue-collar jobs more productive, comfortable, and attractive to a wide range of employees. Many companies are currently struggling to fill blue-collar positions, so finding ways to digitally empower workers should be a worthwhile goal.
Utilizing Technology and IT Services to Support Blue-Collar Staff
Empowering blue-collar workers can sometimes be challenging. These employees may not benefit from the same technology that white-collar or administrative positions require. Furthermore, the organizations they work for may be slow to adopt new technologies, resulting in a less robust technological foundation for IT teams to work with.
Nonetheless, it is almost always possible to support blue-collar workers with new technologies and digital solutions, although it may require some creativity.
Enhancing Fleet Operations With New Smart Technology
Field workers who spend a significant amount of time driving, transporting goods, or constantly on the move can benefit from smart technology integrated into vans, trucks, or other fleet vehicles. The appropriate vehicle shelving can support advanced cargo climate control systems, enhancing worker comfort and preventing temperature fluctuations for goods that require specific temperature ranges[^3^].
IoT thermostats, temperature monitors, and vents can make these cargo climate control systems intelligent, allowing workers to control them remotely. These smart systems can dynamically adjust their performance based on environmental conditions such as vehicle temperature and humidity. This automation streamlines climate control for field workers[^3^].
These systems can also interface with existing vehicle telematics systems, enabling managers and workers to monitor and adjust the temperatures that field workers are exposed to.
Additionally, this technology can help prevent heatstroke and other health issues caused by excessively high vehicle temperatures[^3^].
Using IoT and Smart Industrial Technology for Monitoring or Maintenance
Remote monitoring solutions can be another effective way to empower blue-collar workers. The right technology can regulate essential equipment and facility systems, making it easier to ensure their proper performance without manual inspections.
There are various IoT monitoring devices available that allow workers to remotely track multiple performance variables of systems. For example, a water treatment facility can benefit from technology that measures the level of volatile organic compounds in treated water. Most facilities can benefit from monitors that track variables such as machine temperature, vibration, sound levels, and lubrication[^4^].
The popularity of IoT monitoring as an industrial IoT solution means that many ready-to-use platforms are available. In most cases, existing solutions can meet organizational requirements, eliminating the need for IT teams to build their own solutions[^4^].
Furthermore, this technology can support preventive maintenance operations and potentially enable predictive maintenance.
Monitoring enables workers to respond promptly as issues with equipment or facility systems arise. When combined with AI or big data analytics, checking data over time can potentially predict these issues, allowing teams to proactively address potential mechanical challenges. Predictive maintenance offers significant benefits for companies and blue-collar workers, including reduced downtime, lower repair costs, and longer equipment lifespans[^4^].
Using Wearable Solutions for Frontline Staff
A wide range of wearable technologies designed for businesses and blue-collar workers have emerged in recent years[^5^].
For example, companies can invest in wearable safety devices that can alert managers when a worker falls or is exposed to unsafe conditions. These devices are increasingly popular in construction and similar industries[^5^].
Some wearables can even detect if a worker is moving in a non-ergonomic manner or in a way that could lead to repetitive stress injuries[^5^].
New Technology Can Help IT Support Blue-Collar Workers
While blue-collar workers may not receive the same level of IT support as their white-collar counterparts, technology can still streamline operations and improve overall comfort.
By deploying technologies such as smart monitoring systems and wearables, IT departments can better support blue-collar teams[^6^].[^1^]: Microsoft – Empowering the workforce
[^2^]: Forbes – Addressing the Technology Gap to Attract Millennials and Gen Z Workers
[^3^]: Advantage Outfitters – Delivery Van Shelving Unit Ideas
[^4^]: Industrial IoT World – Machine Monitoring with MachineMetrics
[^5^]: Construction Technology Media – How Wearable Technology Is Used in Construction
[^6^]: IEEE Internet Initiative Newsletter – Smart Climate Control System for Life Prevention in Smart Cars
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