It’s Super Bowl night in 2005. The Patriots are playing the Eagles in a nail-biter game, and your watch party wants to order a pizza. The only restaurant nearby is Pizza Hut, but nearly every other person seems to want pizza at the same time, and Pizza Hut doesn’t employ enough delivery drivers for them to take your order. Remember, this was nearly 17 years ago before the iPhone and the plethora of food delivery apps we’ve all grown used to today. The game ends leaving you hungry and upset (especially if you’re an Eagles fan).
Ordering food prior to the emergence of the gig economy often played out like this. Before Uber eats, Grubhub or Doordash, restaurants would depend on full-time drivers and couldn’t deliver the convenience that we’re now accustomed to. So what does this walk down sports memory lane and food delivery have to do with field service businesses?
As 53% of gig workers are employed by businesses according to PYMNTS, it is essential that they are prepared to manage these diverse and flexible workforces. Field service businesses are no different as they must learn to navigate the ever-evolving nature of hiring and employing an increasingly diverse workforce. Employing a per-diem workforce benefits businesses and employees, but there are roadblocks that often impose unforeseen challenges. In order to ensure the proper measures are put in place and gig workers can be managed effectively, efficiently and without inducing high costs, businesses must rely on digital solutions.
Gig Workers in Field Service
Field service businesses today often incorporate gig workers. Landscaping, plumbing, pool maintenance, smart home, surveillance and other service businesses rely on gig workers, which has created a need to more effectively manage and monitor these workers.
Pro-Vigil, a provider of remote video monitoring, management and crime deterrent solutions, is a great example of how a company successfully utilizes a field service management solution to manage gig workers. Pro-Vigil leverages hybrid workforces of full-time employees, vendors and gig workforces. This enables them to increase efficiency, improve SLA and serve customers better.
Gig Economy Challenges for Field Service Businesses
When using gig workers, employers must manage and track employees who have different schedules and may not necessarily be involved in the day-to-day operations at the company.
Pro-Vigil’s challenges surrounded a lack of overall visibility across the organization and projects, and it needed to efficiently dispatch these gig workers to jobs and track their time spent and work accomplished at various sites.
It is also important to consider the payroll status and process of these employees. If these workers are not on a traditional payroll as W-2 employees, there are added steps employers must take. In fact, there are even differences between contracted 1099 employees and gig workers, a topic our CEO Anand Subbaraj wrote about in Field Technologies Online.
These challenges can largely be overcome by implementing some key digital technologies that help transform the way gig workers, employees and employers communicate and manage work.
Gig Economy Workforce Management & Digital Transformation
To manage field service operations effectively, a field service management platform is critical. Through the adoption of field service management solutions and productivity suites, businesses are able to address the challenges mentioned and offer streamlined, unified solutions to employees, employers and customers.
Pro-Vigil adopted digital solutions to optimize its ability to hire and manage on-demand employees and manage the challenges it faced while attempting to properly scale the company. Through the use of Zuper and its Field Nation integration, Pro-Vigil elevated its workforce while increasing productivity and efficiency internally through the use of gig workers.
The ability to track on-site progress and understand the workflow and productivity via Zuper allowed Pro-Vigil to better serve its employees, as they were able to view current job progress and completion status. Zuper enabled Pro-Vigil to schedule and hire employees based on specific skill sets as well as view job progress and technician status in a calendar system. The dispatch system allowed Pro-Vigil to better organize and understand technician status allowing them to offer customers specific time frames in which services could be completed.
Finally, Zuper’s ability to manage payroll systems became essential to Pro-Vigil and its employment of gig workers as Pro-Vigil was better able to manage payments for different types of employees.
The gig economy is what helps your food get delivered on Super Bowl Sundays, and it also helps businesses empower their employees to complete skill-specific tasks in the field service industry.
Gig workers provide many benefits for organizations, and digital solutions to help organize and manage this process will be necessary as the gig workforce grows. There are great competitive advantages to be gained from the gig economy, and businesses that neglect them may fall behind others.
Digital solutions like Zuper are paving the way for businesses that are leveraging the advantages of the gig economy. With unified software that allows for and promotes organization and streamlined processes, businesses are becoming more able to serve their employees and their customers with innovative solutions.