The IT in Housing Conference and Exhibition which took place 10-11 Feb 16, saw talks from professionals in the housing industry discuss the idea of digitalising services for an improved user and employee experience.
Digital technology has advanced rapidly over the last 10 years to the point where we can now access information and communication channels anytime, anywhere – all from a device we can fit in our pockets.
Many businesses have utilised developing technologies to create efficient services to be used on the go. Payments and bookings can be carried out on a phone in seconds and orders can be placed online and completed within 24 hours.
A digital workforce
With many services going digital, some have gone even further and begun the transformation towards a digital workforce.
So what does this mean exactly? Well for many employees who work out in the field, accessing information and carrying out tasks can rely on bulky paper files, forms and diaries. By digitalising the way workers operate, all of this vital information is accessible from a phone or tablet.
Case loads could be pulled up by the touch of a button and bookings could be taken through an easy to fill digital form.
Not only does this free up time for the employee and make their jobs easier, but there are also huge benefits to the clients who are provided with a quicker, smoother service.
Many housing associations and businesses have already begun digitalising their workforce and have found the change to be extremely positive for both customer and employee.
But what if we took this further and digitalised the way we protect our employees? If staff already have access to a smartphone or tablet, monitoring their safety could also be made simpler, more effective and much more efficient.
The StaySafe App offers a digital solution to keeping workers safe in the field. By using the app, employers can automatically check-in with employees, view their location and safety status while they work, and be alerted immediately if they are in trouble.
Traditional ways of monitoring employee safety usually include paper diaries or a buddy system where employees are expected to phone or text at certain times of the day to prove they are safe.
But with a digital solution, staff will no longer need copies of paper diaries with appointments which are likely to change at short notice. Instead of a buddy system which is time consuming and can be unreliable, employees can simply check-in with their employers at set intervals on their mobile device, or press a panic button if they need to.
Mobile technologies also allow for some great features such as accurate GPS tracking, discreet panic and non-movement recognition. These features offer reliable protection from many of the risks lone workers can face such as having an accident (but no one knows) or not being able to make a phone call for help when faced with a difficult customer.
Our round up of the best digital solutions in the market
Digital is no longer the future – it is here now and there is a demand for more of it. These are our top three digital services showcased at IT in Housing;
Diagnose and book repairs with Active Housing’s customisable Online Repair Diagnostics – www.activehousing.co.uk
Manage your case loads and access information through Locality Solutions’ cloud-based service – www.localitysolutions.co.uk