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The Internet of Things – The Answer to a Nation Understaffed and Overworked

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Industries across the board staff have been hit hard by vacancies and absences, and everyone is feeling the strain. Although there is no magic cure to such endemic problems – IoT and real-time data can help fill the gaps; says Dan Teare, Sector Director at mpro5.

Industries across the board are facing staff shortages and vacancies. Over the long Easter weekend, mass disruption is expected across all travel sectors, and industry experts warn the delays could last the year.

Other badly affected industries, such as hospitality and healthcare, barely survived the pandemic and are now finding that they still can’t get the staff – and this impacts health and safety and the quality of work completed.

The pandemic is no longer the greatest source of unfilled positions. Unemployment hasn’t been lower since the 1970s, and according to the Office of National Statistics, there are 570,000 fewer available workers than before the pandemic struck.

Ultimately, whether due to a pandemic or shifts in the global economic and employment landscape, businesses have had to try and continue operating as best they can while severely understaffed for a long time– and this has impacted morale, stress levels, and results.

Dan Teare, Sector Director at mpro5, discussed why new technologies and the right software can ease the impact of understaffing:

Although no technology can immediately cure such endemic, infrastructural problems – it is vital that companies digitise to help work more efficiently. ‘Smart buildings’, powered by the Internet of Things and sensor technologies, and all supported by adaptive, real-time software, enable businesses to work smarter, not harder; and ultimately be more efficient with fewer people.

By using an IoT-driven workflow management platform, companies can easily harvest and unify the data around them; viewing patterns and creating tasks from a centralised platform – with all the knowledge at their fingertips. Teams can instantly view and act upon this data, so they can do what it is needed to be done, rather than act upon fixed and out-of-date schedules.

For example, if a sensor on a toilet door has been opened 100 times, then cleaning staff may well need to check it is still functional and clean. Inversely, if they go to clean as their schedule insists, and no one has been in that toilet or even on that floor, it is simply a waste of their time. Viewing these patterns form over time gives you the power to predict demand more accurately – so your future-facing schedules can be more dynamic, and peoples’ time used more efficiently.

Dan continued:

This gives businesses, no matter the sector or industry they work in, the power to prioritise jobs and the right people to do them, thanks to new insight into existing data. Teams can spend less time worrying about covering for missing staff, and instead can trust that all tasks are being accounted for and covered; improving overall operational effectiveness while leaving no gaps.

Ultimately, it is about doing the more with less – and as these issues in the labour market don’t seem to be going anywhere fast, this will be essential for businesses looking to continue operating.