Future of Work News

Study Outlines Challenges and Potential of Connected Worker Solutions


One of the most significant industry-related fallouts from the COVID-19 pandemic has been what’s termed “the Great Resignation.” Legions of workers left their jobs, unwilling to risk their health with on-site work. Many of the workers who remained took advantage of the sudden vacuum in the workforce to look for better jobs that pay more. The result has been serious interruptions to the global supply chain issues.

To help overcome the labor shortages, many companies have embarked on implementing connected worker technologies and digital transformation solutions. However, with 40 million workers leaving their jobs in 2021 alone, and over three million – and counting – retiring early, challenges continue to arise, including high costs of training and onboarding, lower output potential, an understaffed workforce, and the possibility of more experienced, senior employees having to fill roles with lower business value.

A recent study conducted by independent market research and advisory firm Verdantix entitled, “Increasingly Complex Workplace Challenges Demand Innovative Connected Worker Solutions” drilled down into the deeper implications for global industry when it comes to the impact and challenges within the connected frontline workforce.

Organizations are losing critical operational knowledge today,” said Charlie Neagoy, SVP of Customer Success at Librestream, which sponsored the research. “Unless workforce transformation becomes front and center, we are likely to face a larger global worker crisis and loss of knowledge that could be crippling to the global economy and critical industries.”

The report discusses insights from the aerospace, oil and gas, manufacturing, and utility industries. Key findings include:

  • 72 percent of respondents said the retiring workforce is a significant or very significant challenge.
  • 42 percent believe digital technology is essential to the success of the connected frontline workforce initiatives
  • 20 percent of respondents will be investing in a commercial provider for the first time, 32 percent intend to use virtual reality (VR) solutions to train workers over the next year
  • When selecting solutions, the most significant functionalities included: 96 percent specified quality of user interface, 90 percent indicated low bandwidth, 88 percent believed security and data protection, and 82 percent called out the ability to integrate with third-party systems.

The results also indicate the need for organizations to support productivity and safety among frontline workforces through technologies that help enable knowledge networks, supply remote assistance, deliver digital work instructions, and enable virtual training.

Edited by Greg Tavarez

Future of Work Contributor

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