The rapid adoption of smart working in Home Care will improve job satisfaction. This could even attract the elusive under 25 year old applicant too. Recruitment expert Neil Eastwood gives his perspective.

Domiciliary care has long been a Cinderella sector as far as field-based technology is concerned. Paper forms still dominate the administrative side of a home care worker’s day.  Having said this, there is now rapid and sustained take-up of mobile technology amongst providers.

Aside from the very real benefits of efficiency and enabling genuine person-centred care, which are regularly reported by providers. This is utilising software solutions. The technology revelation could also help address another major business challenge: staff turnover.

Addressing Loneliness

When studying the underlying reasons for Home Care worker job dissatisfaction, then isolation and loneliness are often cited. In polls, between 6 and 20% of care workers list these factors as causes of dissatisfaction.

In fact in academic studies of turnover amongst home care workers loneliness was found to be a statistically significant. The feeling of isolation was a major determinant of intention to leave their job. But by connecting them in real time with the office, smart working effectively removes that feeling of isolation.

The impact can be seen when newly mobile technology-enabled care workers are asked about the product. Many workers were asked whether they would prefer to return to the old way of working. Initially hesitant about being much more ‘visible’, they quickly relish the feeling of support and empowerment that smart working provides.

Increasing quality caring time

In addition, this technology helps address the boredom and frustration associated with multiple form-filling. Having not been field-based care workers, it’s hard to appreciate the monotony of completing and carrying about multiple paper forms. Most naturally caring people want to maximise the hands-on time they have supporting others. They see filling forms as a negative aspect of their roles. If technology can simplify and reduce these negative aspects it can only help improve job satisfaction.

Being in the loop

When you ask frontline staff what matters to them in their job then ‘feeling involved’ made the top 10 cited reasons. Now, with real time updates and messaging, mobile technology allows care workers to interact and be ‘in the loop’ with schedule changes and client requests.

Attracting younger workers

We could also see some benefit from mobile technology in the recruitment of, particularly, younger care workers. There has been a relentless decline in the past ten years of under 25 year olds choosing homecare as a profession.

Although there are many factors underlying this, there is no doubt care work can be perceived by a tech-savvy generation as old-fashioned and far behind the technology on display from their regular Amazon delivery couriers.  Many of them will likely find handwriting something of a lost art.

So with the considerable workforce challenges faced by care providers, at least they will find a strong ally in the adoption of mobile technology.

 

Neil Eastwood is founder of Sticky People and an international speaker on care worker recruitment and retention.

iCareHealth is a leading provider of clinical, medicines & business management software solutions, tailored exclusively for care providers across the social care sector, and designed to improve the lives of the care recipient and staff who are touched by the software. Collectively iCareHealth’s solutions assist social care providers to manage the care of over 130,000 people

To find out whether our software can help your care organisation run better, then have a chat or book a demo with one of our Care Home Solution experts.

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