Mobile Technology Delivers Huge Efficiency Gains

The rapid adoption of smart working (Mobile Technology) in homecare will improve job satisfaction. Furthermore, 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. Although, now, there is rapid and sustained take-up of mobile technology amongst providers.

This technology revelation could also help address another major business challenge: staff turnover. There are also much more tangible benefits of efficiency and enabling genuine person-centred care, which are regularly reported by providers.

Addressing Loneliness

When you study the underlying reasons for homecare worker job dissatisfaction and intent to leave, then isolation and loneliness are often cited. In polls, between 6 and 20% of care workers list these factors as causes of dissatisfaction. So, could the problem of high staff turnover rest with the tools and not the job or recruiting the right staff?

In fact in academic studies of turnover amongst home care workers loneliness was found to be a statistically significant determinant of intention to leave their job. By connecting these staff members 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 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 technology like Mobile Care Worker provides.

Increasing quality caring time

In addition, this technology helps address the boredom and frustration associated with multiple form-filling. For those of us who have not been field-based care workers, it can be hard to appreciate the monotony. The tedium of completing and carrying about multiple paper forms is an extra weight on the shoulders of these workers. Most naturally caring people want to maximise the hands-on time they have supporting others and 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.

There is no doubt care work can be perceived by a tech-savvy generation as old-fashioned. Although there are many factors underlying this. Many of them will likely find handwriting something of a lost art.

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

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