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As people start heading back into the workplace post-pandemic, it’s never been more crucial to undertake a risk assessment to identify any potential hazards.

Currently, UK businesses lose 38.8 million working days due to work-related illness and injury. But, with COVID-19 presenting new threats to people’s health, organisations that want to continue with business-as-usual will need to invent new ways to protect their people and maintain a healthy workforce. 

In this article, we’ll explain what a workplace risk assessment is, why it’s so important and what you need to consider. We’ll then explore the benefits of workplace design and risk assessment before sharing how BigChange can help make the process simpler. 

What is a Workplace Risk Assessment?

As an employer, it is your duty to protect your employees, and anyone else on-site, from illness or injuries caused by the work environment. You can determine how to prevent incidents by conducting a legally mandated workplace risk assessment. If you employ five or more people, you must also document your evaluation.

A workplace risk assessment examines potential causes of harm. Organisations can then decide whether they have taken enough precautions to prevent them. All measures must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations by reducing the number of incidents in the workplace.

However, with COVID-19 now thrown into the mix, a standard risk assessment is unlikely to be thorough enough. For example, a traditional risk assessment may not consider if there are specific cleaning protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Subsequently, your risk assessment should also follow public health regulations and current government guidelines. Workplace risk assessments help to ensure you’re keeping your employees and on-site visitors safe during the pandemic.

How to Carry Out a Workplace Risk Assessment

Every workplace has its own set of potential threats which could cause ill-health or injury. Threats vary in scope and nature and could range from a wet floor to something much more severe, like the spread of coronavirus. 

However, risk assessments help drastically reduce the likelihood of accidents or illness at work by raising awareness of hazards and enabling you to come up with a prevention plan.

Here are the main steps you need to follow when carrying out a workplace risk assessment:

1. Identify the Hazards When Conducting a Workplace Risk Assessment

The first step is to identify anything that can cause harm. On top of the common hazards you would usually look for, you must now also consider how people could transmit COVID to each other on-site. For example, if your spaces aren’t well ventilated, staff may be at greater risk.

Take a walk around your workplace and make a note of any safety concerns you have. Once you’ve created a list, it’s a good idea to ask other people what they think. Someone else may notice a hazard that isn’t immediately obvious to you, especially if they fall into a more vulnerable category. 

2. Figure Out Who Will Be Affected

For each hazard you listed, you must consider everyone that is at risk of harm. You don’t have to identify each person by name; instead, make a note of particular groups. For example, ‘on-site visitors’. By considering specific parties, you’ll be able to establish the best way of mitigating risks in the workplace for anyone who may be directly affected. 

Again, it would be best to ask someone else to double-check that you haven’t missed anyone. Remember, some people may be at higher risk than others, including:

  • New hires who are unfamiliar with the workplace
  • Younger, inexperienced workers
  • Disabled and chronically ill people
  • Pregnant people
  • People who aren’t on-site all the time
  • Members of the public near the site

You should then also consider the likelihood of an incident and the severity of the potential outcome. Covering all the worst-case scenarios of a workplace hazard will help you to develop appropriate precautionary solutions. 

3. Evaluate the Risks and Determine Precautions

Now that you’ve identified the potential hazards, you need to devise a way to avoid them. The best way to put preventative measures in place is to look at your current processes and determine whether they’re effective enough or need an upgrade. You then need to look at any threats where you don’t currently have any defences in place and implement a solution. 

If you can’t eliminate a hazard altogether, you should instead consider ways to control the risk. Here are some steps you can take to lower the chances of accident or injury:

  1. Try a less dangerous alternative: For example, if your workers use chemicals, research the safest option and switch out products to less harmful versions.
  1. Prevent access to the hazard: If people don’t need to enter hazardous areas regularly, consider putting barriers in place to prevent access.
  1. Reduce exposure to the hazard: Don’t expose anyone to potential threats unless absolutely necessary. You must ensure that all employees are adequately trained to deal with any hazardous situation they may find themselves in because of their job role.
  1. Provide personal protective equipment: The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 state that you must provide suitable protective gear to your workers who may be exposed to a hazard unless you’ve adequately controlled threats by other means.
  1. Ensure there are welfare facilities: You must supply your staff with first aid kits and ensure there are designated first aiders in your office. To help prevent the spread of COVID and other illnesses, you should also provide suitable hand washing facilities. 

4. Implement Your Plan

Companies with five or more employees must keep a record of their workplace risk assessment findings. With a field service management system like BigChange, you can keep an electronic record of all risk assessments for future reference, saving you from manually filing and storing your findings.  

Following the evaluation, you should document the following information:

  • Which hazards the assessor identified
  • The persons or groups that could be affected
  • The methods your organisation put in place to mitigate risks
  • Who is monitoring the preventative measures
  • Who carried out the assessment
  • The date of the assessment

It’s also vital to make all employees aware of your plan and spread awareness of risks in the workplace. A better understanding of potential hazards and measures you’ve put in place will help lower the risk of an illness or injury. For example, some companies are still recommending that people continue to wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of COVID.

For more guidance on working safely during the pandemic, you can visit the GOV.UK website.

5. Continuously Review and Update Your Risk Assessment

Now, more than ever, risks in the workplace are constantly changing. Consequently, you should keep your risk assessment up-to-date and re-assess whether your preventative measures are effective at regular intervals.

Here are some examples of when you may need to review your previous assessment:

  • Following a workplace health or injury-related incident
  • When someone has reported a near-miss
  • If there have been significant changes within the workplace

Benefits of Workplace Design and Risk Assessment

It’s crucial to carry out a workplace risk assessment as a means of protecting your employees, on-site visitors and your company. Carrying out the evaluation correctly and putting processes in place to protect people from hazards will ensure that your business doesn’t suffer from destructive financial and reputational repercussions. 

Here are some of the benefits of executing a thorough risk assessment:

1. Alleviates Costs

If you don’t have the necessary measures in place to protect your workers, you could face a colossal financial loss. Not only could you be fined for non-compliance, but you may also have to pay compensation, replace damaged equipment and train replacement staff whilst your injured worker is away.

If you are fined for non-compliance, your insurance premiums could also skyrocket, and your industry reputation will likely take a hit.

Carrying out an in-depth workplace risk assessment and taking the necessary steps to reduce hazards will result in fewer illnesses and injuries. In addition, employees that feel safe at work are less likely to leave, meaning you’ll have decreased turnover and training costs.

A workplace risk assessment needn’t be costly, but any investment you do need to make to maintain compliance are minimal compared to the potential costs following an incident.

2. Saves Lives

Did you know that over the last year, 142 UK workers suffered a fatality at work?

Workplace risk assessments not only lower the chance of employees suffering from minor illnesses or injuries, but they save lives. 

If your workers use heavy machinery, are frequently exposed to toxic materials – such as asbestos – or work with electricity, the probability of an accident increases dramatically. As such, it becomes even more crucial to conduct a thorough workplace risk assessment. 

Highlighting potential workplace risks to your workers may make them think twice about doing something dangerous and, therefore, considerably reduce the likelihood of a disaster.

3. Lowers the Risk of Legal Liability

Whenever your employees report an incident, people will likely want to know who was at fault. If the affected individual or party believes that the company’s negligence caused the problem, it could result in serious legal proceedings and fines. 

Since 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced new guidelines that outlined harsher penalties and fines for organisations that fail to competently manage health and safety matters. As a result, the average fine has shot up to a staggering £150,000. So, if your business is found guilty, you could end up paying dearly.

When conducted with due care and diligence, a workplace risk assessment can significantly minimise the chance that your business will be found guilty of non-compliance. Instead, you can rest assured that you’ve taken the correct steps towards keeping everyone safe on-site.

4. Enhances Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Workplace risk assessments eradicate the barriers that prevent your employees from doing their jobs and provide them with the correct tools to complete tasks. Instead of wasting time trying to resolve issues resulting from unsuitable working practices or equipment, they will be able to carry on with their work stress-free and be much more productive.

Plus, a safe and healthy workplace results in happier staff, fewer sick days and more company loyalty. Organisations with highly engaged employees enjoy 21% greater profitability, proving that employee happiness can make a big difference to your bottom line.

5. Maintains Your Company’s Reputation

Companies that effectively prevent workplace-related illnesses and accidents are able to build 

a strong reputation with their employees and clients. Therefore, maintaining a safe work environment and avoiding negative publicity is imperative if you want to ensure your business keeps its good name. 

In fact, companies risk losing 22% of business if potential customers find a negative article in their search results. So, make an effort upfront to carry out a comprehensive workplace risk assessment and put sufficient preventative measures in place. As a result, you may find that you’re able to win more work.

Prevent Risks in the Workplace with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walkaround checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?

Discover how our Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Whether you’ve just started up your cleaning business, or you’ve been established for some time, knowing how to attract new clients is an essential skill. Fortunately, winning contracts doesn’t have to be a headache if you have the know-how and the right technology in place.

In this article, we’ll explain how to get clients for your cleaning business. Plus, we’ll explore the ways that modern technology can give your organisation a competitive advantage.

How Do I Get Cleaning Contracts?

Did you know, there are approximately 66,420 businesses currently operating in the UK cleaning market? With so many organisations for customers to choose from, competition to win cleaning contracts is fierce.

However, there are several methods you can use to set yourself apart from your competitors. Here are the top four ways you can turn prospective clients into paying customers:

1. Word of Mouth

When it comes to attracting customers to your cleaning company, word of mouth is one of your best tools. In fact, word of mouth marketing results in five times more business than paid media, and people are 90% more likely to purchase products or services that have been recommended by someone they know. 

Therefore, you must ensure that you provide your existing customers with a positive experience. Fortunately, by using state-of-the-art field service management software, impressing your clients needn’t be time-consuming or challenging.  

For example, you can provide your customers with a user-friendly portal to easily make and rearrange appointments. Your team can then use the details the customer submitted to schedule and dispatch the most appropriate workers and equipment for the job.

Once your cleaners have completed the work, they’ll be able to instantly send customers invoices from their mobile devices for simple, online payment. Your customers will appreciate the rapidity and simplicity of your service and, as such, be more inclined to tell others about your business.

Field service management platforms also allow you to send your customers satisfaction surveys and personalised follow-up communications to ensure they’re happy. Post-job emails are the perfect opportunity to ask your customers to recommend you to others – you could even offer them a small discount for spreading the word.

2. Be Active on Social Media

With over 420 billion people active on social media, it has become one of the primary advertising channels for small businesses hoping to attract new clients. Consequently, you should ensure that you regularly update at least one channel.

Remember, cleaning is a visual service, and social media is your portfolio, so platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are ideal for showing off your work. You may wish to share before and after photos or even time-lapses of your team at work to give customers an idea of what to expect when they hire you.

Social media is also an excellent place to target specific prospective clients. For instance, if you want to win more office cleaning contracts, you could tailor your content specifically to corporate customers. Or, if you operate in a specific area, you can tag your posts to exact locations.

Finally, to build up a solid social media following, you should take time to respond to comments and connect with other users. Taking a friendly approach will make you stand out and attract more customers to your organisation.

3. Create a Website

Shockingly, it only takes about 50 milliseconds – or 0.05 seconds – for customers to form an opinion about your website. Sadly, if their first impressions aren’t positive, you could be losing business, so it can be tempting to forego a website entirely. 

But, in today’s digital world, having a website is necessary if you want prospective clients to find you. 

The good news is, you no longer have to be a tech wizard or break the bank to create a professional-looking website. There are now plenty of website builders with templates you can use to put your own site together in a few clicks. 

When making a website, you should tailor it to your customers and what they want to see. With a contemporary CRM (customer relationship management) system, you can obtain a snapshot of your customer base and their requirements at the touch of a button. 

Every interaction you’ve had with your clients, from phone calls to satisfaction surveys, are stored on the platform, so you can tell what industry the majority of your customers operate in, where they’re located and what feedback they gave you. As such, you can use the data you’ve collected to shape your website’s content and continue attracting similar customers.

4. Collaborate with Other Businesses and Expand Your Reach

Networking is a powerful method of growing your organisation and winning new contracts. Still, if you’re one of the 41% of people who believes they don’t have time to connect with other professionals in their field, you could be missing out on business opportunities.

Luckily, you can eliminate the time-consuming aspects of networking by employing the latest field service management technology such as BigChange. With BigChange, you can make the most of their ‘Network’ of trusted global field service companies without needing to leave the office.

Instead, you can list your business for free and start receiving connection requests immediately. From there, you’ll have the option to collaborate on projects with other like-minded companies, meaning you can bid for larger contracts and operate further afield without needing to hire extra resources.

You can specify the types of jobs you have available, alongside the skill requirements, so you can be sure that any subcontractors meet your standards and will represent your business appropriately.

Turn Prospective Clients into Paying Customers with BigChange

Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.

Our fully integrated job management software gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

When it comes to running a successful field service business, every minute counts.

However, you can only ensure that you’re making the most of your workers’ time and delivering an excellent service when you have access to real-time data. Without live updates, you’ll be relying on second-hand information to make decisions, possibly when it’s already too late.

That’s where field service management software come in.

Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, you can now gain complete visibility over your operations at the touch of a button. Never again will you have to rely on guesswork or slow, inefficient processes to get the job done. In fact, companies that use field service management software enjoy a 90% time saving on average.

In this article, we’ll explore the main reasons why real-time data is critical for your company and how you can access live updates on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Why is Real-Time Data Important?

Big data is undoubtedly contributing to the growth of almost every industry today. Nonetheless, if you don’t currently have methods of harvesting this information or aren’t using it to your advantage, you could fall behind the competition. 

Therefore, it’s worth considering how you can capture and use real-time data to grow your business. Here are just some of the top benefits your business could enjoy:

1. Boosts First-Time Fix Rates

The average first-time fix rate for field service businesses is between 75-79%. Although the percentage may seem high, in reality, it means that at least a quarter of all service calls involve a follow-up appointment. 

Not only are additional engineer visits inconvenient for the customer, but they also eat into your profits and disrupt your schedule. 

Instead, when you have access to real-time data, the risk of not fixing an issue the first time plummets. For example, your back-office staff can assign equipment and assets directly to a particular job and dispatch an engineer with the right skill set to carry out the work.

Once they arrive at a job, your technicians can access all the data they need to resolve the issue as promptly and accurately as possible. As a result, your technicians will be able to attend more appointments per day, your customers will be content, and your bottom line will experience a boost.

2. Increases Customer Satisfaction

Currently, 32% of field service organisations are failing to attain at least 80% customer satisfaction. Poor customer satisfaction rates can destroy your reputation and make it harder to win new business in the future.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your operations, meeting customer expectations becomes much more challenging. In addition to causing poor first-time fix rates, lack of real-time data prevents your customers from tracking their appointment statuses, causing a lot of inconveniences.

In comparison, when you use a modern workforce management system, you can use the live data it collects to:

  • Assign the correct equipment to jobs
  • Dispatch an appropriately skilled technician to jobs
  • Provide customers with live job status updates to keep them in the loop
  • Equip your technicians with all the information they need to carry out work effectively

Aside from being satisfied with the speed and quality of work, your customers will also appreciate your personalised approach to communication. Consequently, they may use your business again or recommend your services to friends, family, and professional networks.

3. Cuts Down Travel Costs

Time is money. Unfortunately, with petrol prices escalating to an eight-year high in the UK, many field service businesses are losing large sums of money by not optimising their technicians’ routes between jobs. 

When you don’t have visibility over your field engineers, it becomes incredibly complicated to ensure that you’re allocating the best resources for jobs and keeping travel times to a minimum.

But, with state-of-the-art scheduling technology in place, you can revolutionise the way you plan jobs. The software uses real-time data to account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type so you can rest assured that you’re allocating the right people and equipment to the right place.

Subsequently, you’ll save money on petrol and improve productivity by freeing up your technicians’ time to attend to more projects per day. 

4. Enables You to Create Accurate Budgets

According to a BlueSnap report, 37% of organisations cannot accurately forecast their cash flow because they use outdated processes and legacy systems to manage their finances. If a lack of financial visibility is plaguing your business, you may be spending more than you should be.

In contrast, when you adopt a workforce management software, it collects real-time data, which you can use to have more clarity and control over:

  • Stock and equipment quantities
  • Outstanding customer invoices
  • Cost centres

With the exact quantitative data to hand, you can make better-informed budgeting decisions for the future. For example, you are less likely to inadvertently over-order stock because you’ll have the exact number recorded in the system. Instead, you can use your profits to continue growing your business.

Access Real-Time Data and Maximise Efficiency with BigChange

See your entire operation at a glance on BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform.

Our cloud-based job management software provides you with live data so you can:

  • Schedule and dispatch workers based on location, skill set and availability
  • Assign assets and equipment directly to jobs to increase first-time fix rates 
  • Respond to urgent requests and mitigate potential issues
  • Make informed, accurate decisions about your business

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Workforce scheduling and optimisation are critical elements of any field service company. They ensure that your operations are running smoothly and that you are making the most of your engineers’ time. 

But, organisations that fail to modernise and adopt technology to maximise their job scheduling efficiency now risk becoming obsolete. With a staggering 89% of customers preferring an ‘Uber-like’ service for tracking technician arrivals, traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to delight your customers and keep them coming back in the future.

Thankfully, the latest job scheduling software eliminates the headaches associated with creating an efficient workflow and automates the entire process, impressing customers and freeing up your back-office staff’s time simultaneously. 

Read on to learn more about what field service job scheduling software is, why it’s important and how it can benefit your business.

What is Job Scheduling Software and Why is it Important?

Workforce scheduling involves planning each field workers’ day to manage the workload within your business. However, 25% of companies currently use spreadsheets and manual data entry to create their schedules. The remainder relies on whiteboards and other inefficient, error-prone processes.

Unfortunately, traditional methods of scheduling jobs aren’t going to cut it in the modern world. Customers are used to seamless, convenient experiences that spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems cannot provide.

Picture this: a customer calls your back-office team, asking to make an appointment for Wednesday at 3pm. Your employee makes a note of it and assigns Sasha to the booking in the spreadsheet.

But they don’t notice that they’ve made a typo and put 4pm instead. In the meantime, another team member has received a call for Wednesday at 3pm, and they assign Sasha to it, not realising that she is supposed to be in another location at that time.

On Wednesday, Sasha receives her schedule and begins the day. At 3pm, she attends the booking on her sheet. However, about ten minutes into the job, she receives a call from a back-office team member who wants to know why she didn’t show up to an appointment.

After some back and forth, your team finally concludes that there’s been a scheduling error. Only problem is, your employees now face the dilemma of either letting one customer down and rescheduling or trying to find an engineer who can visit the customer at the last minute.

Not only is a poorly managed schedule inconvenient for staff and customers alike, but it can be costly and destroy your reputation in the process.

That’s where field service job scheduling software comes in.

Using intelligent scheduling technology, you can ensure that you always have the right resources in the right places. 

Customers can book and reschedule their appointments directly via an easy-to-use online portal. Your back-office team can then use the customers’ booking information to schedule and dispatch workers without needing to worry about the potential for human error. 

The intelligent scheduling software is designed to account for traffic information, worker location and skill set, availability, and job constraints, so you know that you’re assigning the best person for the job.

The 5 Top Benefits of Using Field Service Job Scheduling Software

Here are the top five benefits your business could experience by adopting field service job scheduling software:

1. Optimised Routes Between Customer Bookings

A large portion of a field engineer’s working day is spent on the roads, travelling between customers. In addition to long journeys being extremely pricey, especially since petrol prices in the UK have skyrocketed to an eight-year high, they also take up a large chunk of time that could be better spent attending to customers.

Using traditional job scheduling methods doesn’t provide you with the complete visibility you need to plan routes in the most efficient way. If you can’t see who’s working for you on what day and where, how can you ensure that you’re keeping time on the road to a minimum?

Instead, with state-of-the-art job scheduling software, you can use real-time data to assign appropriately skilled workers to jobs, accounting for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type.

The inbuilt intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to optimise the travel distance of hundreds of jobs at the touch of a button, slashing both time and cost of each journey. In fact, you’ll be able to see the ‘cost to serve’ each customer directly on the system so you can factor it into your future budgets.

By optimising each technician’s journey, they’ll have more time than ever before to attend additional bookings and focus on doing what they do best.

2. Better First-Time Fix Rates

Did you know that companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% enjoy an 86% customer retention rate? Conversely, those with a rate under 70% only manage to retain 76% of customers, which is a 10% reduction. Consequently, completing jobs the first time is paramount to run a successful business.

Still, businesses continue to risk banking on spreadsheets, paper-based documents and legacy systems to manage their scheduling effectively. Although traditional methods may have worked in the past, customer expectations are constantly becoming more demanding, and people don’t want the inconvenience of needing to book more than one appointment. 

Luckily, thanks to modern job scheduling technology, you can dramatically improve your first-time fix rates and impress customers simultaneously.

Your back-office team can use real-time data to assign skilled resources, equipment and assets such as vehicles directly to a booking. By ensuring that your technicians have the right skills for the job and are armed with the correct gear each time, they are far more likely to complete the project on the same day.

When you use technology to streamline your processes, you can rest assured that everyone on the team can do their jobs effectively and satisfy your customers. Ousting repeat visits will also free up more time for your technicians to complete more visits each day and boost your bottom line further.

3. A More Motivated Team

It’s no secret that manual administration processes can be time-consuming. In reality, workers say they spend around two hours every day on admin instead of focusing on more business-critical tasks.

Aside from taking up your team’s precious time, arduous, repetitive work can obliterate employee morale and cause productivity to hit an all-time low. The worst part is that when your staff aren’t engaged in their work, the margin for error increases exponentially. 

As such, you may find that there are more missed appointments, delays and scheduling clashes, which bruises your company’s reputation and costs you in the long run. 

In contrast, field service job scheduling software is designed to streamline processes and eliminate the repetitive nature of administration work. Your back-office team can schedule and dispatch workers based on their location, availability, vehicle type, and skill set at the touch of a button.

For maximum productivity, you could use a platform that incorporates a CRM. For example, BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform enables your team to pull customer information directly into bookings, reducing the room for mistakes. Plus, the system updates live so your team can’t inadvertently book your technicians to be in multiple places at once.

With your team needing to spend less time on monotonous tasks, you’ll find that their motivation levels will rise, and they’ll have more opportunities to work on jobs that directly contribute to business growth.

4. Ability to Mitigate and Respond to Emergencies

Over half (56%) of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. Therefore, you must have the means to act rapidly, regardless of the situation.

Let’s imagine that a customer’s pipe bursts in the only bathroom in their house. They call your back-office team to see if you can send a plumber over as soon as possible. Sadly, your employee cannot get hold of an engineer because they’re all busy and aren’t answering their phones. 

As a result, the employee can’t schedule someone to get there soon, and they have to decline the job, meaning the customer goes to your competitor instead. 

Fortunately, frustrating scenarios like the above are entirely avoidable with field service job scheduling software such as BigChange. Communication with technicians is straightforward as they all have access to an app that provides them with all the information they need to know in real-time — no more missed calls or text messages.

Additionally, your back-office team can use GPS tracking and live data to see which engineers are nearby. As a result, they can rapidly allocate resources to emergency call-outs and ensure that no bookings are left unattended.

Because your company can respond so speedily to emergency requests, you can mitigate a host of expensive issues and impress your customers, meaning they’ll be more inclined to use your services again in the future.

5. Guarantees Compliance

In addition to keeping your customers happy, a large part of running a field service business involves taking measures to protect your workers’ health and safety and ensuring that you follow industry regulations.

When you don’t have complete visibility over your workers, guaranteeing that you’re running your operations compliantly becomes a near-impossible task. Nevertheless, if your business is found to be in breach of specific regulations, you could be hit with severe financial and reputational damage. 

The good news is, with a suitable job scheduling software such as BigChange in place, compliance worries can become a thing of the past.

BigChange records all actions in the system for a detailed audit trail, from engineers’ time spent on the road to timesheets and jobs completed. Subsequently, you can ensure that your field engineers are working within legal hours and that you’ve paid them the right amount for the work they’ve completed.

Additionally, your back-office team can create workflows to assign to each scheduled job. The workflows are mandatory and ensure that the technician has carried out appropriate health and safety measures, such as conducting a risk assessment before starting the project. 

Once the work is complete, they can capture photos and signatures from their mobile devices to ensure that the work is compliant and meets industry standards. The system instantly assigns every piece of information your technicians capture to the scheduled job, so you have a complete record to look back on should you need to in the future.

Make the Switch to Intelligent Scheduling with BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Checking in on a job and finding out your field service engineer has exceeded the legal working hours is a surprise no manager wants. As we all know, working in the field isn’t exactly predictable. There are contracts to sign, parts to order, and sometimes a job that should have taken one hour ends up taking four. Not to mention that driving time, an essential aspect of a field service engineer’s job, is counted as hourly work. 

Unless you’re prepared to receive a formal grievance from a resource, it’s best to learn the facts behind the UK’s employment laws and ensure you have procedures in place to prevent illegal overtime work before it happens. 

In this article, we will discuss what constitutes legal working hours and five strategies to help you maintain a compliant work schedule for your engineers.

How to Maintain Legal Working Hours: Five Top Tips

Like most workers in the UK, field service engineers are allowed to work a maximum of 48 hours a week, including overtime. For field service engineers, travel to and from each site, time spent on call on a worksite, and even travel between home and work all count as legal working hours. 

Whether or not overtime is stipulated in the contract, working more than 48 hours is considered in excess of the legal working hours. Employers have the option of asking their employees or contractors to opt out of the 48-hour work week, but a special contract must be signed stating so. 

Although there is a lot to keep track of, managing your employees’ working hours needn’t be a headache. 

Fortunately, we are living in a digital age where mobile workforce solutions like BigChange can help keep jobs on deadline, track working hours, and help you stay in compliance with UK labour laws.

1. Reduce Administrative Time with Digital Paperwork

What’s worse than knowing your field service managers are wasting hours on the job trying to find the right paperwork? 

Digitising your processes and procedures could greatly reduce the time that each field engineer spends on the job. With a mobile workforce management platform like BigChange, field service engineers can use their phone cameras to provide proof of a finished job, send requests for additional equipment with the tap of a finger, and view and share relevant files with the back office in real time. 

Best of all, using modern workforce management technology lets you see how each job is going and, most importantly, how long it’s taking, right from your phone, tablet, or computer.

2. Easily Track Field Engineer Hours

The easiest way to make sure your field service engineers stay within legal working hours is to see how many hours they’re putting in each day. Using BigChange’s mobile workforce management software, you will have access to each individual’s working hours, hourly pay, and any special out-of-hours rates. 

The software will help your back-office staff keep track of resource timesheets, expenses, and holidays. Using BigChange’s complete Job Management Platform, managers can also quickly approve and reject timesheets, holidays, and expense claims. 

BigChange’s detailed time-stamping feature also goes beyond when an engineer clocked in and out. It also includes when jobs were received and accepted, when the engineer began traveling, and when they arrived to begin work. Not only will this help you see exactly how your engineers are spending their time, you can also use this information if you face a customer complaint.

3. Reduce Driving Time with Intelligent Scheduling

One of the main reasons many jobs end up taking longer is due to driving time. Now that companies are required to pay field service engineers for time spent driving to clients, the hours can add up fast. 

The best way to address this problem is to reduce how far each technician travels for each job. Using BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant enables you to shorten your technicians’ routes by sharing the following real-time information:

  • Real-time resource location
  • live-traffic information
  • job constraints (such as skills or qualifications)
  • Type of vehicle
  • Inventory
  • Detailed service information
  • Customer history and requirements

As such, you can rest assured that you’re making the most of your technicians’ time and attending to more customers’ jobs per day.

4. Stop Overbooking Before It Happens

When business is moving at such a fast pace, it’s not always easy to make sure that your field service engineers aren’t accruing excess hours. While having an individual profile of each engineer’s working hours, holidays, and absences can help you stick to the legal working hour limit, having systems in place to alert you if there’s a possibility of overtime work is your best bet. 

Beyond simply tracking hours and cutting out time-consuming paperwork, BigChange’s mobile workforce management software enables employers to set up custom alerts to notify engineers if they’re in danger of over-running a job. 

Field service engineers are also empowered to pause, suspend, or reject jobs that they either don’t have the bandwidth to perform or are running over schedule. All of this communication can be done seamlessly through the BigChange app so that field service engineers and the back-office are always on the same page instantaneously.

5. Complete Extra Work Orders with Subcontractors

When you’re doing good work, you often end up with more work as a result of your great reputation. Although a boost to your bottom line is always beneficial, it could make sticking to each individual’s 48-legal working hours a challenge if you don’t have the field service engineers on-hand to handle your workload.

Being able to easily hire subcontractors when you have an unexpected workload is a great way to address this problem. Luckily, setting up subcontractor licenses through the BigChange Network makes hiring extra help a breeze.

Guarantee Legal Working Hours with BigChange

BigChange’s mobile workforce management software doesn’t just help simplify your business procedures, it also provides you with various ways to avoid exceeding legal working hours for your field service engineers. 

Whether it’s digitising job paperwork, easily tracking your field service engineers’ hours, hiring the best and closest engineers for the job, or bringing on a subcontractor when there’s a large workload, using the BigChange mobile workforce management platform will help you keep your staff within their legal working hours. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Running a business isn’t an easy task, and it becomes even trickier when you throw complex data protection laws into the mix. Shockingly, over half (52%) of businesses aren’t GDPR compliant, putting them at risk of severe operational, financial and reputational damage.  

For field service businesses, collecting customer data is a necessary part of the process. You couldn’t send an engineer to a customer’s home without knowing their address, for example. So, how do you ensure that you’re managing sensitive information compliantly?

In this article, we’ll break down the jargon to explain what GDPR is and how it affects field service businesses that need to store customer data. We’ll then share how you can manage your clients’ details compliantly and explore the benefits of using a cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) system.

What is GDPR and How Does it Affect Field Service Businesses?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, which is the strictest privacy law in the world. Although the European Union (EU) originally drafted and passed the regulation, it affects any organisation that targets or collects data related to people in Europe. 

Ultimately, the regulation is designed to give people more control over their personal data.

Since GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018, businesses have had to follow more stringent processes when obtaining and storing customer information to avoid the harsh penalties of non-compliance. 

But, how do you ensure that your business isn’t in breach of GDPR? Read on to find out more.

Customer Data Compliance: How Do I Ensure My Business is Not in Breach of GDPR?

Whether you’re a large corporation or an SME (Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise), you are fully responsible for protecting your customers’ data. As it stands, the maximum fine for infringements is £17.5 million or 4% of your annual turnover – whichever is greater.

Consequently, it’s essential to put together a compliance strategy.

Below are five steps you can take towards ensuring that your company is GDPR-compliant. However, it’s also essential to seek advice from a lawyer about legal requirements for your particular business.

1. Identify the Type of Data You’re Collecting

The first step to managing customer data according to GDPR is identifying and categorising the type of information you’re collecting. Here are some examples of personal data that field service organisations may need to keep a record of:

  • Names
  • Home addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Credit card or bank account details

Once you’ve figured out the type of data you’ll be storing, you can determine the best method of processing it compliantly. 

2. Process the Data Correctly

Any time you obtain, use, share or store a customer’s data, you need to follow the seven GDPR principles, which are:

1. Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency: You must process all personal data according to the law and ensure that you’re transparent about the actions you’re taking.

2. Purpose Limitation: You shouldn’t collect or store customer data for anything other than its intended, legal purpose or without proper permission.

3. Data Minimisation: Only collect the minimum amount of personal data you need to deliver your service.

4. Accuracy: Never collect, store or use inaccurate or outdated details.

5. Storage Limitation: Only keep data for as long as necessary. Once you no longer require the details, you must dispose of them correctly. You may also anonymise data if you intend to use it for business reporting purposes (for example, how many customers visited your website over the last five years).

6. Integrity and Confidentiality: You must process all data in a manner that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction or damage.

7. Accountability: You should be accountable for how you handle customer data.

Remember, the GDPR requires you to prove the nature of consent between you and your customers. As such, you should keep a comprehensive record of how clients joined your database and what permissions they provided.

3. Keep Customers’ Information Secure

Regardless of how you choose to store your customers’ details, you must adopt safety measures to secure the database. Unfortunately, if you rely on spreadsheets and legacy systems to defend sensitive information, you risk becoming the victim of a data breach. 

Instead, you can ensure that your database is completely secure when you use a modern, cloud-based CRM system. Unlike in-house CRMs, which are vulnerable to hackers, cloud CRM providers encrypt customer data and create backups. 

Cloud systems enable you to take immediate action whenever security threats are detected so you can prevent any issues before they become serious. Additionally, the backups ensure that you can restore your entire database if the system crashes due to a virus.

4. Listen to Your Customers and Action their Requests

58% of people in the UK said they are concerned that a company might sell their personal information to other companies. Naturally, your customers will want to protect their data and GDPR is designed to give them more control over the way businesses use their details.

Therefore, you must make provisions for clients to exercise their rights by allowing them to access their data and deleting or modifying their details when asked. Your responses should be prompt, and you will need to provide a genuine, logical reason if you wish to delay or refuse their requests.

5. Assess Your Database for Risks

Since field service businesses deal with a high volume of customer data and collect information such as home addresses and bank details, you should carry out a DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment). 

Much like a standard impact assessment, a DPIA is designed to help you identify and minimise any data protection risks. Your DPIA must:

  • Describe the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing
  • Assess necessity, proportionality and compliance measures
  • Identify and assess risks to individuals
  • Highlight any additional steps to mitigate risks

If you identify a high risk that you cannot mitigate, you must consult the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) before you begin processing data.
To learn more about DPIA and when you should carry out an assessment, click here.

What are the Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based CRM System to Manage Customer Data?

Evidently, there is a lot to think about to ensure that you’re operating compliantly. However, thanks to modern technology, customer data compliance needn’t be a headache. In reality, using CRM software not only ensures that you’re following the GDPR but also boasts a range of other benefits that your business will enjoy. 

Here are four reasons why a cloud-based CRM system is a must-have for any field service management business:

1. More Straightforward for Your Team

A study conducted by Professor of Business, Raymond R. Panko showed that the probability of human error is between 18-40% when people manually enter data into simple spreadsheets. For complex spreadsheets, the possibility of error escalates to a staggering 100%. So it’s not that people are lazy or incompetent, but that repetitive data entry directly causes mistakes. 

But, when it comes to GDPR, there is no room for error. 

If you’re still relying on antiquated legacy systems, spreadsheets and other paper-based methods of managing customer data, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll be fined for non-compliance.

Luckily, modern CRM systems eliminate all the arduous manual processes and paperwork by keeping everything on one easy-to-use platform. Your team can find your customers’ contact details directly in the system using Google Maps to ensure all the data is correct as it goes into the database.

Your back-office staff can then use the pre-populated information to communicate directly with customers, who will have the option to opt-in or out of marketing emails. Since the CRM stores all correspondence with customers, it will immediately record their preferences and sort them into categories. Your team then doesn’t have to worry about remembering which customers don’t want to be contacted each time they send out communications.

2. Lower Costs

Field service organisations that use paper-based documents and manual processes to manage their operations spend more money than needed. Gartner estimates that as much as 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, filing and the costs to store and maintain files of information.

Therefore, going paperless and managing customer data on a CRM system isn’t just great for the environment. It makes good business sense.
Instead of paying for additional storage or needing to hire people to manage the admin processes associated with paper files, your team can handle all your customers’ information on one online platform. Subsequently, you can respond much more rapidly to clients’ ‘amend’ or ‘delete’ requests, enabling you to meet the 30-day GDPR requirement.

3. Improved Communication with Your Customers

It may seem like GDPR is designed to stop companies from reaching out to their customers, but this isn’t the case. In truth, the regulation has led to an increase in data quality, which is good news for the 64% of businesses that believe inaccurate data undermines their ability to provide an excellent customer experience. 

When you use a cloud-based CRM system to manage customer data, you will be able to see the bigger picture and categorise your clients based on their preferences. As a result, you’ll only be sending personalised marketing communications to customers that opted-in, meaning that click-throughs and engagement are likely to skyrocket.

With increased customer engagement, you can use the data the CRM collects to inform future marketing campaigns and tailor your services to client requirements.

4. Customers’ Data is Protected

In today’s digital world, protecting your clients’ data is more critical than ever. In fact, failure to keep sensitive details safe could be detrimental to your organisation, with 71% of people saying they would take their business elsewhere after a data breach.

When you use a spreadsheet to store and handle customer information, you’re inadvertently putting your organisation at risk of a data breach. Spreadsheets are easy to duplicate and share with others, meaning your database of sensitive customer data could end up in anyone’s hands. 

Even if you have protected your spreadsheets with passwords, you still can’t guarantee that someone won’t gain unlawful access to them. So, it can be challenging to prove that you have taken the proper precautions to secure customer information in the event of a breach.

In contrast, a cloud-based CRM system significantly lowers the possibility of a data breach. For example, BigChange’s CRM secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), which is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-used cloud platform in the world. 

As such, you can show customers that you take data privacy seriously, and they can rest assured that their information is in good hands.

Guarantee GDPR Compliance on BigChange’s Cloud-Based CRM System

Managing data subject consent doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

BigChange equips you with the tools you need to handle all customer data compliantly at the touch of a button, with our market leading Job Management Software.

Carry out GDPR-compliant management of an individuals’ data within the system, including opt-in preferences. Anonymise data, and add flags to segment contacts for financial or marketing purposes. 

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Did you know that 40% of organisations experience growth using field service management software solutions? By modernising and streamlining your processes, you can eliminate inefficiencies and spend more time concentrating on business-critical tasks instead. 

However, you must ensure that you’re choosing the right solution for your company.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four things you should consider before implementing a solution and share how BigChange can help field service businesses reach their full potential.

What to Consider Before Implementing Field Service Management Software Solutions

There are many field service management software solutions on the market. But they’re not all created equally. To ensure you’re implementing the right one for your business, you should consider the following:

1. Your Pain Points

The first step to figuring out what solution to implement is to think about your pain points. Currently, only 52% of organisations are using field service management software solutions. The remaining businesses continue to rely on error-prone manual processes and antiquated legacy systems to manage their operations, which leads to a host of challenges. 

Here are some of the most common issues field service businesses encounter:

  • Job scheduling issues
  • Poor first-time rates
  • Inadequate communication methods
  • Lack of visibility over operations
  • Inconsistent cash flow
  • Inability to track performance

You should look at your current ways of working to figure out where the weaknesses are and what you can do to alleviate any problems. For example, if cash flow issues are plaguing your company, you may want to consider a solution with an inbuilt invoicing and payment feature

For more insights on the top field service management challenges and ways to mitigate them, click here.

2. Team Requirements

The next most important aspect you must consider is your team since they will use the system daily. Remember, your back office employees will have different requirements to your field technicians, so it’s worth getting both teams’ opinions.

Back-Office Staff

If your business currently relies on outdated systems and manual, paper-based processes, chances are you’re missing out on the opportunity to boost productivity. Workers who have to complete repetitive, mundane tasks on a daily basis are likely to be less satisfied with their jobs, leading to more errors and slowed workflows.

However, companies that go paperless notice that team productivity rises by nearly 30%. By eliminating the monotonous aspects of the job, your team will have more time and feel more motivated to focus on activities that directly contribute to business growth.

Therefore, you should take time to identify where processes could be streamlined and modernised. Once you’ve determined what you can do to improve your working practices, you can look for the right field service management solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Field Technicians

45% of technicians report that their current tools aren’t fast enough, and a further 38% say they can’t access all the information they need. Aside from being frustrating for your technicians, lack of correct tools or information leads to delayed work, confusion and dissatisfied customers.

Because your team spends most of their day off-site at customer jobs, you should consider using a cloud-based field service management software that includes a mobile app. With access to all the information they need at their fingertips, your technicians will be able to focus on getting the job done. Plus, they can instantly provide real-time updates to your back-office staff and complete digital documents on their mobile devices, making for a more seamless and rapid workflow.

3. Customer Needs

In today’s client-driven market, customer experience (CX) is king, and more field service businesses will need to consider how to make their operations meet expectations. In fact, 92% of field service executives want to transform their service models to meet customer needs.

Fortunately, improving customer experience needn’t be challenging or costly, thanks to cloud-based field service management software. Using a platform with an inbuilt CRM (customer relationship management) system allows you to anticipate your customers’ needs using real-time data and deliver an outstanding service.

State-of-the-art CRMs allow you to easily manage each customer’s case in the system, allocate and dispatch workers, provide personalised updates using templates and instantly issue important documents for speedy invoicing and payment. As such, your customers will appreciate the swift and convenient service and may be more likely to use your company again in the future.

4. The Future of Your Organisation

Processes that currently work for your business may not work in the future. Using inefficient methods to manage your operations could result in errors, delays, and burnt-out staff. According to University College London (UCL), overworked employees report more health problems, and as a direct consequence, are less productive and use more sick days.

Therefore, you must find software that can scale alongside your operations. With BigChange’s cloud-based field service software, you’ll have access to five helpful workforce management systems all on one, easy-to-use platform. 

Get the most out of your existing staff without hiring extra resources to keep up with increasing business activities by streamlining processes and going paperless. Your team can complete various actions, such as scheduling jobs, dispatching workers and updating your customers, at the touch of a button. As a result, they’ll have more hours each day to target more meaningful tasks.

Grow Stronger on the BigChange Complete Job Management Platform

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

As of 2020, only 52% of businesses are using field service management software. The rest continue to rely on outdated legacy systems and error-prone manual processes to manage their field service operations.

Therefore, it’s unsurprising that field service organisations experience a host of common issues, including miscommunication, delays, and inconsistent cash flow. But, by modernising your processes and using the latest technology to improve your workflow, you could eliminate complications and free up your time to focus on business-critical activities instead.

Also, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve. Roughly half of your competitors haven’t yet made the most of technology, so early adopters will find themselves in a highly lucrative position.

In this article, we’ll explore the top four challenges in field service management and share how field service management technology can provide a cost-effective and straightforward solution.

The Top 4 Field Service Management Challenges

1. Scheduling Conflicts

Scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the main field service management challenges for businesses today. However, job management is one of the most crucial aspects of running a field service organisation since it ensures that your people know what they’re supposed to be doing, when and where.

Without proper scheduling processes in place, you may find it tricky to keep track of everything, leading to delays, clashes and double booking. Not only are these conflicts inconvenient for both your technicians and your customers, but they also have the potential to affect your bottom line.

However, by replacing traditional manual processes with an intelligent scheduling assistant, you won’t have to worry about allocating resources anymore. Modern software uses real-time data to guide you to the perfect engineer for each job, taking into account location, traffic, job constraints and vehicle type.

Consequently, you can be confident that you’re making the most of your technicians’ time and keeping your customers happy simultaneously. 

2. Asset and Stock Management

It’s estimated that inaccurate asset management reporting results in an approximate $1.1 trillion loss for companies worldwide. As such, your asset and stock management reports must be reliable; otherwise, you could be haemorrhaging revenue.

Businesses that rely on paper-based documentation and spreadsheets may find that, over time, numbers become skewed, and equipment goes missing. As a result, you may have to halt projects because you don’t have the right items available or end up over-ordering on stock that your staff has miscounted.

In comparison, when you use live asset and stock management software, you can easily keep track of all your belongings, regardless of location. Plus, you can assign stock and assets directly to jobs within the system, so your technicians will never be without the correct gear.

3. Communication and Administration

When businesses rely on archaic manual methods of communication, such as phone calls, texts and paper-based documentation, they are missing out on an excellent opportunity to increase efficiency. Poor communication and administration processes often lead to confusion and could destroy your entire workflow.   

In contrast, companies that adopt digital tools to alleviate field service management challenges achieve a 45% increase in the number of jobs completed each day. With a complete job management platform, you can manage the entire end-to-end process on one system, giving your back office staff and your field engineers complete visibility over the information they need when they need it.

The system updates information in real-time, meaning your team will receive live status updates on projects and be able to send automatic, personalised communications to your customers. Then, once your technicians have completed a job, they can simply fill out all forms from their mobile devices and generate an instant invoice.

By making administration and communication methods simpler for your team, you’ll find that they’re able to make the most of each day. For example, your back-office staff can allocate resources based on accurate information, and your technicians don’t have to spend hours completing paperwork. Instead, they can move straight onto the next scheduled job.

4. Invoicing and Payment

Since the beginning of the pandemic, late payments in the UK have shot up, with a 23% increase in unpaid invoices impacting companies nationwide. Subsequently, for your business to survive in a post-COVID world, you must streamline your payments process.

Organisations that don’t receive payments by the deadline could be unable to meet operational expenses, pay vendors, take on new projects or grow their operations. Fortunately, BigChange’s invoicing and financial technology integrates directly with your accounting software to increase efficiency, reduce errors and ensure that you get paid on time. 

Additionally, the system makes all documentation paperless, meaning that engineers can send invoices directly to your customers via their mobile devices as soon as they’ve completed the work. Customers can then pay on the same day using BigChange Pay, which provides them with the speediest and most convenient payment options.

By advancing the invoicing process, reducing the margin for human error and providing your customers with straightforward payment methods, you can rest assured that your cash flow will remain consistent.

Overcome Typical Field Service Problems with BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

According to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK businesses lost an eye-watering 38.8 million working days due to occupational ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries during 2019-20. However, companies could avoid a large proportion of these lost days in the future by ensuring that they manage their health and safety protocols effectively.

Fortunately, health and safety has come a long way since the days of clipboards and pens. There are now more superior ways to assess and mitigate risks, thanks to the technological advancements we’ve experienced in recent years. 

Read on to find out more about how health and safety compliance management software can aid in keeping your employees safe and benefit your business simultaneously.

Keeping Your Employees Safe with Technology: What are the Benefits?

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees, and anyone else who may be affected by your business, are safe from harm during working hours. However, when you rely on manual processes and paper-based documents to handle your health and safety procedures, you run the risk of occupational illnesses and injuries becoming more commonplace and, at worst, being fined for non-compliance.  

In contrast, health and safety compliance management software can simplify the entire process, reducing the potential for human error and improving worker health and safety. Here are just some of the benefits your organisation could enjoy by using technology to handle workplace hazards:

1. Less Human Error

When it comes to health and safety, human error can be the difference between life and death. With HSE recording 111 fatal workplace injuries over the course of just one year, businesses must do all they can to improve their processes and reduce the frequency of avoidable disasters.

By using health and safety compliance management software, you can significantly lower the margin for errors to occur. You will be able to manage all health and safety-related documents in the system using pre-populated, correct information. For example, you can add method statements that field engineers must complete from their mobile devices before they can begin a job. 

Promoting health and safety in the workplace via mandatory method statements reduces the likelihood that your technicians will forget vital protocols.

2. Guaranteed Compliance

In 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties for businesses that fail to manage health and safety risks appropriately. Consequently, the fine has skyrocketed to £150,000. Therefore, to avoid a severe financial hit, you must ensure your business manages workplace hazards compliantly.

Fortunately, keeping your employees safe needn’t be challenging or costly when you use the latest health and safety software

You can create mandatory electronic workflows and integrated mobile safety checklists, ensuring your technicians follow industry-standard protocols. Not only do these digital documents enable your workers to complete jobs compliantly, but they also have the potential to increase first-time fix rates significantly because they ensure that workers complete jobs to the highest standard.

3. Streamlined Processes and Improved Productivity

Typically, UK workers spend around two hours per day completing administration tasks. Consequently, companies are missing out on opportunities for growth since their employees are focused on manual processes instead of business-critical work.

Digitising your health and safety procedures eliminates the time-consuming paperwork and provides your team with a more streamlined workflow. Engineers can complete digital forms from their mobile devices and instantly send them through to your back-office team instead of filling out paper-based forms and hand-delivering them to the office at the end of the day.

The system automatically records all details, including any photographs the technicians take on-site, to ensure that you have an easy-to-access record of all work. As such, your employees won’t have to spend hours filing and sorting through documents and, instead, they can focus on doing what they do best.

4. Boosted Worker Morale

Research shows that companies with highly engaged employees experience 21% greater profitability, indicating that worker happiness plays a significant role in business success.

But, when your employees don’t believe that you’re prioritising their health and safety, their morale will take a nosedive. Plus, if there are lots of barriers standing in the way of your workers being able to complete jobs safely, they will have to waste time trying to resolve issues.

As a result, you’ll find that your workers take more sick days, and productivity reaches an all-time low.

With BigChange’s health and safety compliance management software, you and your employees can rest assured that suitable measures are in place to prevent workplace hazards. 

For example, field engineers can answer a questionnaire from their mobile device, which identifies risks at the customer site. The system automatically triggers an alert to your back-office staff, allowing them to take immediate action and protect the technician.

Plus, you can carry out daily electronic vehicle walk-around checks, which allow you to identify defects and potential problems. As a result, you’ll have a reliable and legal fleet on the road, and your technicians won’t have to worry about their safety as they travel to your customers.

Promoting Health and Safety in the Workplace Has Never Been Simpler with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walk-around checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?

Discover how our Job Management Software can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

51% of organisations continue to rely on phone calls, texts, outdated legacy systems and burdensome, paper-based administration methods to manage their field service operations. 

Businesses that continue to use manual and paper-based processes instead of adopting technologies to maximise their efficiency risk being left behind by competitors. Research shows that a massive 89% of customers prefer to use an “Uber-like” service for ordering and tracking field worker services, so traditional methods of managing your schedule aren’t going to keep your customers coming back in future.

Thankfully, job scheduling software can eliminate the difficulties of creating an efficient workflow and can automate the entire process for you and your customers. Streamlined ways of working impress your customers, reduces your back-office admin and boosts your bottom line. 

Read on to learn how to use software to simplify your field service appointment scheduling.

Using a self-service portal

88% of consumers expect an organisation to have some form of self-service portal available. If your business is still using a ‘contact us to book’ method for appointments, then you should consider adopting software that allows your customers to manage their bookings at their own convenience. Not only do self-service portals improve the customer experience, but you will likely see an increase in bookings.

Show your availability

Using self-service software allows your customers to book appointments when it suits them, at the most convenient time for them. Sharing your availability allows the customer to book immediately when they need to, instead of waiting for business hours to contact your company and find out when you are available to help them.

Additionally, online scheduling software enables your customers to log onto your schedule or reschedule jobs at the touch of a button. Again, the convenience of managing their booking themselves will save them time and create a better customer experience and reduce administrative work for your back-office team.

BigChange’s intelligent scheduling assistant goes even further by allowing your team to allocate and reallocate resources based on location, traffic information, job constraints, and vehicle type. As a result, your customers will get the best and nearest resource for the job — and be able to track their technician or engineer with the built-in geolocation.

Notification features

Providing your customers with transparency about the job status and their engineers’ locations is essential. In fact, if a business sends automatic updates, then 68% of customers have a better opinion of the company.

BigChange’s field service management software allows your customers to see the precise live location of their engineer via the geolocation vehicle tracking feature. Subsequently, they will never again wonder when the engineer will show up or have to wait around all day because they were given a vague timeslot.

Repeat customer bookings

Using online scheduling software that allows your customers to manage bookings on their own is one step in the right direction to building an excellent customer experience. However, you can go one step further to delight your customers by making it simpler than ever to book repeat appointments.

BigChange’s recurring job templates are perfect for customers who know they have many jobs for you. The recurring job feature enables you to group jobs so you can schedule them all in one go. Not only have you saved your customer time and stress, but the software makes for less administrative work for your office staff too.

The software still has features that allow you or your customer to create an automatic follow-up job if more work has to be carried out. Fortunately, the new appointment for the additional work will also link to any previous jobs so that all the relevant information is readily available for the customer or engineer who is working on it. 

The new job automatically created as a follow up will include the job contract, original project details, skills required, any constraints that apply, financial line items, original engineer’s comments about the job, and documentation such as risk assessments. Having all relevant information connected to each related job saves your field workforce time and admin when working on the new project. 

Automating and simplifying the scheduling process for your customers makes the experience of doing business with you faster and easier. Ultimately, that’s what customers expect for an excellent experience with your company.

Using scheduling software for more jobs and profit

With an intelligent scheduling assistant, you can optimise your schedule and free up more time for engineers to attend additional jobs each day. 

For example, the software can create a more streamlined calendar based on appointments, their purpose and the time they took. This system then frees up any time that had previously been unavailable for booking due to out of date manual scheduling processes or human error. 

56% of field service professionals say that their customers are demanding faster response times. By using software that optimises your schedule, you’ll have the resource to act rapidly. Your customer needs will be met quicker when using a scheduling assistant as the diary will likely have better availability since all other appointments are optimised. In addition, more free time means more ability to respond to emergency call outs, as the schedule can be flexible enough to accommodate emergency customer scenarios. 

Not only will the intelligent scheduling assistant allow you to take on more jobs to create more revenue, but you can make your bottom line stronger on BigChange because the platform has an integrated invoicing feature. The feature makes the payment process far more straightforward so that there are fewer delays and less admin involved in getting paid for completed work. In addition, quicker payments mean better cash flow, which benefits everyone in the business.

Field service appointment scheduling is simpler on BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

On average, employees waste around 26% of each day on burdensome administrative chores and outdated ways of working. Consequently, field service businesses are losing out on opportunities to improve their customer experience, complete more work, boost their bottom line and grow their company.

That’s where BigChange comes in. 

Martin Port, Founder and Chairman at BigChange, commented:

“I founded BigChange in 2013 to liberate businesses of all sizes from inefficient, manual processes. With our innovative platform, we have democratised the industry, creating a simple, scalable platform that lets any business manage its whole operation all the way from quotation to invoice on a mobile or tablet.”

Read on to learn more about BigChange’s field service management software and how it can help grow your business.

How BigChange’s Field Service Management Software Can Benefit Your Business

BigChange is a field service management platform that enables you to handle all aspects of running a field service business in one place. Modernise your ways of working and experience the following benefits when you deploy our system:

1. Advanced Back Office and CRM Processes

Research shows that 52% of field service businesses still rely on manual methods to keep their operations running. Although tried and tested processes may eventually get the job done, they’re terribly inefficient and could cause several problems, including:

Dissatisfied Customers

61.5% of marketing professionals agree that poor customer experience (CX) leads to a loss in clientele. Modern customers are used to straightforward, digital experiences, and they expect the same from your company, so you must consider ways to make your processes meet their standards. 

Unfortunately, sluggish, manual workflows aren’t going to cut it in today’s world of instant gratification, and businesses that don’t stay ahead of the curve run the risk of becoming obsolete.

However, with BigChange’s fully integrated CRM, customers can easily book and reschedule appointments via an online portal. You can then instantly log all interactions with each client for simple case management and create templates for automated communication, which keeps your customers in the loop. 

Plus, you can digitise all your paperwork, meaning that your field technicians can immediately send forms to your back office once they have completed a job. Customers won’t have to wait several days to sign documents as they’ll be able to sign straight away from their mobile device and receive an invoice the same day. 

Demotivated Workers

Did you know that happier employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy ones? Therefore, to get the most out of your people, you must ensure that their work is fulfilling and exciting. 

Teams that have to carry out laborious, repetitive tasks will become dissatisfied, leading to lowered productivity, poor communication with field engineers, more errors and, in some cases, resignations. 

Instead, when you arm your back-office employees with BigChange’s state-of-the-art field service management software, you eliminate several monotonous administration tasks and free up your team’s time to focus on business-critical projects. 

Irregular Cash Flow

Typically, it takes 11 hours for an AR (accounts receivable) team to manually process an invoice. Your customer then has to wait several more days to receive the invoice in the mail before they can write a cheque and mail it back to you, provided there are no errors that could inadvertently stall the process further.

Since manual processes are slow and inherently error-prone, they often lead to late payments, which can be detrimental to field service businesses. A poor cash flow may prevent you from taking on new projects, meeting operational expenses, maintaining supplier relationships, and growing your business.

In contrast, BigChange’s CRM software significantly reduces the risk of human error by making the entire invoicing process digital. You can produce all documents directly in the system using pre-populated customer data to ensure the information is correct.

According to Helen Carrison, Company Secretary at Kingston Cleaning Solutions:

“BigChange’s JobWatch is the perfect CRM solution. We don’t need delivery notes anymore, which saves us time and money. Now, customers can sign off jobs on the BigChange computer, and we can invoice straight away.”

2. Superior Job Scheduling

With so many organisations depending on outmoded processes to maintain their job schedule, it’s easy to see how scheduling and dispatching difficulties present one of the top challenges for field service businesses.

When you don’t have complete visibility over who is working for you, where they’re working and when, it can be tricky to ensure the right resource is always in the right place. 

But, with BigChange, scheduling issues can be a thing of the past. Our smart scheduling software enables you to do the following:

  • Account for location, traffic information, job constraints and vehicle type
  • Optimise technicians’ routes to reduce time spent on the roads and lower costs
  • Create rules for unscheduled jobs and automatically allocate them to custom categories
  • Produce custom pricing models for each job type, with customer-specific prices and rate tables
  • Check parts, equipment and stock availability in multiple locations and assign them to jobs
  • Design step-by-step workflows that mandate work against your standard processes
  • Create and share electronic certificates, reports and job cards instantly

As a result, you’ll be able to improve communication, boost first-time fix rates, complete more jobs per day, and offer better service to your customers, all of which help grow your business.

According to David Robbie, Managing Director at McDougall:

“BigChange has fundamentally impacted the way we operate. By automating job scheduling and routing, we have increased the number of jobs we can do with the same resources. Productivity has been boosted by 17 per cent.”

3. Real-Time Vehicle and Asset Tracking

Shockingly, 43% of businesses cannot track their inventory and assets effectively because they still use traditional methods such as paper-based tracking sheets.

Although, in theory, it may make sense to ask your technicians to sign equipment and assets in and out, it doesn’t work in practice. Whether the engineers’ writing is illegible, they forget to sign the sheets, or they accidentally take too many items and store them in their van for future projects, numbers will soon become skewed.

At worst, inconsistent numbers could eventually halt your projects because you may not have the right equipment available, despite your tracker showing that you do. You may also end up ordering replacement items needlessly, putting a dent in your profits.

BigChange’s real-time vehicle and asset tracker is designed to prevent inconsistencies and give you visibility over your assets, regardless of location. Also, with the system updating in real-time, you can track the location of all your vehicles and assets on the road to allocate resources rapidly throughout the ever-changing workday. 

Marty Collins, Office Manager at CMT Wood Flooring, commented:

“With BigChange’s software, we now have complete visibility, enhanced productivity, better customer service and improved driver behaviour. It’s also helped resolve disputes regarding times and locations.”

4. Easy-To-Use Mobile Workforce App

Although field technicians are off-site for most of the day, mobile technology is still not standard in field service businesses. However, 80% of field service technicians say that mobile technology is critical to increasing their efficiency and effectiveness at helping customers.

With BigChange’s mobile workforce app for iOS and Android, you and your technicians will have access to all the necessary information in one place. Furthermore, you can manage the entire end-to-end process, from appointment booking to invoicing, in the palm of your hand.

The app synchronises new jobs, completed jobs and those in progress between technicians’ mobile devices and your back office in real-time. Subsequently, your team can send job cards and certificates directly to your customers as soon as work is complete. 

Not only can the app free up more time for your technicians to focus on doing an outstanding job, but your customers will appreciate the more rapid service and excellent communication.

5. Revolutionary Collaboration Network

Historically, field service businesses that want to grow have had to hire more staff to keep up with increasing workloads. But, with the skills shortage presenting a threat to the industry, companies will need to think of other, innovative ways to expand without needing to take on more people or rely on unfamiliar subcontractors who are difficult and costly to manage.

Fortunately, with technology, the possibilities for business growth are endless.

BigChange’s Network is a seamless way of connecting with other trusted contractors and subcontractors in the system. You can collaborate with them to expand your services and increase your reach without high levels of capital expenditure. Additionally, you can sell your services to other BigChange users to add to your profits. 

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy by using the BigChange Network:

Free Business Listing

Post your business on the system and start receiving networking requests immediately. You’ll have the choice to work with a range of different companies.

Robust Security and Privacy

All information on the Network is entirely secure as we use the latest cloud-based technology.

Real-Time Progress Updates

You’ll be able to see how the job is progressing as contractors and subcontractors can provide live updates from their mobile devices.

Instant Alerting

Your contractor will receive an alert as soon as the subcontractor has completed the work, improving communication and ensuring everything remains on schedule.

Superior Processes

You can continue to use your own preferred worksheets so you can rest assured the subcontractor completes the job to your high standards.

Define the Job Types You Want

You’ll be able to share the types of jobs you want, along with the skills required to complete them.

A Straightforward Experience

Customers will still receive paperwork with the original company’s branding on it, but you can invoice as normal, so there’s no disruption on either end.

Agreed Rates

The system uses agreed rates shared via our Network to calculate the invoice, meaning you’ll never be out of pocket.

Above all, by meeting virtually every month with other members to network and form partnerships, you’ll feel inspired and have practical ideas on how to drive your business growth further.

Grow Your Field Service Business with BigChange

BigChange is the complete Job Management Platform that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences.

Bringing together customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management, business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform your business can run on.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange’s complete job management platform can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Statistics show that 52% of organisations continue to rely on phone calls, texts, outdated legacy systems and burdensome, paper-based administration methods to manage their field service operations. 

But, companies that want to prosper in a post-pandemic world will have to step up their game to meet customer expectations and maintain their cash flow. 

To effectively manage a field service business, you must ensure that you have excellent communication methods and efficient processes that maintain the workflow. Plus, you’ll need complete visibility over your workforce, inventory and finances.

With field service management software, you can seamlessly connect your office, field-based workers and customers. Better communication makes the entire procedure – from quotation to invoicing – streamlined and agile.

Read on to find out how technology can benefit your business in more detail.

How Will Field Service Management Software Help My Business?

1. Superior Job Scheduling

Job scheduling is a crucial component of field service management. However, organisations that depend on antiquated systems and manual processes to manage their schedule may struggle with unnecessary downtime, dispatching issues and overlaps that complicate the entire workflow.

With field service job scheduling software, you can simplify your job scheduling methods and increase efficiency. State-of-the-art platforms take into account future predicted workloads by allowing you to set up recurring jobs and allocate the resources required. 

Using real-time data and geolocation tracking, you can assign projects to the appropriately skilled engineer nearest to the customer. Modern systems can also handle the dynamic nature of the workday, enabling you to promptly re-allocate resources to fit in emergency jobs and mitigate any potentially costly issues before they occur.

Automated, smart scheduling processes reduce time spent on the road, lower travel costs and enable your field-based engineers to complete a higher volume of work each day.

Why Accurate and Reliable Data is So Important in Asset Management

Without accurate and reliable data, you won’t have full visibility over your equipment and assets. As a result, you could end up spending more money than you need to, reducing first-time fix rates, increasing downtime and losing high-value items. 

Instead, companies that have access to solid asset management data benefit from the following:

1. Fewer Equipment Losses

On paper, it makes sense to use manual check-out and check-in sheets to keep track of your equipment. However, traditional asset management methods don’t always work in practice and are inherently error-prone. In fact, human error is the leading problem for 46% of businesses when it comes to accurately reporting on assets.

Whether your technicians forget to sign the sheets, inadvertently take too many items and stash them in their van for another project, or their writing is simply illegible, you’ll soon realise that numbers aren’t adding up.

As such, your equipment can go missing, and there’s no exact way of tracking what happened to it. Not only will lost equipment likely stall other projects, but replacements can be pricey. 

Instead, when you digitise your asset management methods, you can create a detailed register of equipment and other vital assets, maintain a record of fitted parts, track item movements and include serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock. Your technicians can then check inventory in and out directly from their mobile devices, and you will have better visibility over your valuable equipment.

2. Visibility Over Finances

Cutting costs and increasing revenue are essential to business success. But, if you don’t have complete visibility over your financial data, or if information is stored across multiple platforms, you may be unable to visualise the whole picture, create suitable budgets or make informed decisions.

Field service management software gives you complete visibility over operational spending and other vital metrics such as unpaid or overdue invoices. With access to the latest and most accurate data all stored in one place, you’ll be able to make better judgments when ordering stock and create more realistic budgets for the future based on your current situation.

Better control over your finances and spending will ensure that your business has the funds it needs to take on more projects in the future and continue to grow. 

3. Enhanced Cash Flow

Let’s imagine for a moment that your accounts receivable team has mailed a paper invoice to your customer. The invoice arrives several days later, and the customer puts it on their finance department’s desk to process. 

However, the customer’s finance department accidentally throws the paper in the bin. Several days later, your accounts receivable team realises that the payment is overdue, so they call the client. 

Unfortunately, their finance department can’t find the invoice, so your team now has to send out a new one and wait even longer for the cheque to come through. In the meantime, your cash flow has taken a hit, and you’re wondering how you’ll cover other operational expenses.

With field service management software, you can speed up the payments process. Once your field-based engineers have marked the job as complete from their mobile devices, an electronic invoice is immediately issued to your customer. Alternatively, your accounts receivable team can generate the invoice directly in the system. You can also include payment links, which enable your customers to pay via card and mark the invoice as complete.

No more lost or forgotten invoices. No more waiting weeks on end for payments.

4. Increased Customer Satisfaction

By removing the reliance on phone calls and paper-based documents, you could be saving around two hours each day, making the process much speedier for both the customer and your back-office team. You can manage all administrative aspects of a project on one easy-to-use platform with field service management software.  

Instead of being stuck on the phone for 15 minutes to make an appointment, customers can book online via the portal. You can then allocate the best resource for the job based on set requirements or skills and send your customers real-time status updates. 

When engineers complete their jobs, having filled in the electronic paperwork as they go, the system instantly generates job cards, certificates and invoices to email to the customer or head office. You can also provide your customers with a survey to measure your performance, so you can be sure that they are pleased with the job. 

Not only will your customers be satisfied with the communication, along with the quality and speed of the work, but they’re likely to spend more as a result of the exemplary service.


5. Guaranteed Compliance

Annually, UK companies lose approximately £16.2 billion as a result of injury. In addition to hazards for your technicians, poor compliance can endanger your customers. For example, if your engineer incorrectly installs an electrical system, it can catch fire.

Therefore, it’s critical for any field service business to prioritise health and safety. With a field service management system, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents:

  • Digitised paperwork: Engineers fill out the forms and paperwork from their mobile devices. You can set mandatory fields within the digital documents to ensure that the workers follow the correct protocols. Engineers can also attach time, date and geolocation-stamped photos, videos and more to the work order as evidence.
  • Geolocation tracking and online timesheets: With a digital record of your engineers’ working hours, you can ensure that they’re not exceeding legal limits. 
  • Scheduling: You can set automatic service schedules for installed equipment to guarantee that they’re inspected at set intervals and are continuing to operate correctly.

By reducing the number of workplace incidents, you’ll have happier staff and customers, your reputation will flourish and your business will grow.

Manage Your Field Service Business Effectively with BigChange

BigChange is the complete job management software system that’s helping field service businesses across the UK to win more work, take control of their operations and deliver winning customer experiences. Bringing customer relationship management (CRM), job scheduling, live tracking, field resource management, financial management and business intelligence into one simple to use and easy to integrate platform.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

Since 19th July, otherwise known as ‘freedom day’ in the UK, businesses have had to carefully consider how stage four of the government roadmap will affect their ways of working. With many people returning to the office post-lockdown, facilities managers have a considerable part to play in ensuring that employees are kept safe in the workplace.

But, despite the lockdown ending, COVID remains widespread across the country and will need to be carefully managed for some time. So, what is the role of a facilities manager during this transitional period, and how can they ensure worker safety maintains a priority?

In this article, we explain why facilities management is so important and share the role of a facilities manager in a post-lockdown workplace.

Why is Facilities Management so Important?

Facilities Managers play an essential role in any workplace because they manage the day-to-day organisation and delivery of services on behalf of your business. They aim to reduce running costs and enable your company to meet all its objectives.

The role of a facilities manager may include the following:

  • Staff safety
  • Ensuring that all facilities comply with UK legislation and guidance
  • Ordering stock

During COVID, facilities management has become more vital than ever before. Since March 2020, workplace health and safety practices have been under a magnifying glass, putting pressure on facilities managers to adhere to the latest government guidelines. 

However, measures designed to protect against the spread of COVID, such as social distancing and work from home restrictions, have come to an end. Therefore, facilities managers have to deal with a new set of challenges. Now, they must consider ways to keep everyone safe on-site during a pandemic when there are no official guidelines in place.

Post-Lockdown: What is a Facilities Manager’s Responsibility?

Employers have a legal duty to manage risks associated with their workplace, including any COVID-related threats to worker health. Subsequently, you must take appropriate steps to mitigate any issues before they arise.

That’s where facilities management comes in. Here are some measures facilities managers should take to ensure the workplace remains a safe environment for staff:

Carry Out a Risk Assessment

The first stage of protecting everyone in your building is to carry out a workplace risk assessment, which highlights potential hazards to health and safety. Once you’ve completed the evaluation, you can decide whether you have taken enough precautions to prevent harm.

All measures must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations. But, during the pandemic, you may need to consider some additional risks. For example:

  • Is the building well ventilated?
  • Is there enough room to maintain distance between workers?
  • Do you have adequate hand sanitising facilities?

You will also need to consider those at higher risk of infection, such as the clinically vulnerable or people who haven’t yet received both doses of the vaccination. Facilities managers will need to make reasonable adjustments for anyone who could be adversely affected by the virus.

Remember, if you employ over five people, you must document your findings. With a 5-in-1 workforce management system like BigChange, you can easily keep an electronic record of all your risk assessments for future reference, saving you from having to file and store your findings manually.

Communicate Health and Safety Measures to Staff

Following a risk assessment, the role of a facilities manager is to communicate their findings — along with any preventative measures they’ve put in place — with employees. Strong communication will ensure that everyone is aware of their role in maintaining health and safety in the workplace.

Some steps facilities managers may wish to take to prevent the spread of COVID could include:

1. Planning a Gradual Return to the Office

Although mandated working from home restrictions have ended, the government still recommends a gradual return to the workplace over the summer. Therefore, you should consider scheduling return dates for your staff and communicating them clearly with each individual.

2. Encouraging a Respectful Environment

It’s worth communicating to employees that ‘freedom day’ doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone, and some people still may not be comfortable with contact. Encourage staff to be respectful of other people’s wishes and to maintain distance to prevent the spread of COVID where possible.

3. Maintaining Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It’s no longer mandatory to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces. However, COVID still poses a threat to public health, so the government advises people to use ‘personal risk-based judgements’. As such, they suggest that everyone continues to wear a mask in crowded and enclosed spaces.

Workplaces will need to ensure that they’ve taken all reasonable steps to minimise health and safety risks, so facilities managers may want to encourage all non-exempt employees to wear a mask when they’re not sitting at their desks.

Make the Role of a Facilities Manager Simpler with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walkaround checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.

Although official government COVID restrictions ended on 19 July in the UK, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) announced that its pandemic safety guidance would remain in place for construction firms that wish to maintain them as a means of protecting their workers. The CLC commented:

“Whilst it would be inappropriate for the CLC to seek to impose on the industry any requirements over and above those set out by the Government, we recognise that businesses across the supply chain have welcomed the consistency that the CLC guidance has provided.”

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the guidance and share how you can continue to keep your employees healthy and safe.

Construction Industry COVID Guidance

According to research, 90% of UK construction firms reported a reduction in revenue due to the pandemic, making it one of the worst affected industries. Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to be widespread across the country and will need to be managed for some time. As such, it’s more critical than ever to ensure your employees are healthy and able to complete projects. 

Whilst official restrictions are no longer in place, the Construction Leadership Council has still made their pre-‘freedom day’ guidance available for construction firms that want to continue protecting their workforce. 

Here are some workplace measures you may want to consider:

1. When to Go to Work

The Construction Leadership Council recommends that, if employees can’t work from home, they should socially distance themselves from others in the workplace. In some cases, your employees may need to self-isolate, for example, if they have:

  • Received a positive COVID test result
  • Been exposed to COVID via someone in their household
  • Returned from a country on the red list
  • Been told to isolate by the NHS

Encouraging your employees to isolate when necessary reduces the risk of them coming into work and spreading the virus across your entire workforce. Plus, with a solution such as the  BigChange Network in place, isolating employees needn’t be a hindrance to projects. Instead, they can continue to work remotely and communicate with colleagues in real-time, safeguarding workflows.

However, if a staff member develops symptoms of COVID at work, they must immediately alert their manager and return home to take a test. If the test result is positive, the worker shouldn’t return to the site until they have completed their period of isolation and are no longer unwell.

2. Site Access

The key to preventing the spread of COVID on-site is to limit the number of people in enclosed areas of the building. For example, you may want to prohibit access for any non-essential visitors or schedule staggered start and finish times for your office-based staff, so that they’re not all in the building at the same time.

For your field-based workers, you should reduce the number of people in attendance at site inductions. Consider holding site inductions outdoors whenever it’s practical to do so. Drivers should also aim to remain in their vehicles when loading and unloading deliveries when possible. If they must exit the vehicle, they should wash or sanitise their hands before handling any materials.

To ensure that everyone is following best hygiene practices, you must provide your workers with suitable toilet and handwashing facilities and make them aware of any COVID safety measures you have in place to prevent contamination.

3. On-Site Facilities

If your offices have communal areas such as canteens or showers, you should also consider ways to mitigate the risk of a COVID outbreak in those spaces. For example, you may wish to make it mandatory for non-exempt employees to wear a face mask when they’re not sitting at their desks or outdoors. 

Again, you should consider capacity. Try to limit the number of people using communal facilities at one time and encourage everyone to socially distance. You can control the group size by staggering break times or providing additional recreational areas for staff members to use during the day.

As with any area in the building, you must frequently clean surfaces and provide handwashing facilities.

4. Work Planning

You should conduct a risk assessment to determine whether work can continue safely and share the results with your employees. The Construction Leadership Council advises that certain activities should be eliminated or reduced to lower the risk of a COVID outbreak at work:

  • Eliminate: Workers who have COVID shouldn’t attend the workplace. Likewise, you should avoid holding in-person meetings where several people will be in one room.
  • Reduce: You should minimise the frequency and time that people are working together. Ensure you keep teams to small numbers and that they frequently wash their hands.

For COVID safety measures to be effective, everyone in your construction firm must take responsibility for their actions. Encourage an open and collaborative approach where employees can discuss any issues. As a result, you’ll find that your employees work better and more safely together.

5. First Aid

You still need to administer first aid to workers until the emergency services attend. However, there may be delays in the emergency service’s response due to the pandemic. Consequently, you should consider rescheduling high-risk work or providing additional trauma resources. You must also ensure that there is adequate first aid equipment on-site and that worker contact details are up-to-date. With BigChange, you can store all employee information electronically for straightforward access during emergencies.

To read the complete Construction Leadership Council guidance, click here.

Protect Your Workers and Your Construction Firm with BigChange

Your people are your most important asset. 

BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.

With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walkaround checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority.

Want to find out more?

Discover how BigChange field service management software can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.



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