What is a Mobile Workforce?

A mobile workforce is a labour pool consisting of employees who work outside of a physical office, or who are not tied to a single, central location.

When employees are at their desks, in the office or connected remotely through remote-work platforms, it’s relatively easy to give them the support they need to perform their jobs well. Overseeing, tracking productivity and gathering employee analytical data is likewise fairly straightforward. But not every employee operates out of an office — or a home office. Field service technicians and other mobile workers represent a breed of workforce that relies on mobile technologies to remain fully connected while performing tasks away from their home base.   

In a mobile workforce, employees are connected not by physical proximity, but through mobile technology. This allows them to collaborate, coordinate and communicate as though in person, regardless of where they are at any given moment. Whether handling on-site repair and maintenance tasks, engaging in D2D sales, making deliveries or performing any of the hundreds of other jobs that take employees out into the field, your mobile workforce depends on technological support to help you grow your business.

In addition to allowing business to remain operational during the pandemic, there are several other benefits to fielding a mobile workforce. These include the following:
Benefits of a Mobile Workforce


COVID-19 may have been one of the farthest-reaching disruptions to business-continuity of the 21st century, but it is certainly not the only set of circumstances that might require remote-work capability. In most occurrences where a business may experience downtime or find that their physical offices are inaccessible, remote work employees can continue doing their jobs unaffected.

Access to a larger talent pool

Traditional hiring is limited to those employees who live within a reasonable distance from the office (or who are willing to relocate). Mobile workforces have no such restrictions, opening untapped global talent pools and allowing businesses to base their hiring decisions on skills and experience, rather than location.

Better communication

When communication is only possible within the office, companies may miss important, time-sensitive details. With the right communication technology, mobile workforces can remain connected and responsive.

Enriched employee and customer experience

Another advantage of advanced communication technology in the mobile workforce is its ability to connect employees and customers. This not only improves the customer experience, but also simplifies many employee responsibilities associated with customer service and support. Mobile workforce support empowers employees to do their best work by giving everyone in the field—employees and contractors—the details, customer information, contextual knowledge and parts to finish the job on the first visit.

Improved cost efficiency

Renting and maintaining office space is a significant, ongoing expense. Mobile workforces need no such space, operating out of private homes or other internet-optimised locations. Businesses can instead invest more in the technology that supports their employees.

Increased employee insights

When workforces go remote, they depend much more heavily on digital tools. Most of these tools include advanced analytics features, allowing companies to capture key metrics associated with employee behaviour and performance. This mobile workforce management software is essential to creating an effective mobile workforce strategy.

Enhanced planning and scheduling

Improve work planning and scheduling efficiency with automation, optimisation and capacity planning. ServiceNow Field Service Management (FSM) matches skills, availability and location for dynamic, automatic scheduling that reduces travel and costs and increases productivity and customer satisfaction.

The advantages of a mobile workforce are hard to overlook, but with these benefits come certain challenges. Namely, how can businesses ensure real-time communication, manage employee schedules and track their workforces when those employees are potentially spread across the globe? Mobile workforce management software provides the solution.

Mobile workforce management software is designed to support mobile workers and give employers greater visibility and management control. By bringing together advanced automation features, data capture, and collaboration technologies, mobile workforce solutions create a best-of-both-worlds scenario where in-field workforces can operate outside of the office without restricting management or creating blind spots for business analytics. Technicians have the information and resources they need to resolve the issue on their first visit, and employers gain increased transparency into essential field-work KPIs.

The most effective mobile workforce management software solutions include:

  • Schedule creation and automation 

  • Capacity planning

  • Time logging 

  • Service engagement tracking

  • Performance analysis 

  • Inventory management

  • Contractor management  

  • Preventive maintenance

  • Integration with other management tools 

ServiceNow FSM provides the right outcomes to support your mobile workforce. With FSM, customers saw first-time fix rates improve by 20%.

When employees congregate together in physical office locations, companies have a lot more control over the workspace. But businesses do not control the workspaces of remote employees. As such, a major hurdle to creating an effective mobile workforce is creating and supporting work environments that are productive, collaborative and secure—while also allowing remote workers to access the systems and data they need to perform their jobs.

To address these issues, businesses with mobile workforces must overcome the following challenges: 

Device management

Outfitting employees with computers and other devices is relatively simple when work is only performed in the office. But when workers become remote, they tend to prefer to choose their own devices while still expecting a seamless user experience. This can create additional complexity for organisations that must either establish detailed policies regarding user devices or risk the dangers of connecting less-compatible software and hardware to the business network.

BYOD security

Going hand in hand with the previous point, remote bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies must include up-to-date security measures. Otherwise, sensitive business and customer data may be at risk.

Resource tracking

Field service companies must be able to account for valuable resources no matter where they are. Resource tracking capabilities should include knowing what inventory is available and where, which agents possess which skills, and how each of these resources is currently scheduled or deployed.

Instant information access

In business, time matters. Remote employees must have instant, real-time access to systems, tools and data. Otherwise, organisations risk costly delays or may find themselves basing decisions on outdated information.

Application management

Every mobile workforce is as unique as the businesses that field them, and that means that every mobile workforce has its own software needs. Companies must determine for themselves whether they have the resources to build custom mobile apps for their workforce, or if purchasing pre-built apps from third-party vendors may be a better solution.

Customer expectations

Field-service businesses need to be able to operate within customer schedules and meet customer demand while working directly with clients. Non-field-service mobile workforces likewise must be capable of providing comparable (or superior) customer experience to that offered by in-office workforces.

Workforce complexity

As with any system that incorporates new layers or variations, mobile workforces that include remote workers, hybrid workers, in-office employees, field-service agents, contractors etc. face a significant increase in complexity. Managers must know how to effectively schedule and track all employees while coordinating their efforts and ensuring that they have the support they need.

Not every employee is tethered to an office. A mobile workforce allows you to reach your customers where they are, delivering vital services on the move. But managing a mobile workforce is not the same as managing employees in-office, and that presents certain challenges. For those who are interested in providing more effective support for in-field employees, teams and departments, ServiceNow FSM is the answer.

ServiceNow FSM brings the full power of the Now Platform® to your agents on location. Integrate field services with customer service to break down silos and connect your mobile workforce with the rest of your business. Automate the scheduling and dispatching and ensure that the right priorities are assigned to the right agents. Optimise in-field inventory management and provide mobile debriefings to ensure that your people know exactly what to expect, and what they need to get the job done. And through it all, apply AI-enhanced analytics to gain insights, identify trends and eliminate bottlenecks. ServiceNow makes it possible.

Learn more about ServiceNow FSM and give your remote workforce everything it needs to succeed—no matter how far from the office they may be.

Dive deeper into ServiceNow Field Service Management

Manage location-based work efficiently and safely to deliver exceptional customer service in the field.

Loading spinner