Trends Report

Digital Tools Bring Workers Closer To Their Physical Environment

Digital Tools Reached Front-Line Workers More Slowly Than Their Office-Bound Peers: Now They’re Being Used In Very Different Ways

September 28th, 2021
With contributors:
Pascal Matzke , Martha Bennett , Bernhard Schaffrik , Keith Johnston , Brian Hopkins , Julie Ask , Chad Routh , Tyler Castro , Ian McPherson


Desk-based knowledge workers take digital tools for granted. But down on the factory floor, out in the oil field, on a farm, or hanging precariously below a wind turbine? Pen-and-paper and siloed processes have continued to dominate there, and digital tools are only now becoming practical in these situations. This report illustrates how the nature of the tasks, the complexity and hostility of the operating environment, and the critical importance of close proximity to industrial machinery mean that familiar digital tools are now being used in interesting ways.

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