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Navigating Complexity: How Immersive Digital Work Instructions Boost Productivity

The age of static work instructions is coming to an end. Learn how immersive alternatives can boost productivity for both your business and your employees.

man celebrating productivity increase with futuristic interface that represents gains from 3D instructions from the bilt app

Static paper and video work instructions are still widely used across many industries. But while the status quo may be difficult to move away from, the need for that type of change is becoming increasingly urgent. Fortunately, new and more immersive technologies to build your instructions have eased how businesses and employees can boost their productivity.

After all, the right technology has a major effect on employees’ productivity, from time-saving tools to greater accessibility. According to research, 75% of employees found timely and easy access to important information critical to raising their productivity.

Static work instructions cannot solve these needs. Even when they were the only options, they were never ideal in terms of convenience, efficiency, or ease of understanding. Any worker who has needed to watch a long instructional video without internet access or tried to unfold a long paper manual while on site is likely to concur.

Fortunately, modern technology continues to move forward, increasingly rendering the old ways of communicating instructions moot. The introduction of digital work instructions in particular can have a massive impact on the efficiency and success of a workforce relying on the information found within them.

More specifically, immersive work instructions can boost productivity in ways that range from real-world alignment to precision, ultimately building productivity pathways anywhere from onboarding to ongoing training. Let’s discuss each of these elements in more detail.

Aligning Instructions With Real-World Environments

First, and perhaps most importantly, the immersive nature of modern digital work instructions has the potential to closely align the information with the environment your teams work in. A field tech can manipulate the instructions to view precisely what they need to see at the exact angle they need to see it.

Research consistently shows that immersive training has massive impacts on information acquisition and retention. It creates shortcuts for the trainee’s brain, which more easily connects the material learned to the ways they’ll apply that same information in life.

It only stands to reason that the same is true for digital work instructions. With 360° views creating a more realistic representation of the application or equipment in question, seeing the instructions is possible from any angle to create a more comprehensive understanding of the task at hand. Any professional using this type of instruction can easily and directly apply the information to the real-world work they’re performing.

Precise Manipulation Capabilities

Of course, immersion goes beyond simply showing a task or piece of equipment from multiple angles. Instead, it’s about manipulating those views in ways that maximize the helpfulness of the instructions for every situation in question.

As anyone familiar with complex equipment and manufacturing knows, no environment is ever precisely the same. Being able to rotate, zoom, and make other adjustments can create a significant impact in more effectively building products and performing maintenance on equipment. The ability to precisely manipulate the instructions in ways that account for every possible nuance can make a major difference in getting the work done right the first time and all subsequent times.

Reducing Employee Onboarding and Ramp Time

Onboarding new technical employees can be a massive undertaking. It requires extensive training to ensure that by the time they hit the job site, your new members of the team are able to confidently get the job done—and get it done right. Immersive digital instructions can go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.

More specifically, 3D digital instructions can help with onboarding through a few key features:

  • Animated 3D guides that show and explain even the most complex pieces of equipment and tasks
  • Faster and more intuitive searches for needed information, enabling field technicians and workers to quickly find what they’re looking for
  • Better visualization of the work to be done, which is especially relevant in an environment where the majority of the population are visual learners
  • Creating a full sensory experience that makes it easier for new employees to learn, master, and retain information core to their job

Related: The Benefits of Digital Work Instructions for Improving Employee Ramp Time

As a result, new employees can move through the onboarding process faster while also increasing their retention of the information learned. They can begin to perform core tasks quicker after the initial hire, jumpstarting productivity in the process.

Ongoing Training as a Key Productivity Measure

Just as new users need onboarding, seasoned professionals will require ongoing training to continue honing and improving their skills. That process becomes even more important as pieces of equipment or software receive updates your workers need to immediately familiarize themselves with.

Through immersive instructions, upskilling becomes a more natural process for your entire workforce. Knowledge is more easily accessible, training becomes intuitive, and your workers can more easily relate the information learned to the environments they’ll face. And just as importantly, digital instructions are easier to update in real time, ensuring that your workforce always has the most relevant information possible to get their work done.

Individually, this process results in better training sessions. As a whole, it results in not just better trained employees but a culture of high performance. Increased confidence goes alongside digital skills to help workers become more efficient, reducing their frustration and any mistakes they might have otherwise made in the process.

Retaining Existing Employees Through Better Training

In addition to increased productivity, it’s worth mentioning a secondary benefit of implementing digital work instructions. Research continually shows that ongoing training and development improves employee happiness and, by extension, retention. It provides workers with a sense of confidence and ownership that reduces their stress levels and makes them happier in their current roles.

Of course, there are many ways to enhance training depending on your industry and required job tasks. But making the training more realistic and immersive is certainly among them, and that’s exactly what digital work instructions can provide. Better retention means less time spent finding and training recruits, which once again improves overall productivity levels for your business.

Leveraging Work Instructions to Recruit Employees

Don’t underestimate the potential of the right work instructions to recruit new employees either. In fact, modernizing your trades training can go a long way toward building a recruitment strategy for a few reasons:

  • Modern, immersive training shows your organization as forward-thinking, making potential employees more engaged and interested in signing onto your vision.
  • Happier, more confident employees as a result of your training methods are more likely to talk about their jobs and ultimately refer others in their circle to open positions in your company.
  • Discussing your immersive training as part of the job search makes potential employees more confident that they can easily learn the tasks required to be successful in the job.

Of course, instructions can only play one of many parts in your recruitment strategy. Alone, they likely wouldn’t be enough to successfully attract new employees. But when used the right way, the part they play in that process can help you build your workforce and reliably fill open positions while retaining your top performers

Environmental Sustainability as a Key Productivity Driver

Finally, there’s also the power of sustainability when it comes to digital instructions. Naturally, technology doesn’t require paper, a resource that leads to reprints each time the instructions need updates. Instead, 3D digital instructions become a single source of electronic truth, which boosts productivity in a few key ways.

First, any sustainability efforts in your organization can play a role in your recruitment strategy to attract better, more productive employees. Research has shown that an organization’s stance on social issues, including sustainability, improves that company’s image among both current and prospective employees.

Related: How to Upskill Your Technicians for Today’s Field Service Landscape

In addition, moving away from paper to digital solutions can increase the speed at which your employees can get work done at every level. For work instructions in particular, that’s evident in the consolidation of all instructions in the above-mentioned single source of truth, making it easier and faster to reference information in the process.

Embracing Immersive Work Instructions to Boost Productivity at All Levels

Embracing digital means of communicating work instructions comes with many advantages. More importantly, nearly all of these advantages can tie back directly to what matters most: the ability to increase competence and productivity for your workforce and, as a result, help your business succeed.

You can see it in many ways. Easier onboarding and ongoing training play a massive role, thanks in part to the ability to immerse yourself in the instructions and manipulate them to suit your needs. Secondary benefits, like recruitment advantages and sustainability, also work to influence productivity in a positive way. Lastly, the ability to update your instructions at a moment’s notice is pivotal in maintaining efficiency in your industry. Of course, finding the right solution to build your digital work instructions comes first when transforming your operations. That’s where BILT comes in, helping manufacturers, field service workers, and other industries elevate their productivity through better instructions. Get the app to test out BILT’s advantages for yourself and your business today.

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