Allow working offline in Workforce app

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03-27-2017 05:42 AM
Status: In Product Plan
New Contributor III

For our fieldwork purposes it would be very useful to be able to keep using the workforce mobile app when being offline. We assign enumeration areas including building points to our fieldworkers to collect data on living accommodation vacancy. Our fieldworkers will be offline from time to time during fieldwork, but need to be able to choose their next assignment, register start and finish, and use an offline basemap in workforce while offline.

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10 Comments

Hello Menno,

Thank you for submitting this idea. In this scenario, are all assignments created at the beginning of the day, as opposed to real-time? How frequently do your field workers lose service and the ability to connect through Workforce? 

Others,

When voting for this idea, consider commenting to share how this functionality would fit into your workflows.

Thanks,

Scott

Hi Scott Prindle‌,

Thanks for your comment. We intend to use Workforce for a vacant building census this year and later also for our household surveys and possibly the 2020 population and housing census.

Normally we assign our fieldworkers all of their assignments before starting fieldwork, and make adjustments along the way. With Workforce we will be able to create their assignments on a daily basis or in real-time, based on their production and depending on internet services availability.

We're not sure yet if we will be able to work online at all in the field, but if we are able to work online service will be lost in parts of our island. Also, fieldworkers will not report in the office on a daily basis, so that's why we're interested in using Workforce for monitoring and assignment purposes. 

Thanks!

Menno

We are very new to using Workforce and I may be missing something, so any help would be appreciated.

Not all workflows are as simple as “Here are 12 assignments to do today, go do them”. One of the ways we use Workforce is with Survey123 for contractor audits and inspections of power utility poles in some fairly remote areas. Because of the size of this project (auditing approximately 3,000 power poles) we uploaded all the pole as assignments, and using Workforce to set their own daily assignments and we give them the freedom to choose what poles they will visit each day. Not having Workforce work in areas where they are offline is proving to be a challenge. Survey123 works great, but they need Workforce to give them some important data about the pole at their location.

It would great to see either Workforce work offline, or be to able to create customized maps (other than Basemaps) in Survey123.

Offline use would be great. Right now we are using a combination of workforce and collector in order to work offline. We are using tablets without cellular so the workers are offline all day. The workers would essentially sync their work in the morning and complete the tasks during the day. 

I would like to implement Workforce, but the workers are often in area's where there is no phone signal reception , so yeah, offline mode would be highly appreciated! 

Similar challenge here. It would be great to allow workers to status jobs while offline to help them recognize what they've completed, but you would almost have to lock down dispatching while an assigned worker is offline to ensure that you don't reassign work that someone is already working in an offline state. We're contemplating using Collector to allow offline management of the assignment layer, but that brings in its own challenges with showing workers their personalized views, then managing deltas when they come back  and attempt to push data that may have been updated by dispatch while they were offline. 

In our case, we're connected most of the time, but do travel to rural or underground work locations that have spotty coverage.

I see this is in the "Product Plan".  After testing this morning i agree being able to work in an offline state would greatly benefit our company.  What needs to also be address is the instant sign in when first opening the app.  If i have the app open i can see assignments and just not work them.  If i then put the app in airplane mode it shows offline but still allows me to see the assignments.  If for whatever reason i close out of the app and reopen it fails to open the app as it cannot sign in to our Portal.  For our current project being able to see the assignments and their details would be enough but if somebody accidentally closes the app and cannot see anything then we're dead in the water.

Workforce running offline should be great cause there is many demands from our customers related to this.

Has this product plan been pushed to development?  Without offline capabilities, workforce has less utility for our organization since most field staff work in remote areas.  Just seeing where this one is at, thanks!!!

Chris,

This is currently in beta.

Thanks,

Brian

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