Contractor Management | 4 min read

What is geofencing and how can it automate your workplace?

Geofencing has been around for a while but has really only recently become popular due to the rise of mobile devices. 

It used to be a very expensive tool that was utilized in the livestock industry. Where cattle would be equipped with GPSs and when they went outside of a certain radius the rancher would be notified. 

Now, with almost every person having a smartphone, people have access to GPS/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth. Making it almost free for companies to make use of geofencing.

What is geofencing?

Geofencing is a location-based service that allows companies to trigger an action to a mobile device when a user enters or exits a virtual boundary that outlines a geographical location. 

When a certain user enters the geofenced location, companies can configure this to send out push notifications, text messages, alerts. They can also allow tracking on vehicles and other assets.

Perhaps the most important way that geofencing can help companies is the ability to monitor and track activity within a workplace. Meaning that companies can alert management when someone enters or leaves a specific area, monitor employees who are on the ground, automate time cards and keep track of all company assets.

How does it work?

Geofencing uses technologies like GPS and IP addresses to build virtual boundaries around the desired location. Once a geofence is set up, when an authorised device enters or exits a location, the response will be triggered based on what the administrator has specified. 

There is no limit to the size of the geofence. It completely depends on the needs of the company.

A geofence is generally defined within a mobile app as you have to opt-in to a service for the trigger to be sent. For example, if a contractor enters a work site’s geofence, which has been outlined but the administrator, a push-notification could be sent with a link to a specific permit that they must complete before they’re allowed onto the construction site. 

Image for geofencing

Another example could be that an event may set up a notification to be sent to anyone who comes close to their event notifying them of additional event information that they may need. 

What are geofencing’s applications?

Geofencing is becoming a vital practice for companies with the rise of mobile devices and the simplicity of communication. Over time the applications for geofencing has increased as people have realized its potential. Moving into retailers to promote offers, drones, workplaces and many other aspects of our daily lives. 

Here’s a list of the most useful uses for geofencing:

1. Improve safety through telecommunications 

Geofencing allows you to keep all visitors within a companies site informed through the use of push notifications and SMS. So, if there’s an emergency or an important update and you need to notify everyone on-site, quickly, you can do this through geofencing. 

The user also doesn’t need to be specifically on-site, they just need to be within the radius of the virtual boundaries. 

2. Human Resources

Geofencing provides confirmation that someone has been at a location. This feature is particularly handy if you maintain remote site locations or unmanned sites. Geofencing requires your visitors to be near a site before they can sign in, which ensures that a person has physically attended that location.

A utility provider could use this feature for example, if they needed confirmation that a contractor had physically attended a maintenance site and wanted to know when that contractor signed in (arrived) and signed out (left).

Companies often use geofencing as a way to monitor their employees, automate time cards through seeing when employees are entering and leaving the companies workplace. 

3. Marketing

Perhaps the most frequently used application for geofencing is marketing. Mainly, companies sending out location-based promotions and sales through push notifications and SMS alerts. With geofencing, companies can better target ads specific to locations.

Social networks are also jumping on the bandwagon. Snapchat in particular with location-based filters and stickers. 

How can you use it to streamline your workplace?

Geofencing has many possible applications but what we care about is how it can be used to streamline workplaces.

Geofencing for mobile

There are 3 main ways that we can improve your workplace with geofencing:

  1. Confirmation of site attendance
  2. Immediate and convenient access for your visitors
  3. Simple and efficient communication to all who are on site

You can find out more about how geofencing can help your business here.