Five Questions to Ask When Buying Two Way Radio Equipment for Your Employees
You already know that different departments within your business use their equipment very differently. A two way radio or walkie talkie that works great inside the office, or sitting and never exposed to the elements, may work very differently in the field, where equipment is exposed to much harsher use and considerable wear and tear. That means when you’re buying technology equipment like radios for your workers, there are a few questions to ask before you make your final selection.
Is it durable?
Can it survive the conditions that will most likely be experienced in the field with your workers? A two way radio that will hold up for years when it’s used only in an office setting will have very different durability when it’s used on a job site, where it might be dropped, shaken as it’s carried over rough terrain, and exposed to dust and rain. Make sure to consider ratings for ruggedness, such as military specifications for water and dust resistance (IP ratings), and consider reviews from people who have field-tested the radios in environments similar to yours. This can be the difference between an item that will serve your workers for a long time and one that you’ll have to replace within a matter of months.
Can your employees use it while they’re doing their jobs?
Often, technology that is designed to be durable and easy to use is also very large and bulky. Many radios that are designed to be highly durable, for example, are also too big to comfortably clip to a belt or place in a pocket. Look for a radio that is convenient for your workers to use while they’re performing their normal job functions, or look into accessories like Bluetooth headsets or carrying cases that will allow the radios to serve their purpose, without requiring the worker to stop what they’re doing. Additionally, if you’re in a very noisy work environment, make sure your workers won’t have to worry about finding a quieter place to use the radios. High-quality digital transmission and features like Intelligent Audio can ensure crystal clear communication even on the noisiest job site.
Is this piece of technology safe to use in your work environment?
If you work in the mining or oil industries, for instance, you likely need Intrinsically Safe technology equipment so there’s no risk of fire from the tiny sparks created by normal two way radios. Additionally, emergency workers like firefighters and police will have other special safety considerations for their radios. Safety is one of the most important things to consider when making a radio purchase.
Does this piece of technology help or hurt the people actually doing the job?
Sometimes, an item that seems helpful is actually the exact opposite. Technology that is truly effective for your workers will make their jobs easier, rather than making their jobs take longer. If a radio accessory or feature is too complicated for workers to utilize quickly, it’s not adding value to their work days – it’s making them more complicated. For workers who simply need better sound quality in their communications, a fancy model with tons of features they don’t need will do more harm than good. You don’t want the technology to be a distraction; rather, it should integrate seamlessly into the existing routine.
What special considerations are most important to your workers?
Someone who works around water on a regular basis will need technology that is fully waterproof – nothing fries a new radio faster than dropping it into a lake, a swimming pool, or even a puddle. For other employees, hands-free operation could be critical to successfully integrating the technology into their everyday business. Other workers will find battery life to be the most important consideration because they need their batteries to hold up to regular use throughout a longer work day.
When you aren’t out in the field yourself, purchasing radios for your workers can be difficult. Your first thought might not always be for the concerns that are of greatest importance to them. Thinking about your workers before you make a purchase and asking them how they need the radios to function every day will make it much easier to select radios that will make your workforce more efficient, not less.
Have more questions about selecting the best possible technology for your workers? Feel free to contact us with any questions you have or work with your team to start by filling out the FREE Radio Selector Guide below for at least three options that will work for your team.