Many private companies and government agencies have workers in the field. Meter readers, equipment servicers, customer delivery drivers and inventory movers, plus restaurant inspectors, home health aids, landscape and plant care takers or crews, and exterminators: these are just some of the workers whose days involve roaming the field, stopping at one site or multiple sites in a day in order to get the job done.

If the field worker has to return to the business site at the beginning or end of each shift to report on progress or take care of paperwork, this eats up valuable work time and fuel costs, and increases commute time—which can be a drain on worker morale.

Mobile devices combined with targeted apps can make remote workers’ jobs easier and more productive in many ways. Here are some of the primary ones:

Fewer trips to the office. When workers can clock in and out and show daily activities through an app, there is no reason for him or her to go into the office in the morning or return there at the end of a shift.

The ease of field updates throughout the day. Whatever happens in the remote worker’s day, from routine activities or unusual incidents, can be communicated through their mobile device. A mobile app that offers an easy format for sending updates—and creates an automatic record—is even better.

On-the-spot decision making. When updates are easily sent to the office, prompting review or approval by office staff or higher-ups, then management can make quick, real-time decisions about what’s happening in the field.