The desk has long been heralded as the standard for productivity. But in reality, most work gets done without ever sitting at one. From construction workers to farmers to factory workers, there are countless people who spend their days performing physical labor.
In fact, about 80% of employees around the world are deskless.
From fast-food workers to cashiers, these essential workers are the ones who keep the wheels of commerce turning. Yet, they are often treated with little respect and paid relatively low wages. This is despite the fact that they have essential jobs in society.
In addition, for those who sit at desk, there are numerous tools and solutions to make their work fast and efficient.
On the other hand, for deskless workers, the same can’t always be said.
So how can we help the deskless workforce? Before we get to the part, let’s first look at a few facts about what helps the deskless workforce be the most efficient and productive:
Deskless Workforce: Facts You Should Know
Their Work Experience Isn’t Any Different
The term “deskless worker” conjures up images of blue-collar workers toiling away in factories or offices with no furniture. But the deskless workforce is actually a growing segment of the workforce that includes many white-collar workers.
Too often, deckless workers are left behind when it comes to technological advancements. This is due in part to the fact that most technology is designed with desk workers in mind. This is why why we need to understand that they don’t experience work differently from desk workers. In fact, deskless workers have very specific needs, depending on their industry.
Vertical technology solutions are designed to meet the specific needs of a particular industry, and they can offer deckless workers a much-needed boost.
Their Work Needs are Similar To Those of Desk Workers
Although deskless workers don’t work from a desk it doesn’t mean they have work needs any different from those of desk workers.
These workers are usually not desk-bound and often work remotely, which can make communication and collaboration a challenge. However, deckless workers also need to be in close communication with the rest of their team to stay up-to-date on company developments and expectations. They also need ways in which they can prevent employee burnout and be able to share information with their colleagues.
Deskless Workers have a Poor Work-Life Balance
For a deckless worker who works remotely, their personal and professional lives are one and the same. There is no clear boundary between when they are “on the clock” and when they are off. As a result, they are constantly on call and can be interrupted at any time by a work-related issue.
This can be extremely disruptive to their personal life, as they may miss important family events or be unable to take advantage of leisure time. It can also be very stressful, as they never know when they will be needed at work. The deckless worker is always “on”, and this can take a toll on their mental and physical well-being.
Mobile Technology Helps
For years, the deckless workforce has been at a disadvantage when it comes to technology. While office workers have had access to cutting-edge technology devices, deckless workers are often stuck using mostly basic technology.
While there are many apps, cloud platforms, and SaaS solutions for desk-based workers, just 1% of business software has offerings for deskless technologies.
But luckily deckless workers can benefit from mobile technology and are getting the tools they need to be productive and efficient. Whether it’s a mobile phone, a drone, or a wearable device, deckless workers can now take advantage of the latest tech innovations.
The Deskless Worker Count Keeps Growing
Perhaps it’s the pandemic that has made people all around the world work from places that are not offices. Workers who would previously work from desks have now shifted to working remotely or even from a coffee shop. The number of deskless workers in the world keeps growing.
Deskless Workers Enjoy Being Deskless
Although there are several downsides to working off desk, deskless workers prefer staying that way and that’s a fact.
The same source reported that 383 respondents said they would not switch to a desk job given the chance.
Now, these are just a few facts about deskless workers. Many of this workforce isn’t quite happy and content with the nature of their job. That brings us to answering the question, how can we support and help the non-desk employees?
How to Empower the Deskless Workforce?
So, we’ve seen what makes deskless workers tick. Let’s look at ways in which we can support and empower these workers.
With the advent of technology and its gifts like smartphones, wearable devices, 4G, and omnipresent WIFi you can helo close the gap between the workforces. With technology solutions like these, it’s simpler for deckless workers to solve problems, communicate with team members, update work schedules, and keep track of work in progress. Not only will these solutions close this gap between desk-bound and deskless workers, they’ll also make them more productive.
Helping them Maintain a Healthy Work-life Balance
The deskless workforce is the backbone of many businesses, yet they often get overlooked. These hardworking employees keep things running smoothly, but they often do so at the expense of their personal lives. Although most deskless workers like their jobs, the demands of the job are taking a toll on their health and well-being.
Many report feelings of burning out, and personal lives suffering as a result. The majority of deskless workers feel like they don’t have enough time for their hobbies or interests outside of work.
Most deskless workers work in rotational shifts and sometimes even alone. This sometimes takes its toll on their mental health.
Giving them Access to Information
Deskless workers often don’t get the full picture when it comes to your organization’s communication and collaboration. s a result, they’re often left out of the loop on important decisions and developments. This can lead to frustration and decreased productivity. For that, make sure they stay in the loop.
Make them stay in close communication with your manager or supervisor. Ask questions and express any concerns you have. Secondly, try to connect with other deskless workers in your organization. Share information and resources that you think would be helpful. Finally, stay up-to-date on industry news and developments to empower them even better.
Technology Integrations for Deskless Workers
When a company uses a number of systems to cover important gaps, deskless workers are stuck trying to piece together the information they need from a variety of sources. This not only makes their job more difficult but also increases the likelihood of errors and delays. To make matters worse, most companies don’t provide adequate training or support for deckless workers who need help using their systems.
As a result, many deckless workers feel like they’re constantly swimming upstream just to keep up with the demands of their job.
To help them with this aspect, offer technology integrations for deskless workers these systems give everyone access to the right information at the right time, regardless of location. It also makes it easy for managers to keep track of employee productivity, manage workflows, eliminate data silos created from multiple systems, and improve performance.
Increasing Employee Engagement
Deskless workers are so well engaged in their jobs that only about 20% of employees feel disconnected from their team members. Why is that so? Employee engagement is the winner here. They are so well engaged in their jobs that
Although deskless work has its negative aspects, increasing employee engagement in a way that doesn’t put their personal lives at stake is the key to empowering deskless workers.
Manage their Shifts
One way to increase employee engagement and empower deskless workers is to give them control over their work hours. Allow workers to switch shifts and pick up extra shifts without too much upper management involvement.
Using software that is designed to create and assign shifts is a great way to do it.
For instance, using AttendanceBot’s employee scheduling software you can manage temporary workers, shift workers, full-time employees, or a mix of all, on the go. Using this software, employees can see and be aware of their upcoming shifts and communicate with other workers regarding shifts or anything in general.
Additionally, they can also assign shifts to themselves or even swap shifts with other colleagues depending on their availability.
The healthcare industry, for example, can assign open shifts using AttendanceBot so that healthcare professionals can pick up shifts as they see fit. In addition, they can eliminate scheduling conflicts with real-time notifications.
More Mobile Access
One way to empower is by providing communication solutions for deskless workers. And mobile technology is a great way to do that.
Mobile access has the power to make them healthier and more engaged. By providing employees with access to their work email, calendar, and files on their mobile devices, they can stay connected to their work while on the go.
One way to improve mobile technology for deskless workers is to give them company mobile devices or provide additional benefits if they use their own.
This means they can take breaks to walk or bike to meetings, and they can have more flexible work hours that fit their lifestyle.
In fact, the rise of the mobile workforce has been well-documented in recent years. What’s often less talked about, however, is the importance of proper mobile workforce management. Nearly 2.7 billion people within the top eight deckless industries- agriculture, education, healthcare, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, transportation, and construction rely on mobile devices to do their jobs.
To Sum Up
For too long, the deskless workforce has been stuck in limbo, with little input or control over their work lives. However, with the power of technology, that can all change. Better tools can lead to healthier and more engaged employees, as they have the ability to take control of their work lives and make decisions that impact their health and wellbeing.
With more mobile access, employees can stay connected to their work lives even when they’re on the go. And with more flexibility, employees can tailor their work schedules to fit their needs and lifestyles. It’s time for the deskless workforce to take back control – and with the power of technology on their side, they can do just that.