Technology has opened the doors to the transformation of the workplace, facilitating processes, improving communication channels, and helping to reduce errors. Today, office employees can perform their tasks faster and more efficiently, relying on platforms, software, and computers that improve their work experience.
However, only 20% of workers worldwide sit behind a desk, leaving us with more than 2.7 billion non-desk employees who need the same modern solutions to improve their work experience and productivity. This should make us think: How can we take advantage of the opportunities that technology offers us to reach them? And how should we design these technological solutions that help us to motivate and keep non-desk employees aligned with the values and objectives of our organization? But to do so, we must first understand who they are.
Non-desk or deskless workers can perform their duties without sitting behind a desk. They are present in almost every global industry, including healthcare, agriculture, retail, transportation, manufacturing, and more. And although they represent 80% of the worldwide workforce, almost all efforts to develop technologies to make work easier have been invested in office workers.
Non-desk employees want, need, and deserve more technology
Companies recognize the impact technology has had in boosting the productivity of office workers. But even so, only 1% of the world’s software and modern technology funding is invested in developing non-desk employees’ tools. Meanwhile, many employees continue to use obsolete technological tools or, in some cases, manual processes to carry out their daily tasks. And the data shows that it’s time for things to change.
A survey conducted by Microsoft revealed that 63% of non-desk employees are excited about the job opportunities that technology provides. In fact, technology ranks third in the list of factors that could help reduce work stress, according to respondents.
As if that weren’t enough, millennials raised with an array of technological tools at their fingertips are currently the largest workforce, followed by Generation Z, who could be considered authentic digital natives, highlighting the need for a technology-centered workplace in the future.
Embracing mobile technology to reach non-desk employees
Keeping this workforce indispensable to many industries, connected, engaged, and motivated requires paying attention to their technology needs. But since they can’t be in front of a computer all day, these needs are often unmet. However, a survey by Emergence showed that 70% of non-desk employees think technology would help them do their jobs better in areas such as operations, logistics, communications, training, and onboarding. And while it is clear that not all companies can offer their employees devices exclusively for work, the same survey revealed that 56% of deskless workers use their own devices to perform their duties.
However, in Spain alone, 96% of the population owns a smartphone, and most people use them all the time, even at work. In addition, the statistics say that in 2021, smartphone subscriptions exceeded 6 billion users, with China, India, and the United States topping the list with the most users of this technology. So why not take advantage of the technology provided by smartphones to:
- Maintain efficient communication.
- Offer them a place to manage their tasks.
- Provide them with training tools to improve their skills.
- Provide them with technological tools that enhance their work experience and are adapted to a deskless environment.
The demand for deskless workers will only increase over time, driven by changing customer needs and technological advances. However, to improve the loyalty and productivity of these employees, it is necessary to recognize and meet their needs. And what better way to do this than by using the technology that everyone already has in their pockets?
Which technology solutions should you offer your non-desk employees to engage them?
Here are some technology solutions that companies should offer their non-desk employees for training, daily task management, and to keep them engaged and aligned with the organization’s goals:
1. A mobile app for employees
One of the main challenges of non-desk employees is that they usually work in different locations. In most cases, they do not have access to a computer to consult with their superiors or resolve doubts. 83% of deskless don’t have a corporate email address, and 45% don’t have access to the company intranet. Nevertheless, companies need to find a way to develop a strong corporate culture, connect with each team member and share their vision. So, offering an employee app is the easiest and most effective way to achieve this, and all these workers need is their own smartphone.
2. Real-time communication channels
Offer your non-desk employees quick and easy ways to keep in touch with their managers or colleagues, such as individual or group chats, news feeds, or push notifications. This way, you can establish an effective communication flow wherever they are.
3. Continuous workflow training
Employee training is critical in any company, especially for frontline or deskless workers, who face higher turnover rates and have to deal with different situations related to the end customer.
Offer your employees an interactive space for continuous workflow training, with micro-content, quizzes, infographics, and videos on their smartphones to increase engagement and knowledge retention. And if you add gamified training activities, such as challenges, levels, or rankings, employee participation and training results will improve.
4. Seminars, webinars, and videoconferences
The sheer effort involved in bringing together all the members of an organization to conduct a seminar or conference is very high and, in some cases, impossible. Online solutions such as videoconferences or webinars are ideal for deskless workers, who can attend virtually in real-time or review the content in their free time.
5. Virtual assistant
Improve the productivity of your deskless workforce by using a virtual assistant with artificial intelligence to help them locate essential information, access recommendations, view recent searches, or access top-rated content. This type of assistant enhances your professionals’ work experience by allowing them to access information through their cell phones as they already do with social media. This is useful as a guide in their day-to-day work and will improve processes!
6. Access to information and knowledge in one place
Workers in any organization need access to certain information, such as product catalogs, manuals, and even monthly planning or important documentation. And to do this, ideally, we should offer them a technology solution that allows them to store this information in a single place, with access and configuration assigned by roles or permissions, filtering through bookmarks and different formats (video, tutorials, product catalogs, etc.)
7. Task management in the palm of their hands
A technological solution for task management that streamlines the processes of assigning, carrying out, and monitoring tasks is what your deskless workers need daily. Through a task management system, employees will not only be able to access a digital workspace that reminds them of and prioritizes their daily tasks, but managers and superiors will be able to monitor each employee’s progress individually or in groups in real-time.
Train and engage your non-desk employees with isEazy Engage
Provide your non-desk employees with a unique learning, management, and communication experience with isEazy Engage. An app specially designed for them, with powerful functions such as communication, virtual assistant, task management, and workflow training. All this, with simple cards that you can track individually and discover which content connects best with your audience. What are you waiting for to engage your deskless workers? Start your free trial now!