The deskless workforce often finds themselves overlooked when it comes to interest in their engagement, but it soon becomes a problem when a lack of engagement leads to reduced productivity. Departmental managers and HR need to work together and combine the right tools and the right approaches to foster productivity in your deskless teams.
Disconnection and the deskless workforce
As the deskless workforce features in much less research than those based in office environments, data can be harder to collate. You can’t easily send an email questionnaire or ask for feedback. However, the statistics we do have paint a stark picture with a range of sources showing:
- 80% of employees feel connected to their co-workers but just 14% feel connected to their employer. (Workplace for Meta)
- Only $3bn of the $300bn invested in business technology is focused on the deskless. (Emergence)
- 52% of surveyed deskless workers admit communicating with other workers is somewhat to very challenging (Quinyx)
Businesses that rely on high numbers of deskless employees need to address the disconnect to get the most from each employee. Productivity, morale and commitment all suffer if your employees don’t feel like they’re a valuable part of the wider organization. Consider these practices for a more engaged and productive deskless workforce.
Focus on deskless employee participation
When your employees are not based in a stationary location or have no dedicated workspace, it can be difficult to effectively communicate. Deskless employees frequently feel siloed from the corporate HQ or heart of the business.
HR managers need to find a way to connect with this sector of the workforce and this means ensuring all company initiatives, programs and new information should be accessible to deskless teams. You may opt to provide paper copies of all information, or you can utilize online platforms to your advantage. The Payactiv platform makes it easy to communicate company messages and announcements across all departments, with the app ensuring employees without regular computer access at work can also receive the same information and notifications.
Speak directly to deskless teams
Gauging feedback and insights from all company employees is important but put some emphasis on feedback from your deskless employees. A separate questionnaire or survey focused on their feedback puts emphasis on their workplace needs and what would make their working lives easier so they can work more productively. Speaking directly to your deskless employees is the only way you will be able to accurately deliver what they need, and it shows you value their insight.
Methods of communications may also differ from organization to organization. Utilizing online announcements is effective, especially if followed up with consistent messaging from line management.
Deskless employees often choose their profession because they need flexibility. Shift work can fit around family commitments and there is often the scope to pick up extra hours when needed.
HR managers need to respect and understand this and recognize that deskless employees need the same notice and information if a shift needs to be covered or extra hours are available. Deskless workers crave more flexibility and by providing this, employers will soon realize their workers are delivering better results in the shifts they are working.
Shift scheduling is another key feature of our platform, designed to make it easy and stress-free for management to cover shifts by asking employees if they’re available. Employees can receive direct notifications when a shift needs covering and step in to help. This is a much more effective way of covering spare shifts without putting pressure on employees.
Your deskless workforce is mobile. To tap into their needs and deliver the resources they require to improve and be more productive, you need to go mobile too. The most effective way of doing this is utilizing what almost every employee already has access to—a smartphone. Employee-specific apps are an effective network and engagement tool which is just as useful for deskless as it is for deskbound workers.
Research from Adobe’s Enterprise Mobile Apps Report found a 23% increase in employee satisfaction when their employer utilized an app. As a result, satisfied employees are more likely to go the extra mile for their company and work more effectively towards the company goals.
Payactiv is designed to bring all of your employees together and provide an easy-access platform. Our customers utilize our range of features to ensure all their workers, especially those working shifts, unusual hours or on a remote basis, feel connected to the organization as a whole. Payactiv Connect gives employees the tools they need to get the most out of their job, from picking extra shifts to group chatting with the wider team.
Productivity is hard to measure but when a team isn’t working well and achieving its goals, a lack of productivity becomes immediately apparent. Employees in many deskless sectors from hospitality to healthcare environments need more support to feel connected to the wider organization and understand their role in its growth.
Employees who never have any direct contact with management or leaders in the organization may understandably feel no connection to it beyond a means to an end. As an employer, you should want more than this. You want your company to be one people want to work for and you want to be a fair employer whose employees know they can get support at work if required.
Payactiv Connect makes it straightforward for your deskless employees to feel a part of the wider organization. It allows them to be included in a way that may not have been possible when all internal communications are shared via email or internal networks. To get the most out of your employees and encourage productivity, you need to provide the tools for success and most importantly, listen so you can deliver what’s needed.