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COVID-19 Lesson: Empowering Your Deskless Workforce Creates a Competitive Advantage

Front view of technician or engineer with protective mask and tablet working in industrial factory. The business and technology challenges arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic are numerous. One of the biggest...

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COVID-19 Lesson: Empowering Your Deskless Workforce Creates a Competitive Advantage

Front view of technician or engineer with protective mask and tablet working in industrial factory.

The business and technology challenges arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic are numerous. One of the biggest transformations many companies have encountered is the rapid pivot to a remote workforce. Traditionally, a chasm exists between the connection an office-based worker has to company management versus that which a deskless worker (also known as a frontline worker) has to their management. The office-based worker typically has technology at their disposal that makes it easy to keep in contact with the day to day operations of the company, while the deskless worker can often feel isolated because the company hasn’t invested in tools that keep them effectively connected. 

The Covid-19 pandemic shifted the deskless workforce front and center as the true heroes of the crisis. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers represent a fraction of the frontline heroes that risk their health and safety to care for the community. Frontline workers make tremendous sacrifices to execute their mission, sometimes including moving into tents and campers to limit virus transmission. These selfless acts are captured almost nightly on news channels across the nation.  

Healthcare workers are a dedicated global staff who risk their health and safety going to work. But they are not the only ones; field service employees, customer service, retail workers, transportation and logistics workers, grocery store workers, and service industry staff are all on the frontline fighting the war on Covid-19. It is now more important than ever to arm the deskless workforce with the tools they need to support, connect, and empower. 

Unfortunately, many deskless workers do not feel valued by their employer. A report published by Quinyx during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic highlights the disconnect felt by many employees. Figure 1 depicts the percentage of deskless workers in five industries that do not “feel loved” by their employers. In fact, these employees feel their employers view them as disposable or temporary rather than an important part of the team. 

Figure 1: Percentage of Deskless Workers that don’t “feel loved” by their employers 

Percentages of workers, by industry, that don’t “feel loved” by their employers.

The feeling of isolation can create a negative work environment. If unchecked, this dramatically impacts a company’s ability to retain employees. As shown in Figure 2, the same report shows that a majority of deskless workers in multiple industries considered quitting their job. Negative employee sentiments not only impact individuals but the company as a whole. This is often demonstrated through a company’s bottom line. Feeling valued empowers employees, enhances their commitment, and creates a competitive advantage. 

Figure 2: Percentage of Deskless Workers that considered leaving their job by industry 

Percentage of workers, by industry, that have recently considered leaving their job.

Employee empowerment is the driving factor behind the creation of the DesklessWorkers™ platform. DesklessWorkers is a content management and collaboration system that allows companies with a remote workforce to rapidly publish content (in the form of articles, images, video, and documents) to a powerful and customizable Mobile Application. According to a communications effectiveness survey from SocialChorus, two-thirds of employees found their branded company Mobile App easier and faster to use than other content sources such as their company Intranet or Email. The same survey also indicated that employees are three times more likely to interact with a Mobile App than a Web Based Application. The easy to use DesklessWorkers mobile app enables frontline workers to consume content, communicate, and collaborate with their company. The platform offers multiple uses to include scheduling and task assignment while also allowing employees to share information and knowledge effectively from the field. 

This is a trying time for all. Companies that learn and emerge from the pandemic are the ones who recognize the importance of empowering their workforce remotely. Tools must be implemented to continue productivity while enabling employees to feel safe, secure, and important. Feeling disconnected and disenfranchised is no longer an option. Companies who provide the right toolset to their employees keep them connected, informed, and empowered which generates a difference in productivity and performance. The toolsets remote workers need in a Mobile App, now more than ever, are the following: 

  • Content Creation and Feedback – Distributing content to remote teams quickly is critical. During a crisis, it is increasingly important to get information out to your workforce in a timely manner. Situations change rapidly, which requires workers to constantly be informed. The Content Creation and Feedback tool is an opportunity to listen to employees by providing an information loop and allows leaders to focus on the wellbeing of their team. Users can easily access Team and Company Announcements, Training Videos, and Learning Resources. With these items readily available, employees feel more connected and management can see who is reading content and how they are interacting with posted content. 
  • Real-time Alerts and Communication – Mobile devices enable critical information sharing in real-time so users can act immediately. The DesklessWorkers app provides advanced, real-time, location specific alerts designed to keep users informed and safe. Alerts are already being used by our customers to keep workers informed of the evolving guidance on the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • Document and Video Repository – In today’s connected world, business can happen anywhere whether on the road, at home, or back in the office. The DesklessWorkers app allows users to digitize and secure critical documents while enabling access to anyone in the company, at any time and on any device. The document and video file repository is a great place to store important company documents like payroll, HR policies, Covid-19 related information, and training documents. 
  • Communication and Collaboration – An in-app directory, as well as business chat, provides remote employees access to anyone in the company when working onsite. Remote employees can now obtain answers to critical questions, solve a discrepancy with a customer, or to talk to a manager. The communication and collaboration function allows remote employees to begin the conversations taken for granted in an in-office environment.  
  • Task Management – Businesses need to keep their frontline workers on task and accountable, which often presents a challenge for managers of remote employees. An effective task management system allows managers to create lists of tasks and, using a dashboard, allows them to see in real-time which employees are complying and which are not. 
  • Polls and Surveys – Feedback is vital to support employee quality of life and highlight critical issues within the company. In-app polls and surveys simplify the process and can be returned using a user’s own words or confidentially.  

A company’s success is often determined by its ability to adapt. Another factor is a culture of excellent service and support which facilitates loyal connections with customers. The final component is employee loyalty. Employees that feel connected to a company are often more dedicated, passionate, and loyal. By providing better tools, an employer communicates devotion and investment to not only the company but to their employee’s success. Deskless Workers can provide technology to create a positive impact on society. Mobile technology that excels in the bullet points above enables companies to create a more personal and direct connection to their workforce even though they are deskless and working remotely. 

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