Deskless Workers: How to Engage and Communicate with Them

By G.I. Sanders

August 31, 2017

When we think about employees, we often envision them sitting at a desk in front of a monitor. Perhaps they’re buried in email, building reports, or analyzing data. There’s no doubt that these employees are valuable to our businesses, but there’s another type of worker, those on the go, not in the company headquarters, that are equally as important.

Deskless workers spend much of their day helping customers in stores, working on factory floors, or out running deliveries. A classic deskless worker might be an IT worker in a large corporate office or a cashier at a customer facing store. On any given day, these employees move from place to place to help co-workers or customers with various tasks.

Industries like retail, food service and manufacturing depend on these types of workers on a daily basis.

These workers are not a small minority, either. According to estimates from Google, 80% of the global workforce performs work that does not require a desk on a daily basis. Unfortunately, these deskless workers are often out of touch with the company they work for. They depend solely on in person meetings and posters in the break room for company news and updates. Often times, they don’t even have a company email address, making it near impossible for them to stay up to date and aligned with their employer.

As mobile technology continues to evolve, this is changing. More and more companies are implementing creative ways to connect employees with information that keeps them engaged while at work. By tapping into the mobile devices already in the pockets of their workers’ companies are transforming the way they’ve been communicating on a global level.

Companies around the world are leveraging mobile to engage deskless workers, keeping them more connected and aligned.

The rise of mobile amongst the workforce

It used to be that computers were the size of a whole room. It didn’t make any sense for a cashier or factory worker to have a personal computer. Now, we have computers that are the size of our hands, and even smaller.

According to Pew Research, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone. As technology has become more advanced, it’s become possible to work in ways we never dreamed before.

This has also changed our personal lives. We can text our friends and family whenever we like. We can get updates on what’s going on in our community through various apps and news sites. Today, much of our lives and nearly all of our methods of communication take place on a smartphone.

Meeting deskless employees where they are

Even though mobile phones have made their way into the workplace, large companies have moved slowly, often leaving deskless employees behind. These employees still depend on break room conversations to get the information they need. Why aren’t they getting information where they already are?

Deskless workers, in the office, store, factory, or working remotely, have their own personal devices and use them for communication in every facet of their lives. These employees are already using mobile for personal communications, and it’s time to leverage them for company communications.

Today’s communication tools make it easy to stay in touch

It used to be tough to communicate with deskless workers. Communications professionals have lacked a way to deliver company updates to the workforce in a personalized, targeted, and engaging way. In today’s environment, however, there are robust tools that make it easy to solve this problem.

The smartphone has made it possible for deskless employees to stay in touch with the company they work for like never before. And platforms such as ours at Dynamic Signal give companies a real time connection with the part of their company they’ve never been able to reach.

Post Author

G.I. Sanders
G.I. Sanders
G.I. Sanders is Director of Marketing at Dynamic Signal. He specializes in entrepreneurship, digital and social media, design, and marketing. G.I. is based in Dallas, TX with his wife and two sons. Passions include technology, startups, music, fitness and sports.