The COVID-19 pandemic has turned traditional office life on its head as desk-based employees prepare for a possible new normal of remote work. As more workers clock in from home, the demand for productivity and collaboration tools has skyrocketed. But as this technical revolution continues to run its course, not all workforces are experiencing the change.
Deskless workers such as field service technicians, home healthcare providers, delivery workers and construction workers make up 2.7 billion people of the global working population. And yet, this workforce is frequently ignored by software companies. These workers often have trouble properly doing their jobs with one-size-fits-all software solutions that need a consistent internet connection and are devoid of mobile-friendly capabilities.
As the pandemic continues, the deskless workforce will only continue to grow — CIOs predict the number of mobile workers will increase by 62% in the next 12 to 24 months.
To support these remote jobs — especially those considered essential during the pandemic. Essential workers are the decision-makers; employers must equip their frontline employees with tools that are built for each individual mobile work role.
Companies that fail to adapt technology to the needs of their deskless and other remote workforce, risk not only poor execution of mobile work services but also the loss of valuable employees.
Inadequate software results in lost productivity
Although there are software development efforts aimed at the mobile workforce, organizations still haven’t invested in these tools at the same rate as they’ve invested in tools for desk-based workers. A recent study found that most organizations continue to rely on legacy tools for mobile work, with only 39% reporting their remote workers use software built for their specific needs. Furthermore, only 13% of these companies say their deskless workers’ needs are met by the platforms designed for them.
While the adoption of software for remote workers has been slow, IT leaders recognize how this inaction has added friction to the mobile workforce. Legacy software tools are complex, and remote workers often need to use more than one tool in their daily workflows.
For example, if a software application isn’t adaptable to mobile, the mobile workforce will require a separate technology to complete a single job — an all too common occurrence for many in the workforce. In fact, 100% of CIOs admitted that their mobile workforce is required to use two or more software solutions in their daily operations, with 18% requiring at least five or more tools.
Eighty-six percent of IT leaders agree that this dearth of supporting technology disrupts mobile workforce productivity.
Another common bottleneck lies in accessibility — IT leaders said 63% of their mobile-remote workers can only use their productivity software if they have access to a computer.
Your mobile workforce is throwing away time, money, and productivity in their struggle to use software tools that aren’t the right fit for their jobs. And the majority of CIOs agree — 67% recognize that they need to support their mobile-phone, remote workers — with additional software.
Instead of stacking software tools on top of each other, businesses must shift their technology to operate under a single process platform.
With a single platform, you can centralize all necessary information and employee resources into one easily accessible, digital thread to empower workers in these worker-roles. By equipping mobile workers with what they need to execute their jobs properly, you can boost output and demonstrate empathy for the challenges they face in the field.
Purpose-built solutions support productivity
Workers in office-based, white-collar jobs can typically count on reliable internet connections as well as colleagues who will fill them in on the details from any meetings they miss. Mobile workers, on the other hand, don’t have the same luxuries — and the resulting disruptions can heavily impede their operational processes. To streamline workflows for your mobile-phone workforce, focus on a handful of crucial workflow capabilities:
Deskless workers are vital to the success of companies across many industries. While mobile work roles free employees from being tied to a desk, they also come with distinct physical, emotional and digital challenges that desk-based workers don’t face. And when these challenges go unchecked by management, they can create unnecessary stress on deskless employees, resulting in an exhausted workforce and high turnover rates.
As the deskless workforce continues to grow, it’s critical to play closer attention to the software gap. Change begins with applying technology to the specific needs of mobile workers to empower their success now and over the long term. However, a single tool can’t address mobile workforce challenges without proper support.
The right technology must also be accompanied by improved training, access to information, and dedicated employee check-ins to enact true structural change for the better. With these changes in place, you’ll lead your organization on the path towards supporting its deskless, all mobile workers, and the remote workforce, day in and day out.
Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto; Pexels
The post Deskless Workers Deserve Better Tech appeared first on ReadWrite.