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Exploring Deskless Worker Challenges on the 3Sixty Insights Podcast

May 22, 2024

Deskless Worker

In this blog, we’ll recap an article originally published on LinkedIn by Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, Sandra Moran, which recounts her discussion with HR Influencer and Advisor, Steve Goldberg, on the 3Sixty Insights Podcast  

The podcast discussed what it takes for employers to successfully keep their workforce engaged—a conversation inspired by our Third Annual Global Employee Experience Study.   

Organisations are facing increased challenges in attracting and retaining talent amid industry-specific labor shortages and rising employee demands for better work-life balance and flexible rosters. To effectively navigate these changes, business leaders must consider the overall well-being of employees, particularly those in deskless, shift-based roles. Sandra and Steve’s discussion highlights how rostering flexibility and advanced communication technologies are becoming essential for meeting workforce expectations and enhancing performance. 

Rostering Flexibility—A Major Shift in Employee Priorities 

  • The importance of flexible rostering rose dramatically by 25 points, from 59% in 2021 to 84% in 2023, underscoring a major transformation in employee expectations of what workers look for when selecting employers. 
  • Many deskless employees are not able to see their rosters more than a week in advance.  
  • The availability of rostering flexibility has become a defining feature that will determine if new employees are willing to work for an organisation and whether current employees will stay with their employer.  
  • Organisations that proactively implement flexible rostering can differentiate themselves.

How Modern Workforce Management Support Emerging Employee Needs 

  • Deskless workers have unique needs compared to office workers, and these needs are not being met.  
  • Things like rostering flexibility, easy access to job training and work information and centralised work communications can impact dissatisfied workers reconsidering leaving their jobs. 
  • While many employers are aware of this need, they often lack the tools needed to support this new need.  
  • Modern workforce management solutions allow employees to manage their rosters via mobile devices, leveraging technology they already possess.

Improving the Employee Experience with a Feedback Driven Strategy 

While businesses recognise the importance of better work experiences, implementing new capabilities is not always immediately feasible. Oftentimes, front-line managers, who are also deskless, understand and even empathise with employee needs but lack the influence to implement changes. 

In these cases, acknowledging feedback is crucial, especially when immediate action isn’t possible. Employers should strategise for future changes and communicate their intentions to their employees. Ignoring feedback is detrimental. Continuous opportunities to provide and respond to feedback are key to maintaining workforce engagement. 

Recognising and addressing the needs of deskless workers fosters a meaningful connection and allows them control over their work life. Future research is expected to show significant improvements, indicating that businesses are moving beyond mere awareness to actual engagement and empowerment. 

To learn more about improving deskless employee engagement within your organisation, listen to the full episode of the 3Sixty Insights Podcast. 

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