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What is the state of our deskless workers?

What do 10,000 workers across 10 countries list as their biggest daily challenges - from getting the right to fair schedules to having a healthy work-life. 

Ask anyone in the know and they’ll tell you the world of work has changed.

They’ll say the pandemic opened our eyes to flexible working. 

They’ll say 2020 was the catalyst that mainstreamed remote working. 

And they’ll say these changes are here to stay.

What they won’t say, is that these changes are meaningless to the majority of the global workforce. 

Because 80% of the global workforce (that's 2.7 billion people!) don’t have the luxury of flexible or remote working. 

This massive group includes healthcare workers, delivery drivers, bartenders, grocery store clerks, baristas, cleaners, chefs… the list goes on. What they all have in common is they’re often seen as hourly or shift employees who don't always sit in front of a computer and can’t always access their phones. 

From what we’ve seen in the past year, they are also the glue that keeps society together. So we owe it to them to ensure they have the best work conditions possible and that their wellbeing is put first.

Yet, data from our second annual international report - The State of the Deskless Workforce 2021 - shows huge numbers of the deskless workforce unnecessarily struggling and suffering in their work lives, and being let down by their employers.

Over 10,000 workers across 10 countries listed their daily challenges - from getting the right to fair schedules to having a healthy work-life. 

Here's the key takeaways from the report:

1. 51% of deskless workers go to work sick because they can’t afford to take time off

This is an alarming figure, especially as the pandemic continues to cause chaos across the globe. Many go to work sick because they don’t receive sick pay. 

In a post-pandemic world, a ‘culture of caring’ where you prioritize employee welfare should be a must. Not only will this mean happier and healthier employees, it will also improve staff retention, improve customer satisfaction and make your business more profitable.

2. 57% say personal care time suffers due to inflexible schedules

Bad scheduling practices are the scourge of the deskless workforce. Schedules should be flexible and your employees should have choice and control over when they work. Your employees are then able to prioritize activities that benefit their wellbeing. 35% of deskless workers say they’d rather have a flexible schedule to a pay rise.

To make this a reality, you need a modern scheduling solution that’s easy to use, cost effective and saves countless admin time.

3. 50% have noticed understaffing issues

Understaffing is a huge problem. Cutting staff hours might save labor costs but it has a negative impact on employee wellbeing - with 83% saying staff shortages make work more stressful - and it often means your customers have a poor experience. 

A scenario where everyone wins is when AI-powered demand forecasting is built into your workforce management platform. Based on data you can ensure that you always have the optimal number of staff working.

4. 55% have to call their manager to change shifts

You know what it’s like; shift changes happen all the time and you have to field call after call to switch shifts around. It’s a huge waste of time when this can be done easily through an app. 

By removing this admin burden, you free up time. Wouldn’t it be great to use that time to create the best customer experience and place to work?


Let’s Summarize!

Poor scheduling, inflexibility and low employee satisfaction all contribute to making deskless workers underperform, feel less engaged, and feel anxious.

These factors damage your customer service and business success. 

For all sectors and industries, it's vital to make staff satisfaction a priority and to decrease employee turnover. You can do this by making it easier for your employees to communicate with you and influence their schedules. 

If you’re curious to read all the insights, download the full State of the Deskless Workforce report.

Download report

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