Article: ‘Deskless workers’ are leaving – and you should be concerned

Employee Engagement

‘Deskless workers’ are leaving – and you should be concerned

The rule of employee retention is simple: take care of your people, and your people will take care of you.
‘Deskless workers’ are leaving – and you should be concerned

At least 80% of the workers around the world do not require desks to do their jobs. They are called “deskless workers” who are mostly found in “backbone” industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and transportation.

The importance of deskless workers in every economy is without question, but many studies have shown that tens of thousands of them are close to leaving their positions within the year that is if leaders don’t act quickly.

A study by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that 4 in 10 deskless workers from Australia and other countries are more likely to quit their jobs within the next six months, which does not help the current global talent shortage. 

Read more: Top reasons workers in Australia are quitting in 2022

When asked about the main reasons for wanting to leave their job, the majority of the deskless workers said they are dissatisfied with the lack of career advancement opportunities, while some said they want higher pay, more flexibility, and work-life balance.

There is a clear change in priorities within the “deskless” workforce, and industry leaders are pressured to implement changes that would help them lower attrition fast and to fully adapt to the changing times. 

How to support ‘deskless workers’

While, yes, change does not always come easy, there are always areas in business where leaders can begin with. After all, change does not have to be a one-time-big-time affair. Sometimes, change is better when implemented gradually.

Here are some simple tips on how employers and industry leaders can support their deskless workers.

Better tech, better results

Many deskless workers only receive 1% of their companies’ software spending. Majority of companies don’t really have enough flexible technology solutions to offer support for their deskless workers. Providing the tools employees need will not only give better results, but also greatly improve their conditions.


Read more: 44% of employees are looking for a new job

More flexibility, more productivity

Most deskless workers right now do not have hybrid or remote work options. But these workers, just like their desk-using counterparts, want more time with their life and that comes with flexible scheduling. Giving them the option to go remote or hybrid will hugely improve their well-being.


Read more: The pros and cons of job-hopping


Higher rewards, higher satisfaction

Almost half of surveyed employees who plan to stay in their current job for at least another year cited pay as their main reason. Giving employees a raise will likely increase their happiness. Keeping employees satisfied and providing better rewards are crucial for their success and longevity.

The rule of employee retention is simple: take care of your people, and your people will take care of you. It’s not rocket science. Employers just need to find out what their people need and provide solutions. After all, leading a workforce is not just a job, it’s also a responsibility.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

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