Deskless Workers: 4 Ways Communicating Boosts Productivity
Chalk it up to either the advent of mobile technology or the resulting generational shift. Whatever the case may be, today’s workers are more intent than ever to avoid sitting at a desk for 40 hours (or more) a week. For some, this takes the form of working remotely, which remains a popular trend year after year. Other employers allow their team to operate in a more mobile fashion within their place of business, but in order for these deskless workers to maintain the same level of productivity, you might need to really emphasize the many ways to communicate effectively across your team.
Now there’s still a bit of discussion regarding whether or not deskless workers can be as productive as their more stationary colleagues. But we believe that, with the right communication solutions, they can be just as prolific, if not more so. The key distinction is that you need to put team collaboration tools in place, both to unify your entire team as well as for the independent benefit of each of your workers. Productivity is, after all, truly dependent on the workplace environment, and it’s up you the management to set the tone for how when, where and how each project needs to be done.
Establishing parameters for your team’s productivity is as easy as integrating sophisticated communication tools like an audio messaging app into your processes. Let’s look closer at some key ways in which communication has such an intrinsic connection to overall productivity.
Generate more Time
While the corporate consensus has historically been that deskless workers would slack off and therefore struggle to keep up with their assigned tasks, the opposite is actually true, especially when the management takes the proper steps to ensure that communication is strengthened beforehand. After all, projects are often collaborative, and a team member might rely on a coworker for them to sign off on, answer a question or otherwise provide feedback before moving forward. Deskless workers are predisposed to staying active and on top of their workload. As a result, they are far more likely to save time on tasks and may even wind up with more time in a given workday to devote to additional projects. Believe it or not, deskless workers might, in fact, be more productive than in-office staff.
Whether your team has an audio messaging app or some other overall communication system they can rely on, taking this step encourages your employees to keep moving forward at all times, lest they slow down the company’s project pipeline. In traditional workplace settings, that sedentary lifestyle often translates into complacency, giving employees the chance to take their connectedness for granted. But deskless workers have no such luxury. They know that they have to prove their worth just as much as any other team member, and because they want to demonstrate their value to their team, they will keep closer tabs on their colleagues so that they can push projects through faster, better and more efficiently than anyone could have dreamed.
Leverage your Mobility
Because deskless workers do not have a designated station at which they must remain at all times, they are able to remain active and productive much more than those workers who are stuck at the computer, sometimes saddled with playing the waiting game until their teammates finally reply to their email or return their call. Depending on your business, such physical limitations can hold your productivity back from ever reaching its full potential. Imagine you’re running a hotel, and someone from your team is needed to assist a guest. If all of your deskless employees are occupied, then there’s no one to attend to the guest. As a result, your standards of service begin to slip, and you risk alienating the customers that ultimately fuel your business.
Instead, bringing on deskless workers who are accustomed to roaming around the workplace as needed is a strategic advantage. Your workforce then becomes a squad of mobile fixers, floating from one department to the next to assist on whatever’s needed and ensuring that your business operates as a well-oiled machine. This scenario actually facilitates a more collaborative environment than a workplace in which everyone is sequestered to an individual desk or cubicle. You can stay connected through your audio messaging app or other communication tool but keep moving whenever help is needed. It’s the best of both worlds, and though you and your team will find this system to be infinitely easier to manage and maintain, your customer turns out to be the real winner in the end.
Another unrecognized benefit of deskless workers — and their natural inclination towards higher productivity rates — is that the ability to freely roam about their workplace better enables them to take ownership over their projects. Large companies especially tend to believe that micro-management is necessary to motivate your team members to stay on task and on schedule, but more and more employers are beginning to discover that loosening the reins yields a much better output. Deskless workers don’t have the excuse that they were away from their desks, out to lunch, missed the message or suffered any miscommunication for why their project is not completed by the deadline. Rather, they are fully responsible for their actions (or inaction, as the case may be), and managers know precisely who is (again, or isn’t) pulling his or her own weight on the team.
In particular, the addition of an intuitive communication system like an audio messaging app only adds further accountability to each team member’s workload. Because you can count on connecting with any or all of your workers with just the push of a button, they know that they may need to answer for any shortcomings in their work at any time. If a project soars, managers know who to commend, and if the inverse is true, then the blame is sure to fall on the right shoulders. If any case, each team member has the autonomy to act on behalf of their own projects. This makes productivity run more smoothly than ever without having to radically overhaul your management style.
Sharpen your Focus
Although it might seem obvious, clarity is a huge contributing factor in determining how productive a team (and, by extension, a business) can be. By this we mean clarity of direction. For example, even if a team member has the best of intentions and is determined to deliver in their role, he or she will still struggle to meet expectations if they aren’t set from the start. Audio messaging apps and similar communication tools make it so much easier for managers to let their workers know exactly what they’re setting out to do and how to accomplish that task most effectively. Moreover, status updates and any emerging questions can be quickly addressed through the same communication tool that connects your entire team.
Thanks to this clearer direction, deskless workers can take action confidently, knowing that they have the assurances of the higher-ups to act in the best interest of the company (see our comments on accountability above). This approach eliminates — or, at the very least, minimizes — stumbling blocks that might trip up any team member as they seek to complete each project and keep the company-wide productivity up. As a result, their focus will be sharper than ever, giving your business the fast pace and competitive edge that you always thought you would be able to generate by adjusting your own managerial style just a bit. As it turns out, your business can achieve heretofore unthinkable levels of productivity with the right communication system implemented throughout your operation.
Connectivity and Productivity
In fact, your company may periodically discover how the tools you use can drastically affect the overall efficiency of your business. Many business leaders across every industry struggle to achieve their long-term growth plans. They attend every seminar, keep a watchful eye on each incoming team member and may even consider overhauling certain aspects of their business process now and again. But sometimes, it isn’t your process, your team or your management that need to be recalibrated. It’s your communication.
As we’ve covered above, how you and your team communicate is an intrinsic part of your everyday workflow. Sever the lines of communication between departments or between management and staff and watch how quickly your entire business descends into chaos. You need to know that you can count on your communication tool to keep everyone focused, accountable, moving forward and saving time. Without a way to connect everyone together, your team is nothing more than a collection of individuals operating in a vacuum.
Collaboration is the bedrock of any successful business, and for deskless workers, that connection is more powerful than you would think. Employees who don’t feel limited by the confines of a desk job are more likely to remain satisfied in their job, and that translates into the performance you want from your team members. Communication and productivity go hand in hand, and the sooner you implement this philosophy into your business, the closer you are to achieving your next set of goals.