How the Deskless Workforce is Leading the Pack
Think of your traditional nine-to-five job. You’re probably picturing a harried office worker trapped between a desk 40 hours a week, hunched over their computer and/or uncomfortably nestling their phone into their necks. That’s the way it used to be, when every employee of every major company was expected to be within arm’s length of their station at all times.
But, thanks to both technology and the evolution of the job market, this image of a full-time desk worker is quickly becoming a remnant of a less satisfying time in the employment game. The time to make a change is now, as the winds are most definitely afoot.
Nowadays, the deskless workforce is rising ever to the forefront, showing companies and workers alike that they don’t have to settle for the monotonous, sedentary lifestyle. There is a better way now, and it is increasingly becoming accessible to everyone. After all, with the right communication solutions for deskless workers, you’ll be able to boost morale and keep your team happy every step of the way. In fact, with team collaboration tools, you can even take your productivity to exciting new heights.
So, if you’re ready to take your operation to the next level, join us as we explore the game-changing effects that are helping deskless workers take the lead. When we’re through, you’ll have a much better understanding of the effects and benefits of being a deskless worker as well as why it is slowly but surely spreading across the globe.
What It Means
You’ve probably heard a lot about remote workers and telecommuters in the past few years. That’s because the number of people who are working from home or anywhere other than a designated office space really is on the rise. We’ll get more into statistics in a bit, but first let’s establish exactly what we mean by the term “deskless workforce.”
Although this phrase is growing in prominence, it currently serves as something of an umbrella term to cover a wide variety of workers. The main criteria is that is does not depend on the traditional idea of desk work. That being said, here’s a quick breakdown of the two main setups that may fall within the parameters of a deskless workforce.
- On the premises: In this scenario, workers still congregate in a specific office area, but they don’t each have assigned desk areas, whether these are cubicles, offices or some other form of separation from the main activity of your business. Rather, these workers tend to be mostly on the move within their place of business. This could be a hospital, a construction site or a retail environment. But there is no desk area for workers to be tethered to. You’re free to attend to open tasks and engage with customers as necessary.
- Work from home: Here you still don’t have a desk where you are asked to exclusively sit. In fact, even if you have a home office in your spare bedroom or something, you may still wish to retain your ability to explore other ways of working. These kinds of roles might need to be governed over the phone or could involve lots of traveling to different places where you can tend to projects, oversee employees or otherwise make progress on the current workload.
Why It Works
The benefits of a deskless workforce are two-fold. While workers enjoy the advantages of a more active, faster-paced and more exciting work day, companies like yours also bear witness to their fair share of perks as well.
Here are just a few you will see when you operate with a deskless workforce:
- Spend less money: Because your workers no longer each need to have their own workstations, you can save a ton of money on office space, including the electronics equipment you otherwise would have had to purchase in bulk for every employee. This way, you can redirect those funds to marketing, recruiting, business development and process improvements.
- Modernized systems: In keeping with that thought, buying less of the big bulky desktop computers, phones and other costly tools also opens the door for you to embrace newer systems. Instead of bulky walkie talkies, you might opt for an audio messaging app so that your team can stay connected at all times. You’d be surprised how much easier things can be if you explore new and better ways to do things.
- Happier employees: It may seem silly, but with new toys to play with, your team’s morale will naturally improve. Workers who feel like their companies and their roles are evolving tend to be more engaged, leading to a better quality of work. When your team is excited at the prospect of showing up and getting things done, they will be far more likely to give you their best.
- Greater focus: In fact, your deskless workforce will have everything they need to be able to stay on task. Imagine your team has countless systems to update and an ever-growing inbox. Then consider how deeply the doldrums of sitting at a desk all day — not to mention the monotony of seemingly interchangeable work days — would set in. Without all that, your team will be able to take on each project with renewed resolve. Work will once again be energizing, and the passion that first drew them can re-emerge.
- More devoted customers: When your workers are happier (and therefore more focused), this commitment will inevitably trickle down to your customers. Enthusiasm is infectious, and now that your team has modernized systems and you are spending less money to get things done, you’ll finally be able to witness the unbridled glee that can only come from a company who truly gets how a deskless workforce could be a boon for business.
- More time: Once your employees and customers have hit their stride, you will likely find your team more driven to succeed than ever. Case in point, you’ll be getting tasks done more quickly and efficiently than ever before, and in the end, you’ll find yourself with some extra time to devote to your to-do list, including the items you may have never had the time to get to before.
No End in Sight
Every year, more and more sophisticated tools (like the aforementioned audio messaging app) are creeping up, creating an easy opportunity for companies like yours to hop aboard the future.
Deskless workforces are, across the board, a surefire way to supercharge your productivity.
It’s no wonder that so many job market experts continue to project the continued growth of remote work/telecommuting/deskless workforces. Even if your company isn’t designed to sustain the rising crop of “digital nomads” of this world, no one ever got more done by waiting around for a task or project to come to them.
Because deskless workers are more accessible than traditional workers, they are better able to tend to the issue before it even has time to escalate. We’ve discussed some of the very strong benefits that a deskless workforce can bring your company, and with the numbers only going up, you’ll want to leverage the competitive edge you’ll get with a deskless workforce, at least while you still can. As more businesses start to key into why a legion of employees all waiting by their phones is such an outdated notion, you may very well begin to lose the window you have to stay ahead of the curve.
Connect to Disconnect
With any luck, we’ve at least begun to open your eyes to how valuable more freedom can be to your bottom line. When your workers are entrusted to take more accountability and ownership over their work days, they’ll be able to perform better on the job. By loosening the reins on your workers, you’ll exponentially boost morale, and this translates to virtually every aspect of your business. Yes, including your productivity. After all, your workers are not going to get very much done if they’re feeling constrained by the location-dependent role or task they’ve been assigned. Instead, consider giving deskless work a whirl. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Of course, even if deskless work does work out for your company, you’ll still need to outfit your team with the tools they need to facilitate the timely completion of their assigned tasks. One such tool (naturally) is Voxer, and though we may be a tad bit biased, we cannot emphasize enough how critical it is to explore different ways to communicate with your team.
How to communicate more effectively is perhaps one of the best process improvements you can make as a manager and one that is absolutely key to maintaining any kind of deskless workforce. The way in which your team communicates says everything about who you are as a company and, thusly, how much you prioritize the customer experience. Even if you don’t decide to go the deskless route now, chances are that it will catch up with you soon enough, at least if the current trends are any indication.