Deskless Workers Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay Skedulo has published its State of Deskless Work Report. The report is accompanied by a blog that effectively replicates the executive summary of the report. The report looks at workers’ challenges, with only 1 in 5 employees now working behind a desk in a traditional office environment.

It is based on a survey of 1,000 US employees, 500 of whom still work in an office and 500 of whom are deskless (i.e. 80% mobile). The report looks at the challenges and desires of workers and has some useful findings for employers.

The report is ten pages long and a quick read. The executive summary highlights four key findings from the report that are expanded.

  • Deskless workers crave autonomy and flexibility
  • Equipping your workers with greater flexibility is just as valuable as pay
  • Insufficient technology is a sore spot for deskless workers
  • Lack of Purpose-built Technology Negatively Impacts Your Worker’s Productivity
James Huddleston, Sr. Director of Product Marketing
James Huddleston, Sr. Director of Product Marketing

James Huddleston, Sr. Director of Product Marketing commented in the blog, “Don’t let employees find what they’re looking for elsewhere. Employers should pay close attention to the results of our study and survey their own workforce to identify opportunities to improve the employee experience for deskless workers.”

What do workers want and not want

Organisations must adapt to the new ways of working. These employees have transitioned to new ways of working but have employers? After a year of the highest employee turnover in the US workforce, there are lessons to learn.

The majority of workers want flexibility (60%). While autonomy is important (37%), there is a sizable minority that is happy with the status quo. The report findings lack whether these figures vary by generation or gender. Worryingly more than half (51%) of workers would leave their current employers to get these advantages.

For employers, offering flexibility delivers advantages. 41% of employees would feel more motivated at work, and one assumed have an increase in productivity. However, the answer may be more complex, with only 21% more likely to stay in their role. What else is missing?

The answer appears to be technology rather. This is drawn out by the report by first looking at the challenges faced by deskless workers:

  • Managing their workloads 31%
  • Limited flexibility 30%
  • Insufficient technology 25%
  • Limited autonomy 22%
  • Communicating with customers 21%

Technology could help to provide automation. Surprisingly 15% of deskless workers still use mainly paper processes. Despite the availability of mobile technology tools, desk-based workers fare better, with only 5% using paper-based processes. Many organisations have adopted touchless processes, where technology has replaced paper. There is still work to be done as only 17% are completely digital, though this is up 6% from the 2021 report.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

The report would certainly indicate technology can provide an answer with Skedulo solutions helping to deliver technology to deskless workers. Skedulo aims to close the gap between deskless and desk-based workers.

However, despite the sample size, the Skedulo report does little to dive into the other potential reasons workers do not feel autonomous or have the flexibility they crave. The quality of management, employee experience, career path, benefits and identifying what flexibility means would have shone further light on the subject.

For some industries, healthcare, for example, what does flexibility mean in an environment of shift work? Perhaps desk-based workers have greater access to flexibility than mobile workers.

What is clear is that employers need to listen to their workforce demands. Technology certainly provides part of the answer, but it would be remiss to rely on it solely. Employers would be wise to look at the findings from other reports before believing that technology provides the answer to their staff churn.

Pay is important, though the authors do not provide all the statistics around their findings. They state, “47% of deskless respondents would rather work for an organization providing flexible scheduling and/or increased autonomy over one able to pay them 10% more.” Does that mean 53% would prefer more pay? It is just one example where the authors provide enough data to make their case without uncovering the whole picture.


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