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How to communicate with those 2.7 billion deskless workers?

Posted by Andy G. Schmidt on Feb 2, 2023 1:09:00 PM

Take a guess how many percent of the global workforce do not have a desk?
60 to 80% of workers globally - about 2.7 billion people - are “deskless” and handling jobs that do not require (or allow for) sitting in place.
If that number surprises you, think about all the industries this includes retail and grocery, healthcare, hospitality and foodservice, construction, manufacturing, logistics and utilities.
 Frontline Workers dorzibari clean
These frontline workers have unique job demands, volatile working schedules, demanding customers, long hours standing and little to no access to task-critical information.
In 2021 this deskless workforce will undergo an Employee Experience investment renaissance as companies are increasingly recognizing the impact technology has on boosting deskless worker productivity and job satisfaction.

That said, there are still gaps when it comes to giving them that technology they need to do their jobs well.

Some survey findings:

1) 70% of deskless workers surveyed report that more technology would help them do their jobs better. The parts of their work that they feel would benefit most from additional technology include communications, operations and logistics, onboarding as well as training.

2) In a Harvard Business Review survey, 86% of business executives responding said front-line workers needed better technology to make informed decisions in the moment. Being able to make such decisions empowers workers, a key driver of both engagement and productivity. 

3) 56% of respondents have used technology not provided by their employers to perform their jobs. This brings with it all kinds of data security and data privacy issues.

4) Over 75% of deskless workers consider the availability of technology at a company when deciding whether to work there. In view of the high cost of recruiting new employees, and the significant amount of employee turnover that exists in many frontline industries, companies would be wise to consider how better technology might help them improve their ability to attract and retain their deskless workers.

5) Frontline staff are 1900% more likely to say their employer is NOT open & transparent if they DON'T have access to the right technologies at work. According to research conducted by Lighthouse Research & Advisory and commissioned by Workday.


Yet, for the past several decades, software providers have primarily catered to desk-bound workers’ every whim (and large IT budgets), while the massive Deskless Workforce has continued to operate with paper processes and outdated systems.


Clearly, deskless technology is essential for every industry. The main gains are productivity, safety and compliance, and agility, which translates into a more customer-centric culture.


One of the core problems with workforce communication and management: in the absence of a corporate email address, how does a security worker talk to HR? How does a cleaner reach out to a colleague or manager?


What has been holding back software innovation for the Deskless Workforce has been empathy and a true understanding of just how differently this part of the working world operates.

Their workflows and software requirements are different from the deskbound world - and can vary significantly from industry to industry. These needs aren’t always easily understood by those on the outside.
 Frontline Communication


One key to addressing their needs and closing the communication gaps is implementing a single technology platform that can replace all of the unapproved messaging apps and paper processes used by deskless workers.

Essentially, an internal communications platform that acts as a one-stop shop, can integrate with HR, payroll and workforce management tools and delivers a consumer-grade User Experience.

Such an inclusive and unifying mobile App can go a long way toward helping employees get their jobs done on time, allowing them to enjoy their jobs more, and enabling them to better understand the impact of their work.

With Beekeeper employees and managers can communicate across languages and geographies using one unified app. Utilizing the latest approaches in machine translation, Beekeeper can translate seamlessly across languages – a feat that would have been impossible just a few years ago.


The next generations of employees will be a critical asset to your ongoing growth and success. They are ready for employee technology and will want to work for employers who are also ready.

What platform is your organization using to provide a truly inclusive Employee Experience for everyone on the team?


Now, more than ever, it’s critical that our frontline sheroes and heroes aren’t left behind by the digital transformation occurring absolutely everywhere.


Beekeeper eBook - Employee Engagement of Frontline Employees


Topics: Internal Communications, Employee Experience, Best Practice, Operational Efficiency

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