This is not at all surprising given that 21% of deskless workers do not feel appreciated at work, according to a global survey by HR tech provider Quinyx. 58% of those felt their employers saw them as disposable and 54% of all the 11,000 workers surveyed are considering quitting because of their work environment.
A major challenge for these workers – which is not faced by desk-based, office, knowledge employees – is the lack of job security.
Quinyx research found that 37% felt pressures to take shift they didn’t want. 27% felt that they would be viewed badly by their employer if they asked to swap shifts – this rose to 29% if they asked to do so for personal reasons.
This situation means they have no work-life balance, so it is no surprise that 57% told Quinyx their personal care time has suffered due to their work schedule.
The problem is confounded by the fact that 22% did not feel safe at work in 2021 due to COVID-19. Quinyx’s study also found that 51% felt they had to go to work sick because they can’t afford to take time off.
Worryingly, Quinyx further identified that women were faring worse than men in deskless world of work. Not only were female employees more likely to quit due to the work environment (63% vs 53% in the UK, 64% vs 60% in the US, and 69% vs 59% in Australia), but they felt more pressure to take shifts they didn’t want and to go into work sick because they couldn’t take time off.
For instance, 69% of US female workers worked while sick, compared to 59% of men. This rose to 77% for Australian women, compared to 60% of men.
How to dial-up deskless employees’ experience
The findings suggest there is a need for “a sustained shift in organizations’ priorities”, according to Quinyx chief HR officer Toma Pagojute.
Pagojute noted: “Our research highlights a huge opportunity for organizations to make 2022 the year of significant workplace change. After the upheaval and uncertainty of the last two years, it’s time to move forward.
“We have a unique window now to re-set and create a sea change that can empower all workers, particularly women, who continue to feel the effects of long-term inequalities.”
Now is the time for employers to ensure they have an open transparent culture where workers feel like they can swap shifts without fear of judgement or repercussions.
To help with this Quinyx calls on employers to embrace workforce management technology. 32% workers in the study said they were unable to swap shifts with colleagues – this is because 55% had to call managers to swap shifts and 43% didn’t have access to tech to make swift swapping easy.
HR tech is not a panacea for employee experience – tech overload is a real problem for office workers – but deskless workers need to have access to technology that will make their working lives easier.
In addition, if they want to retain their staff, and avoid any further staff shortages, Quinyx recommends that companies prioritize rewarding great performance and loyalty. This could be with pay rises, promotions or additional benefits, or it could just be with an extra day off or a gift.
Happy, valued employees are more productive and motivated. If you want to thrive in the ‘Great Resignation’ then now is the time to act and make the frontline working environment better and more modern.