The Deskless Report 2021

Who are deskless workers? They’re the driving force behind some of the biggest industries in the world, including retail. They’re on the frontlines, delivering a memorable customer experience. They’re behind the scenes, keeping environments safe and clean. They’re on the assembly line, behind the counter, in the truck. And as a result, they don’t sit behind a computer to do their job.   

Despite the fact that this group makes up about 80% of the workforce, there’s traditionally been very little attention given to deskless workers when it comes to enabling their performance through technology and employee experience. Why? Unfortunately, organizations haven’t kept pace with the evolving needs of their deskless workers. Not unlike their deskbound compatriots, deskless workers are driven by a complex cocktail of career goals, compensation, a sense of purpose and a strong community. Learning more about these driving forces is the first step in engaging and empowering these workers to thrive. 

The research in this report explores who deskless workers are, what drives them and what they desperately need. It also looks at deskless leaders, including what keeps them up at night, how they’re prioritizing the employee experience and what they’re investing in next year and beyond. 

Key findings include: 

  • The #1 challenge facing deskless leaders right now is turnover; 
  • 65% of leaders plan to invest more energy or budget into their overall employee experience in the next year; 
  • 55% of workers said a sense of purpose makes them feel engaged and motivated at work; and 
  • 39% don’t feel heard by their organization. 

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