Deskless Workers And Mobile Training: A TalentCards Survey

Deskless Workers And Mobile Training: A TalentCards Survey
Summary: A TalentCards survey on deskless workers sheds light on mobile training and the employee experience. Deskless workers can sometimes feel disconnected or isolated. Check out the most significant survey insights to learn how mobile training can help employers address these issues.

How Deskless Workers Benefit From Mobile Learning

Deskless workers make up the vast majority of the workforce globally. Working on the frontlines can be fulfilling, but it also presents its own challenges, including when it comes to training. Workers face challenges different from those faced by desk employees. Their on-the-go and often remote positions can leave them feeling disconnected. They also make it difficult to access training.

TalentCards recently conducted a survey on deskless workers. The questions focused on their training and how it’s impacting their work lives now. The results show what’s going well with training and where there’s room for improvement. They also show where training, especially mobile training, could be significantly improving the employee experience.

Before we dive into those results, let’s take a look at who deskless workers are and some of the challenges they face.

Who Are Deskless Workers?

Deskless workers are, as you might guess, workers who don’t sit at a desk. Also known as frontline workers, they’re employed in fields like healthcare, construction, education, and retail. They do their work on the go, often on their feet for much of their day.

These employees don’t always have access to the same technology as traditional office workers. Being on the floor, on the road, or at a remote location means they aren’t always connected. It makes it difficult for them to use company intranets, email, or other common workplace communication channels.

This lack can leave frontline workers feeling isolated from their company and their colleagues. Employers might also struggle to provide them with resources and keep them engaged with the core company values. Training, and specifically mobile learning, can help overcome these obstacles.

The State Of Deskless Workforce Training

With these challenges in mind, TalentCards surveyed 600 deskless employees from the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. These employees represent a typical sample of deskless workers. They fill roles like nurses, teachers, salespeople, construction workers, truck drivers, and more. They answered questions about their experiences with communication and training.

The survey explored how training impacts their jobs and how COVID-19 has affected them. The findings also shed a light on how mobile training shapes the work experience—or how it could, going forward.

Deskless Workers Enjoy Mobility

Most people surveyed (64%) said they wouldn’t trade their deskless lifestyle for a traditional office job. When asked why, they said they like the hands-on nature of their work. They also don't like the monotony of being stuck behind a desk. Of those who would consider changing, most said the appeal was related purely to safety concerns, especially in the face of COVID-19.

It’s in employers’ best interest to support this enthusiasm for the job. In addition to providing safety training, they must allow for training of all kinds to reach these vital workers.

Mobile training allows employees to learn when and where it is convenient for them. While the industry is still in the early days of developing mobile learning solutions, many are making headway with options now. With the right mobile learning app, your company can get up and running quickly.

Training Helps Decrease Disconnect

A non-traditional office setting can leave people feeling disengaged from what’s going on in their organization. 19% of employees polled said they struggle with feeling disconnected from their colleagues or their organization. That’s nearly one in five workers who are feeling unplugged.

When asked if training would make a difference, 64% of respondents said access to more training would help bridge that gap for them. Mobile training gives you a way to reach out to and engage workers no matter their location—even with limited access to technology and busy schedules.

Deskless Workers Want More Flexible, Convenient Training

Employees also shared what would help them be more engaged with their training. They mentioned training being more enjoyable, making it self-paced, having easier access, and keeping lessons short.

Deskless employees have busy schedules. They’re constantly interacting with those they serve or are active for much of their work time. Mobile training offers all the advantages they’re asking for. It can be accessed at any time through the familiar operation of their own smartphones or tablets.

Mobile training typically uses microlearning—short, focused lessons that can be completed in a matter of minutes.

This method is especially appealing to deskless workers. In fact, 80% of respondents said they prefer short, to-the-point lessons spaced over time versus longer one-time training events. This format makes training more engaging. It also allows learners to focus on it in more convenient moments and locations.

Younger Workers Increasingly Prefer Training Via Smartphone

Mobile training is fairly new, and few companies are producing software with deskless workers in mind yet. Yet even with limited experience, 26% of workers reported they prefer using smartphones for training.

That’s the average of respondents. But when broken down by age, only 22% of those in the highest group (age 54 and up) reported this as a preference. That percentage rises within each age group, reaching 35% among the youngest workers polled (ages 18-24).

Preference is likely to rise as millennial and Gen Z workers continue to fill out the workforce, and as more mobile training is developed and more companies start using the tech.

It’s an easy win, especially as the devices needed are already in most workers’ hands. Most (74%) report that they wouldn’t mind using their own smartphones to access mobile training; no company phones or company-issued laptops required.

Employees Want Flexibility In Where They Train

As stated, deskless workers tend to have fairly full schedules. Training should be a benefit, helping them succeed in their jobs. When it disrupts their already busy workdays, it can become more of a burden. While the majority still prefers to complete training on the job, a lot of workers are also interested in more flexible options. When asked about preferred locations, 30% said they want to complete training from home. Mobile training allows workers to focus on content in times that are less stressful or when they’re less likely to be distracted. This means a better training experience as well as better learning retention.

Make Mobile Learning Part Of Your Training Strategy

When you manage a workforce that includes deskless workers, how you handle training has a big impact on their employee experience. Mobile training can be a big part of the solution to many of the challenges deskless workers face. It’s a way to introduce the information and skills they need without disrupting their work.

These employees enjoy the deskless lifestyle, and you want happy workers on the frontlines. That means keeping them connected, communicating crucial information, and supporting the flexibility they need. All of these factors make mobile training an attractive option.

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