A Mobile Device Policy to Empower Deskless Workers

April 12, 2022 | Blog
Among its many impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic made a great many people re-evaluate their working lives. Now those folks are quitting their jobs en masse seeking new career paths in an expanding job market. An unprecedented amount of people are quitting their jobs for greener pastures in what’s being called “The Great Resignation.” In November 2021 a record 4.5 million workers quit, almost all of them moving on to another, more desirable job.

A recent study shows that industry segments relying on deskless workers will be the hardest hit. While the most visible sign of that is in retail and the food industry, it’s also happening in areas ranging from delivery drivers and HVAC technicians to patient care nurses and field sales reps, these deskless workers are key to efficient business operations nationwide. Beyond pay raises, what can a responsible management team do to cut the resignation rate and keep valuable deskless workers engaged?

Other research demonstrates that satisfaction with workplace technology correlates closely with remote employees being happy and engaged with their work. Since we know that technology is driving employee satisfaction for remote employees, perhaps there’s a learning here to improve the employee experience with deskless workers through better utilization of technology.

Let’s look at how companies can update and reshape mobile technology policies to improve workplace satisfaction and retain critical deskless workers.


Review Your Mobile Policy

Step one is getting a clear understanding of where your mobile policy is today.

  • Is it written down?
  • Is it clear?
  • Does it cover all the common workplace situations for your business?
  • Has it been communicated, regularly, to all deskless employees?

Once you know the policy’s current state, the next step is to evaluate it.

  • Does it fit the way your workforce accomplishes day-to-day tasks?
  • Is it flexible based on job function? (The mobile needs of a deskless software support specialist are clearly different from the needs of a maintenance technician or a delivery driver.)
  • Does it help protect worker safety?
  • Is the security of confidential data protected?

After a realistic evaluation, it may be time to update the policy.


Enable Your Workforce Through Technology

The real purpose of mobile devices is to empower workers with the tools they need whenever and wherever they need them. Your policy should reflect that purpose, not simply discourage mobile device use.

There can be negative outcomes from mobile activity but don’t fall into the trap of letting fear drive the policy. There are ways to enable effective mobile technology for your employees while avoiding risky behaviors and security breaches.

Well-crafted mobile policies and effective access to applications will boost both productivity and job satisfaction for your employees. Improved job satisfaction will cut down on worker resignations, so you can keep experienced personnel in place.


Focus on How Technology is Actually Used By Your Deskless Workforce

For office workers, mobile devices are largely a convenience, not essential to doing their jobs. Much of their work is still being completed on laptop computers and web-based conference calls all of which can also be done on a mobile device but mobility is not a critical part of how the work is done. The situation is fundamentally different for deskless workers.

One key to optimizing mobile device usage for a deskless workforce is to understand their needs, their work environments and the key differentiating factors between deskless and tethered employees. Deskless and frontline workers need mobile device policies that adapt to their changing work environments while helping them complete tasks at the moment. Similarly, appropriate mobile device usage for a tethered or remote employee might be risky for a deskless worker. Take real-life roles, responsibilities and tasks into consideration when crafting a mobile device policy to empower frontline or deskless employees.

Because Not All Workplaces are the Same

Contextual Mobility Management (CMM) solves for the human side of mobility, identifying situational triggers and adapting what a user can do on their device in the moment. By adding contextual intelligence to how a company manages device usage in their organization, workers get a more relevant user experience and improved worker safety and productivity.

See How TRUCE Works

Use Mobile Enablement as a Recruiting Tool

In addition to helping retain deskless employees, real mobile enablement can serve as a recruiting tool for new workers, making your open positions more attractive in a competitive labor market. Recruiters and hiring managers can describe, and even demonstrate, how mobile devices and applications are used to streamline working functions and simplify access to information whenever it is needed. That will serve as clear proof that you value both the work and the workers.


Implement a Mobile Policy That Works for Your Business

Empowering the deskless workforce should always be a priority for leaders and business owners. Empowerment begins by implementing both a mobile policy and supporting technology that are tailored to alleviate pain points for your workforce and streamline their daily tasks. You’ll be able to retain valuable, trained workers and bring in the best of available new talent.

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