Even though deskless workers make up a large part of the global workforce, they face many challenges because there isn’t enough Technology for deskless workers designed for them. Surprisingly, only about 1% of current technology investments focus on meeting their specific needs.
The term “Deskless Workforce” pertains to approximately 2.7 billion global workers who don’t perform their job duties behind a desk, constituting roughly 80% of the total workforce. Notably, a significant portion of these individuals operate in essential industries, including healthcare, agriculture, construction, retail, manufacturing, and transportation – The Emergence
From the pre-technological advancement era to the present day, the evolution of technology has played a pivotal role in reshaping and enhancing the way deskless employees carry out their responsibilities. In the not-so-distant past, deskless work often meant relying on manual processes, paper-based communication, and a notable lack of real-time connectivity. However, as technology burgeoned, so did the possibilities for those who found themselves working on the move.
And now, as we stand on the precipice of the AI era, the trajectory of technological advancements for deskless workers takes a quantum leap. Artificial Intelligence, with its cognitive capabilities, is not only automating routine tasks but also revolutionizing the way deskless workers approach problem-solving, decision-making, and overall task efficiency.
Let’s explore the “Top 3 technology trends for deskless workers in 2024”
Mobile Workforce Solutions
Mobile Workforce Solutions aims to provide deskless workers with the tools and resources they need to perform their tasks efficiently while on the move. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of components within mobile workforce solutions
Push-to-Talk (PTT) Technology
Solutions like Talker Network or Motorola WAVE enable instant communication in a walkie-talkie style. This is particularly beneficial for industries such as logistics, construction, and event management where real-time communication is crucial. PTT technology allows deskless workers to communicate efficiently without the need for dialing numbers or waiting for calls to connect.
Features of Talker Network
- Attendance Module
The Attendance Module simplifies and automates the process of tracking employee attendance. It integrates with the communication platform, allowing team members to check in and out in real-time.
- Location Tracking
The check in and check out feature of Talker is beautifully coupled with real-time location tracking. Each check-in and check-out is logged with a location tag, providing a comprehensive picture of each employee’s mobility. This feature is particularly useful for organizations with a remote or on-the-go workforce as it promotes accountability and efficient resource management.
- The Admin Dashboard
With the Admin options one can easily access the attendance records, check-in/check-out logs, and real-time location tracking. All of this available at the click of a button, ensuring that team management is always at your fingertips.
Wearable Technology in the Workplace
Health and Safety Wearables
Devices such as the Cat S62 Pro smartphone, which includes a built-in thermal imaging camera, can be beneficial for workers in construction or maintenance. This allows them to identify potential hazards like overheating equipment or electrical issues.
Wearable gloves, such as the ProGlove MARK or the Ironhand from Bioservo, incorporate sensors and haptic feedback to assist workers in tasks that require precision or force. In manufacturing, for instance, these gloves can enhance dexterity and reduce the risk of errors.
Exoskeletons & Helmets
For physically demanding jobs, exoskeletons like the EksoVest from Ekso Bionics can provide ergonomic support, reducing strain on the body. These wearables are particularly useful in industries involving heavy lifting, such as manufacturing or logistics.
Helmets like the DAQRI Smart Helmet integrate augmented reality features, providing workers with real-time data and visualizations. These helmets find applications in industries like manufacturing, where workers can receive step-by-step instructions or overlay schematics onto their field of view.
AI-Powered Task Automation
Service & Inventory Management
AI-driven platforms like Salesforce Field Service or ServiceMax optimize field operations by automating scheduling, dispatching, and work order management. These tools leverage AI algorithms to optimize routes for deskless workers, ensuring efficient task completion and minimizing travel time.
Systems like IBM Watson Supply Chain use AI to predict inventory needs, reducing the likelihood of stockouts or overstock situations. This is particularly beneficial for deskless workers in retail, logistics, and manufacturing, ensuring they have the necessary resources without manual intervention.
Biometric Wearable & Scanners
Devices like the Zebra WT6000 Wearable Computer allow hands-free barcode scanning, improving efficiency in logistics and inventory management. Deskless workers can focus on tasks without the need to manually handle and operate separate scanning devices.
Devices like the Nymi Band use biometric authentication (such as heartbeat recognition) to provide secure access to systems and devices. This can enhance security and streamline authentication processes for deskless workers in various industries.
What do you believe are the primary challenges for deskless workers, and how can innovative solutions address them? Join the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments.