Staff without desks are challenging to manage. The task gets tougher when you consider the numerous moving components of a deskless workforce! 

According to a survey from Emergence, 2.7 billion individuals, or 80% of the global workforce, work without a desk. Think about sectors such as manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and security. As new technology is developed, this workforce that works without a desk is frequently overlooked.  

Furthermore, according to a poll conducted, over 78% of deskless workers stated that having access to the right technology is crucial when searching for a new position.  

This is easy to imagine. Think about a nurse managing medicines and other patient records. It takes a lot of time to write down these notes using a pen and paper and then you must finish the handover.  

However, with the correct technology, nurses may automatically record the delivery of medications, and any required staff can view these records. This is just one illustration of how technology may empower workers who don’t have desks. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the most important aspects of workforce management and explain how a deskless workforce can manage them. 

What is a Deskless Workforce?  

Workers that don’t use a desk to accomplish their tasks are known as deskless workers. Deskless workers are frequently assumed to be employed in industries or as “blue-collar” jobs.  

Nonetheless, the deskless workforce also includes some white-collar employees! Fundamentally, whichever industry we examine, there is usually a “deskless” occupation within that industry. 

This could be one of the causes of the tendency of deskless workers’ technology to lag other types of office technology. Regardless of their industry, office workers often use a desk, hence the technology is skeptical. 

The Needs of a Deskless Workforce  

Regardless of their workplace, every worker has certain needs that are universal when we break down their wants. Most of these requirements involve managing the workforce. We’ll discuss these one by one: 


Let’s start by talking about communication. Deskless employees must be able to interact with their team efficiently, just like any other worker. They must be aware of what is going on in the workplace around them, as well as the company’s objectives and manager expectations.  

Employee engagement issues might arise for deskless workers and their counterparts without appropriate communication routes and technologies. That’s awful news for the entire organization. So, there must be proper sources of communication to facilitate them. 

Work-Life Balance  

Undoubtedly, everyone in the workforce, deskless or not, must be able to attain work-life balance. Regrettably, deskless workers typically work in industries that are open round-the-clock. 

Because of their schedule, they are more likely to miss important events and are forced to work unpredictable shift patterns. It might be challenging for managers and schedulers to give the diskless workforce the work-life balance they deserve without the proper workforce management tools. 

Flexibility and Autonomy 

An increasing number of offices have adopted hybrid or entirely remote working methods in recent years. This only holds true in conventional office situations, though. 

Can’t frontline employees and healthcare practitioners work from home whenever they wish to? Can’t security officers do virtual patrols? Thus, it’s quite unfair, isn’t it? Deskless shift workers can, however, access tools that offer them flexibility and independence. 

Even while they might not be able to work from home, they can still be flexible in other ways. Indeed, twenty-five percent of deskless workers would prefer greater flexibility over higher pay. Hence, flexible scheduling choices can be offered by workforce management technologies like deskless workforce app. 

Key Areas 

There are 4 main areas in workforce management. We’re going to break them down below in relation to deskless workforces, and how to get the most out of them!  

1. Forecasting and Budgeting 

Having the right people in the right places at the right times is one of the primary objectives of workforce management. For office workers, this is, as you would guess, rather simple. Most of them work 9–5 Monday through Friday or in some other regular schedule. 

When it comes to a workforce that works without a desk, this becomes much more difficult. It is challenging to forecast a deskless workforce because of variable demand, varying shift patterns, and other issues. Not only is projecting this challenging, but budgeting for it is also a problem.  

To identify trends regarding a deskless workforce, it can be beneficial to go over previous company data. These patterns can be used to pinpoint critical times or intervals where a labor reduction or increase may be necessary.  

2. Employee Scheduling 

One of the key factors in having the appropriate people in the right location at the right time is staff scheduling. Again, it’s not at all simple to create an employee schedule that works when there are numerous shift patterns, jobs, and possible locations. 

Of course, controlling these shifting components is not best done by manual scheduling. Manual schedulers frequently find themselves needing to work overtime to make up for scheduling gaps, which is detrimental to the company in the long run. The productivity of deskless workers is also impacted by double reservations and other scheduling problems.  

Moreover, employee scheduling features found in top-tier workforce management systems can assist in producing a well-optimized schedule. Deskless workers must be allowed to scheduling flexibility. It is not the fault of the workers to find it difficult to manage a deskless workforce.  

Thus, to help offer these possibilities, firms should invest in the appropriate hardware and software. 

3. Time and Attendance Tracking 

Capturing and validating the real location of employees is essential to have the right people in the right places at the right times. Returning to office workers, it’s usually reasonable to presume that they spend most of the working day in the office or at their desk. 

Most desk workers are exempt from the requirement to clock in and out. For a worker without a desk, this is untrue. All these inquiries are crucial in labor management. Do they reside in the structure? Did they arrive on schedule? All these inquiries are crucial in labor management. 

The technique used to collect time is one of the most crucial elements to consider. Employee check-in might be done manually or using antiquated methods like sign-in sheets and paper timesheets. 

This can be avoided and time and money can be saved with automated time and attendance tracking solutions. With the GPS geofencing feature of our cutting-edge workforce management technology, overseeing a deskless workforce is a breeze! 

Observe the whereabouts of employees during their workday and their arrival and departure times. For the manager of a deskless workforce with several sites, you can also receive fast alerts for no-shows and late check-ins. 

4. Employee Engagement 

The last component missing from the workforce management puzzle is employee engagement. Knowing that the right people are in the right place at the right moment allows you to relax. All that’s left to do is make sure they’re genuinely involved and contributing. 

According to research, organizations with engaged workers beat those with disengaged workers in nearly every category, including 10% higher customer satisfaction, 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales, and 21% higher profitability. Although it takes time to increase employee engagement, achieving all the goals puts you in the right direction. 

Final Thoughts 

Managing a deskless workforce presents unique challenges, but with the right strategies and tools, these challenges can be effectively addressed. From improving communication and ensuring work-life balance to offering flexibility and autonomy, the proper workforce management solutions can significantly enhance the productivity and satisfaction of deskless workers.  

Key areas such as forecasting, scheduling, time tracking, and employee engagement are crucial to optimizing the performance of deskless teams.  

Ultimately, by investing in advanced technologies tailored to the needs of a deskless workforce, businesses can not only streamline operations but also create a more responsive and supportive work environment.