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Why mobility for frontline workers matters

Frontline workers are estimated to make up 80% of the global workforce¹, and yet the vast majority of digital transformation initiatives have so far left these workers behind. This is despite the emergence of a host of new technologies that are revolutionising how these workers operate. 

Organisations that are failing to empower this essential segment of their workforce are missing out on far more than they realise. Study after study has shown that organisations that have equipped these workers with the right technology and unlocked their dormant potential have seen real transformation.

Life on the frontlines may be remote, but staff no longer expect it to be disconnected. Frontline workers largely report that they don’t feel connected with the business or have adequate access to the information they need. In fact, 85% of frontline workers say they don’t receive enough communication while on the job,² while 73% claim they need to pause or stop work on a regular basis to retrieve information that they don’t have at their fingertips.³ 

Fortunately, tools that can remedy this situation are now readily available, and businesses that move fast and properly equip their workforces are witnessing the benefits and returns on multiple fronts. 

Employees that use smartphones to get work done say they gain nearly an hour (58 minutes) of work time each day on average and see an estimated productivity increase of 34%.⁴ 

Productivity can skyrocket thanks to the efficiency savings these devices can provide, whether that means granting employees direct access to the information they need, speeding up decision making through better communication or minimising the number of manual tasks they need to perform. Employees that use smartphones to get work done say they gain nearly an hour (58 minutes) of work time each day on average and see an estimated productivity increase of 34%.⁴

But it’s not just productivity that’ll improve. Employee satisfaction also rises with new digital tools. 41% of frontline workers agree their job includes many paper-based tasks that would be easier to execute on a computer or mobile device.⁵ By giving them the tools they sorely need, you’re going to improve their experience in the workplace. In fact, 82% of companies that have made the move report higher levels of job satisfaction, while 64% have seen lower employee turnover.⁶

Ultimately, you will have staff members who can complete their job faster, with fewer mistakes and greater satisfaction. The result? A better bottom line. Organisations with the highest degree of digital connectivity and empowerment – involving more than 75% of their frontline workers – are far more likely to see more than 20% growth year on year.⁷

But the effects don’t end there. These new tools can foster a culture of innovation, empowering employees to uncover new processes and concepts, and giving them a voice to share these ideas with the wider business. In fact, businesses that connect their people enjoy 32% more production innovation.⁸ 

However, it’s not always quite as simple as providing your frontline workforce with new technology. They need to be equipped with tools that are suitable for their environment. When frontline workers were asked if they were actively looking to switch jobs, those who experienced device operating failure were twice as likely to agree.⁹ These workers’ needs differ greatly from those of their office counterparts and choosing the right devices. Here, the right applications and security will determine whether your efforts are successful.

1 Emergence (2018) The Rise of the Deskless Workforce.
2 StaffbaseBridging the Digital Communication Gap for Non-Desk, Frontline, and Offline Employees.
3 Forrester (2019) Empower Frontline Workers With Cloud Experiences.
4 Frost & Sullivan (2016) The Smartphone Productivity Effect.
5 Forrester (2019) Empower Frontline Workers With Cloud Experiences.
6 Forbes Insight (2017) Empowering the Firstline Workforce.
7 ibid.
8 Raconteur, (2019) Connecting the Unconnected Workforce.
9 Forrester (2019) Empower Frontline Workers With Cloud Experiences

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