Communicating with remote employees


In our previous post we talked about the deskless workforce, a large number of today’s workforce who do not work in an office, at a desk or even have access to a computer.  The deskless workforce makes up around 80% of the global workforce from many different industries such as food services, manufacturing, healthcare and logistics.  Due to the diverse nature of the deskless workforce, many do not have access to the training methods that other industries do. Learning and development can be difficult to implement in the deskless workforce, but it is an important factor to keep employee’s engaged and reduce turnover.

Aside from being on the road, deskless workers generally work in shifts, perform tasks that require physical demand or are interacting with customers.  It can be hard for deskless workers to assign time for training as well as not having a dedicated workspace or access to a computer. Research conducted has found that deskless workers prefer blended learning methods and that companies should now take up more technologically advanced ways to engage their deskless workforce.  There are a number of ways companies can engage and train their deskless workers:


Use an Employee Mobile App

With no access to a computer, an employee mobile app can be a good way to deliver training from any time, anywhere.  Mobile learning is available on demand and blends into the employee’s workflow. By allowing deskless workers access to training through mobile they can access the information they need when they are on the road or whenever the need arises.


Use Microlearning

As deskless employees can have difficulty finding the time for training, delivering the correct information in the form of microlearning can have huge benefits for them.  Microlearning fits into their busy schedules while being an effective way of training and helping knowledge retention.  Microlearning combined with mobile accessible training allows employees to have the exact information they need at ease.  It is an effective way of quickly enhancing productivity & empowering staff.


Take a Blended Learning Approach

Blended learning combines the benefits of classroom learning and e-learning.  Deskless employees can undertake e-learning courses at their own pace while also attending occasional real time training sessions for a deeper understanding of the specific topic.  Blended learning can be ideal for topics that need a hands-on demonstration or practice.  Real time sessions can take place in the form of group training sessions.


Provide Continuous Feedback

All employees not only those from deskless workforce’s require more continuous feedback in real time.  Research has shown that 25% of deskless workers receive no feedback whatsoever from their employers and as high as 55% receive feedback as little as four times or less per year. In order for employees to properly develop they must receive regular feedback about their performance in relation to their learning, development & goals.  Research by Gallup shows that 27% of employees agree that when they receive feedback they feel that they are more productive.


Promote Continuous Learning

Allowing continuous learning allows employees to learn new things and provides them with the required tools to do so in their own time. Employee’s feel supported by the encouragement to learn and the results are increased productivity, retention and strengthened brand reputation in the employment market.  Continuous learning can also help organisations develop new and better processes by listening to what the employee’s have learned and allowing them to submit their recommendations for improvement on the tasks they perform day to day.



As the number of deskless workers continues to rise, it is important for organisations to have processes in place that address their unique learning and development needs.  By making several changes organisations can bring successful learning & development to deskless workers.  Bringing new training methods to the deskless workforce will help to increase retention, improve skills and address any issues in a timely manner.