The rise of deskless workers

Enterprise technology has come a long way in recent decades. From early technologies like fax machines and email to intranets and digital workplace solutions, technological advancements are in full swing. Companies are progressively adapting and embracing new technologies to engage and retain their workforce and improve overall productivity. However, tech companies and IT buyers alike do not seem to have paid great attention or invested heavily in technologies directed to the deskless workforce.
deskless workers


In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the deskless workforce and how new technologies like digital workplace solutions are having a greater impact on deskless employees across different industries.

Deskless workforce

The definition of a deskless worker is quite straightforward: it is anyone who does not sit behind a desk to perform their job. These types of jobs are spread across a variety of industries, from agriculture to hospitality, retail and education. According to The Rise of the Deskless Workforce report, deskless workers make up to 80 per cent or 2.7 billion of the global working population. Despite these important figures, deskless workers have been overlooked by tech companies and their IT teams in terms of tools and technologies. In fact, only 1 per cent of enterprise software investment is allocated to the deskless workforce. These employees had been feeling isolated and disengaged as they did not have the latest tools to perform their jobs effectively, while their office-based co-workers benefited from technologies like digital workplace solutions, ERPs, CRMs and more.


The situation has started to change in recent years as more and more companies plan to increase their investment in deskless technologies. The Rise of the Deskless Workforce found that 82 per cent of respondents are planning to increase their budget. The transportation and manufacturing industries are the most willing to invest, with 100 per cent and 91 per cent of companies surveyed respectively expressing their readiness to spend more.

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The impact of digital workplace solutions on the deskless

Over the last few years, as companies began to realise the importance and potential of their deskless employees, a number of technologies started to gain momentum. Among these technologies are digital workplace solutions.


As a digital workplace provider, we have found that the number of prospects and clients looking to implement a digital workplace to both their office-based and deskless workforce is on the rise. From healthcare to governmental organisations, we have found that implementing a digital workplace solution can help these companies in a number of ways:

  • Connecting their in-office and on-site employees in real time through an integrated chat application. The availability of most digital workplace solutions like eXo Platform on mobile devices has made instant communication a reality for deskless workers.
  • Allowing teams to collaborate on different projects through dedicated spaces. An integrated project management functionality can help these teams create, schedule and track projects with ease.
  • Keeping their deskless employees updated on the latest company news, activities and events. This can help to engage and retain employees as they feel part of the organisation.
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing and continuous learning through an integrated knowledge management system. Deskless employees can then access, create and share all types of knowledge through a centralised location.

The newest generation of intranets, currently known as digital workplace solutions, has brought a number of benefits for organisations regardless of their industry, size or the nature of their workforce. However, the impact of technology on the deskless workforce does not stop here. Technologies like wearables, the internet of things, virtual and augmented reality have started to make their way to industries with great feedback and results. This means that tech companies and IT buyers alike will continue to innovate and invest in new technologies for a better future for the deskless.

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I am a product marketing specialist at eXo. My role is to assist marketing and sales teams in their operations and present our digital workplace solution to the world. I mainly blog about the latest tech trends, digital transformation, internal communication and how to navigate through eXo Platform.
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29 September 2019 23 h 03 min

Hey There, Great post, I like your ways of explaining it. I also write blog but my writing skill is not so good like yours. I have read many tips and blog on this subject, I realized one basic truth, you must do what you good at.

17 February 2020 2 h 07 min