Article | November 16, 2020

Does My Company's Mobile App Really Matter To Workers On The Front Lines?

Field Technician With Mobile Phone App

Why your digital adoption strategy is more strongly than ever tied to worker job satisfaction

The mobile workers who keep businesses running smoothly are estimated today to comprise approximately 57% of the U.S. workforce, according to IDC. They include the medical technicians, construction workers, food and beverage delivery representatives, truck drivers, public utility technicians, facility management and maintenance professionals, manufacturing associates and warehousing and logistics workers, among others.

These kinds of essential workers are referred to by many different names: field, remote, mobile, deskless, distributed, front line. Whatever your preferred name is, they are not tied to a desk for most of their day and are constantly on the go. As a result, they can be the employees who are hardest to reach over the course of a typical workday.

As an employer or manager, failing to engage mobile workers can lead to substantial business costs – Gallup found that disengaged workers can result in 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity and 15% lower profitability. These effects of disengagement on workers can be summed up in one word: unhappy.

A survey by The Harvard Business Review found that 78% of executives believe that connecting and empowering mobile employees is critical to their overall success. But a PwC survey finds that more than 80% of HR and IT leaders say they struggle with worker adoption of new technology solutions. These twin realities reveal a significant disconnect between the promise of digital technology in driving gains in efficiency and profitability and the challenge of low rates of worker adoption that can stymie productivity and job satisfaction.

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