The important differences between desk and non-desk employees

Desk workers (DW) – Sit in front of a computer all day

Non-desk workers (NDW) – Are always on the moveĀ 

  • NDW are usually busy doing physical tasks meaning they don’t always have access to desktop devices with company messages and information on.
  • When they do get access, they need something that is easy to check with minimal fuss.
  • NDW check their personal apps like Facebook or Instagram, more than they do their emails and often NDW don’t even have a company email address.

The easiest way to tackle this without a significant IT overhaul is to enable a BYOD (bring your own device) policy.

If you had an easy to use app like one they are used to using in their own time, downloaded right onto their own smartphone, you can guarantee that engagement and communication levels would increase. According to comScore’s 2017 Cross Platform Future in Focus report, the average adult spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone per day and mobile accounts for 65% of total digital media consumption.

When you need to get a message out fast an email just won’t suffice; it takes just 15 minutes to view push notifications compared to a huge 6.5 hours to view an email (ZipStripe research 2017). With Oplift Engage’s notification feature you can cut through the inbox clutter and send targeted notifications immediately.


Desk workers – See their manager everyday

Non-desk workers – Do not always see their manager every day

  • When communication platforms are reduced for NDW the method they rely on to receive information is through their managers, so what happens if they don’t see their managers everyday?
  • They may receive the message but later in time, or they may not hear anything at all.
  • When they do hear it, it could have changed due to human error, this leads to uncertain and sometimes incorrect communications which can result in inconsistent service amongst your business.

With an employee engagement app, communications are read directly – you don’t have to rely on line managers to pass on messages and information. Oplift’s acknowledgement feature means you can see who has read what and prompt them to read if they haven’t already or re-read information to refresh their memory.


Desk workers – Have communication with a computer

Non-desk workers – Have communication with your customersĀ 

  • NDW are your most valuable asset they see and hear what desk workers can’t. Everything from likes, complaints and questions.
  • They have a genuine understanding of your customers and probably know them better than most people in head office.

It seems obvious that NDW should be able to communicate upwards and share their knowledge and ideas, yet usually, this is made difficult for them. DW and NDW should work together in order to produce customer care which is exactly what your customers are looking for.


Desk workers – Navigate their way through information on a computer

Non-desk workers – Navigate their way through information on a phone or mobile device

  • Navigating through emails and intranets is a lot easier on a big computer screen.
  • When you have a phone it can become tedious trying to read massive documents, fill in forms, trawl through emails and just generally keep up to date. So guess what? People give up and go without reading and learning what they need to know.

Think about how easy it is to find what you’re looking for on social media apps, why can’t this be transcended onto your company app which can also be used on a desktop for a streamlined approach. If employees could find information as easily as they can on Facebook they would be more inclined to look. Oplift’s dashboard ensures that ALL information is right at their fingertips with quick links to content and tools inside and out of the app.

Our learning game created for Virgin Media which employees can play on their own devices, found that 65% of employees even play in their own time, and 97.5% like or love playing the game!


Desk workers – Are surrounded by a team

Non-desk workers – Are sometimes isolated

  • When you are surrounded by a team it is easy to hear things and become engaged in the company culture.
  • If you work alone or with just a few colleagues it can be hard to get a feel for the mood and pace of the business which leaves you out of the loop.
  • It can also be hard to learn anything because they can’t ask, or bounce ideas off of anyone.

Translating company culture to non-desk employees can be very tough. A good way to do this is to be incredibly visual with your communications; internal videos and team pictures can help. To make visuals immediately noticeable it is good to have them where people don’t have to look. For example, our dashboard on Oplift Engage allows you to upload tappable banners which are immediately noticeable.

Communication streams can allow those remote workers to join work conversations and listen to what others have to say.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 18th January 2018