Remotely interested? 2023

It’s suggested that around 80% of the workforce are ‘deskless’ – in other words, employees who work in an environment that either isn’t office based, or whose work does not require them to be at a computer or connected. It includes people who work in hospitality, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, transport, construction, public service and more.

In 2019 we carried out research to find out why this group of the working population were so hard to communicate with – was it just the fact that they weren’t connected to computers?
That research has been shared widely and you can download the findings here.

In 2023, after the global pandemic and the explosion of technology in the workplace, has anything changed?

In total nine organisations took part and over 300 deskless employees gave their views on communication in the workplace. They completed a survey telling us what they thought about their managers, senior leaders, the tools used to communicate with them and the quality of the content they received.

What does the data tell us?

Remotely Interested-2023 stats

Were we right?

Compared to 2019, there has been a positive shift in the core questions we asked:

Do you have all the information you need to do your job well?

Is the information you receive relevant?

Is your manager a good communicator?

We haven’t gone digital yet…

Digital has not made the progress we were expecting. This is because people are spending over 90% of their time doing the work, on the ground. Unlike office workers, deskless workers don’t have time to check emails, use technology or carry out general admin tasks.

They will prioritise the information they hear from colleagues or their line manager. It’s all about word of mouth, which we will come to later.

Tools like WhatsApp are really starting to take off but come with lots of risk for organisations – we explain more about these in the report.

Use of WhatsApp/Text messaging



It’s time to talk

Deskless workers are verbal communicators operating in a verbal culture. Most people working in offices are working in a written culture.

These two clashing is the core of the challenge for communicating effectively with those who are working on the frontline and out with customers.

Download the
2023 report

Sign up to download a copy of the full report. 

Shop floor vs factory floor

In 2019 we identified the different types of deskless workers: Team, Mixed and Solitary

In 2023, we have identified further insight into the different types of deskless workers focussing on factory floor or shop floor with clear differences around skills, focus for the role and customer interaction.

Are you solving the right engagement problem?

If this data is telling us that people feel connected to the organisation, what problem does improving communication solve?

What do deskless workers get frustrated about?

What should the communication teams in today’s organisations focus on?

Download the 2023 report

To download, please add the report to the basket below:

Digital download
Printed copy (sent via post)

£69.00Read more


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