Deskless Workers Want Better Benefits

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When candidates were controlling the hiring landscape, employers were bending over backward to meet jobseekers’ demands. However, that all shifted when the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. For employers that may be struggling to bring workers back on, may we offer this one suggestion? Try offering a better benefits package.

According to new survey findings released by Quinyx, a workforce management platform, COVID-19 has created a demand for better benefits. Quinyx’s new report, “2020 State of the Deskless Workforce,” reveals what your deskless workers want, and COVID-19 has drastically changed their needs.

It’s worth noting that the Quinyx report was compiled using data from a March poll before many Americans experienced unprecedented levels of unemployment. Quinyx polled 1,200 U.S. adults who identify as deskless workers to understand how scheduling, sick time, wages, and communication impact their health and happiness.

Survey Says …

Before the COVID-19 health crisis, 3 in 4 (74%) deskless workers chose to go into work while they were sick, and challenges such as a lack of flexibility and sick time are likely to blame, with less than 1 in 5 (13%) workers saying they have paid sick leave. On top of that, nearly half (47%) of deskless workers also worried that switching shifts could get them fired.

Results showed workers were unable to achieve work/life balance, with 2 in 3 (66%) giving up sleep, hobbies, and normal eating habits due to inflexible schedules. Workers say they were also regularly forced to choose between their personal lives and their jobs, with the majority missing social events or holidays (70%) or major milestones such as funerals or weddings (49%) due to inflexible schedules.

Younger generations were more likely to feel tied to their job, with Gen Zs most likely to sacrifice social events (74%) and Millennials most likely to miss major milestones (52%) due to their work schedule.

Outside of schedules, workers struggled to maintain good communication with their employer. The majority of deskless workers (85%) reported their employer takes an “always-on” approach to communication, regularly contacting them when they are off hours.

Added to this, deskless workers feel uncomfortable coming to their employer or manager with questions about scheduling issues affecting their personal lives (25%), how working conditions impact their physical or mental health (35%), pay raise or wage disparities (33%), or a loss or an increase in work hours (25 %).

Deskless Workers in a Post-COVID-19 World

With COVID-19 universally altering Americans’ daily lives, Quinyx launched a second survey in April to understand how deskless workers were affected and how sentiment changed throughout the pandemic.

Findings showed deskless workers’ concerns and challenges didn’t necessarily change in the wake of COVID-19, but poor workplace practices are now putting both employees’ and customers’ health at risk. In fact, 1 in 7 (14%) still went to work sick during the pandemic, with half (48%) doing so because they couldn’t afford to lose pay. Industries where workers come in regular contact with consumers such as hotel and food services (63%) and retail (53%) were the most likely to go to work sick to make sure they could make ends meet.

Employees also faced similar communication problems as they did before COVID-19, with 1 in 5 (19%) saying they felt uncomfortable asking what to do if they felt ill, 1 in 5 (20%) feeling uncomfortable talking about concerns with working during the pandemic, and 1 in 4 (25%) feeling uncomfortable with discussing compensation or job security.

For those considered essential workers (68%), their communication troubles prevented them from receiving proper training during the pandemic. One in 3 (35%) essential workers say their employer did not provide adequate training or direction during the pandemic, including 1 in 7 (14%) who say they received no training at all….

Source: HR Daily Advisor

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