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Deskless workers feel left behind by technology



A quarter (27%) of deskless workers feel left out of conversations about technological advances, according to research from Virgin Media O2 Business.

Diego Tedesco, director at Virgin Media O2 Business, told HR magazine that employers should prioritise internal communication as they introduce new technology.

Over half (53%) of deskless workers feel that senior management could help improve communication with clearer explanations on big technology shifts.

Tedesco said: “Deskless workers will be looking to senior management to clearly articulate technological shifts and what they mean for the workforce. It is imperative for businesses of all sizes and sectors not only to embrace emerging technologies, but ensure their employees are ready for it too.

“Fostering clear communication on any tools that are brought in will help explain the value of new tech and support colleagues to get the most out of those investments.”

Read more: Automation top investment priority for business in next two years

Almost a third (31%) of deskless retail workers and 63% of transport workers feel concerned by the loss of control in their roles to automation and AI.

The CIPD’s labour market outlook also found 24% of employers were planning to use automation to address vacancies, almost twice the level of automation in summer 2022 (13%).

However, workers should approach the development of new technology with optimism, according to professional speaker Tracey Follows.

She said: “Emerging tech presents many promising new opportunities to improve workplace safety, wellbeing, and empower employees through more personalised compensation structures. Instead of reacting with pessimism, we would do well to shift the narrative toward one of optimism and possibility for reinventing roles.”

The research found 36% of deskless workers are excited by the possibilities new technology could offer, while 33% believe emerging technologies could offer them a better work-life balance.

Commissioned by Virgin Media O2 Business, 2,000 UK workers aged 18+, were surveyed online between 10th to 15th November, 2023.

Read more: Entry-level HR roles at risk of automation


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