- More than 40% of global “deskless” workers — those whose jobs are tied to a fixed location or that can’t be done remotely — are open to a new job, according to data published Dec. 15 by Boston Consulting Group.
- That represents an increase from BCG’s survey of deskless workers published in July, in which 37% said they were considering leaving their jobs. BCG found that emotional issues, such as burnout, were among the top factors cited by workers in the latest survey.
- Members of Generation Z were more likely than their counterparts to say that they were looking to change jobs. BCG said fair treatment and feeling respected, valued and appreciated were among the top 10 reasons respondents cited that factored into their decisions to leave.
Besides the change in the number of workers considering leaving their jobs, BCG’s July and December surveys also differed in terms of the motivations workers cited for wanting to consider new opportunities.
Namely, the firm’s July data showed that many deskless workers complained of a lack of career advancement, alongside issues such as work schedules and benefits packages.
In its analysis, BCG pointed to managerial practices as one area on which employers could focus as they seek to address deskless workers’ more recent emotional concerns. “Managers are the glue that binds all workers to their jobs and to the organization,” BCG said. “Our research shows that deskless workers who are dissatisfied with their managers are 50% more likely to feel burned out, three times more likely not to recommend their employer as a place to work, and twice as likely to leave.”
Past research points to a disconnect between deskless workers and managers. In 2021, a WorkForce Software survey of deskless employees and managers found that 81% of managers said they felt their organizations had adjusted their scheduling policies sufficiently to deal with COVID-19, compared to 64% of deskless workers. WorkForce Software found similar gaps on topics such as scheduling flexibility and COVID-19 responses.
When it comes to engaging deskless workers in areas such as training, sources previously told HR Dive employers should aim for accessible programs that meet employees where they are. Employers have displayed a similar philosophy when addressing front-line workers’ mental and emotional health concerns. Some, like Walmart, have opened no-cost access to mental health counseling benefits via several platforms.
Internally, HR may need to think through how to more effectively communicate the impact of burnout on staff to executives. One Notre Dame professor demonstrated a method that communicates burnout on a spectrum using a series of matches, which could help depict the burnout problem visually.