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06/07/2021

Survey: 39% of Shift Workers Would Rather Have a Flexible Schedule Rather than Higher Pay

Deskless workers also reported that understaffing led to a stressful work environment, poor customer service, and longer wait times for customers.
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Nearly 80% of the global workforce is made up of deskless workers. They are the healthcare workers, delivery drivers, cashiers, and service industry people we encounter everyday. They are more than essential employees, they are the lifeblood of our economy, the workers that keep society running. To ensure that this vital section of our workforce is engaged and productive, companies must understand exactly what these workers need. That's why Quinyx developed its Annual State of the Deskless Workforce Report.

This year, Quinyx polled 1,500 deskless and shift workers in the U.S. Those polled included deskless workers from the hospitality, logistics, retail, healthcare and social care sectors.

Five (+3)  eye-opening stats:

  • 65% of those polled had to go to work sick (even in the midst of a global pandemic) because they couldn’t afford time off and didn't have the means to amend their schedules.
  • 51% indicated that their work suffered from understaffing issues.
    • 83% said this led to a more stressful work environment.
    • 52% that it resulted in poor customer service.
    • 54% that it led to longer wait times for customers.
  • 1 in 3 said they did not feel appreciated at work.
  • 61% needed to prioritize work over health and personal care time.
  • 39% indicate they’d rather have a flexible schedule than higher pay.

Employee well-being: To stay relevant to their deskless workers, employers should develop strategies to improve and engage this section of their workforce. Employees polled clearly indicated that they felt they didn't have time for health and recovery. Over 60% of American deskless workers indicated that they had to work while sick because they couldn't afford to take time off, citing a lack of paid sick time as the main contributor. For those who work hourly, it's a clear financial strain to take the needed time off to address personal health issues.

Employee anxiety: Health is not the only scheduling stressors for the deskless workforce. 43% of those polled told us they felt pressure to take shifts that they didn't want and 37% thought that asking for a scheduling change would be viewed negatively by their management. These are factors leading to a poor work-life balance and higher burnout rate.

Staffing and retention: Over half of those polled said that they noticed understaffing issues over the past year. Of those who identified this, 83% said that it made work more stressful and 52% indicated that it lowered customer service performance. The report also highlighted some bleak statistics that can impact employee retention. Of those polled, 1 in 3 said that they do not feel appreciated at work. Employee satisfaction is a key indicator of retention. Statistics in the report indicate that 54% of the deskless workforce would consider leaving a job because there was a negative work environment.

Flexibility vs. higher salary: A third of employees polled would prefer more flexibility over a higher paycheck. For employers, the research clearly shows that attracting and retaining deskless workers can be achieved without spending more on pay. Instead by helping them regain a healthy work-life balance by providing employees the tools and processes needed.

In the current economy, companies are having trouble finding employees to fill their positions. It's more important than ever to understand and improve areas where your company falls short of meeting deskless workers' needs. The full report is currently available for download.