The prime factor behind the sustenance and growth of economies is a steady workforce. Businesses can innovate themselves and experience growth when they have a steady supply of human capital. Any imbalance in the supply of labor can result in a seriously affected future of economic growth. The Covid-19 pandemic created a seismic wave that changed the way industries worked. As the economy reopens in the post-pandemic world, we are witnessing altered preferences of both, employees and the consumers.
People are rethinking their careers, changing perspectives on their ideal workplaces, demanding workplace flexibility and much more. Companies worldwide are facing difficulty finding employees to fit their business needs. The corporate world is experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates. It is true that digital technology is replacing manual work. But is it powerful enough to bridge the gap of labor shortage?
Workforce Shortage: The Reasons and Facts
The world experienced what we now call ‘The Great Resignation’ which started in 2021 and has led to excessive demand for the workforce, but not enough supply. Employees are voluntarily leaving their jobs for reasons that have been uncommon in the past. People are prioritizing factors such as their health, work-life balance, workplace flexibility and heightened remuneration.
According to a recent report by CNBC, nearly 4.3 million people quit their jobs in January 2022. The same report also states that job resignations are still up 23% above pre-pandemic levels.
Another report suggests that the top industries experiencing resignations are Trade & transportation, Hospitality, Food Services and Retail.
How Does Labor Shortage Affect Businesses?
Several industrial sectors depend on an on-site customer-facing staff such as hospitality, retail, healthcare, BFSI, etc. Not having enough staff to engage the customers may be devastating for businesses. Waiters, cashiers, bank executives, retail consultants, front desk staff play an important role in helping customers to get what they need.
Following are the major ill-effects of workforce shortage:
1. Increased Wait-Time
Having lesser employees on-site to attend to the customers directly affects the customer experience. Customers have to wait in long queues to get their tasks done when there are limited employees on site. Long queues and excessive waiting time are key reasons for customers abandoning your services.
2. Poor Customer Service
With a shorter staff, employees have to manage many more customers than they usually would. Doing more in less time often leaves room for manual errors. Since customers today are always in a hurry and expect rapid services, the inability to meet expectations may lower your customer service and brand reputation.
3. Overburdened Employees
Shortage of staff gives rise to a tired and overwhelmed on-site workforce. Not having enough employees to take care of various aspects increases the work pressure on the rest of them. When employees are constantly overburdened, it leads to a lack of job satisfaction and many may even want to quit their jobs to find newer, less hectic ones.
4. Costlier Manpower
Because of a worldwide shortage of labor, businesses are left with no choice but to hire the ones that they find. Employees willing to work in a company with a small workforce may demand larger remuneration. Businesses have no option but to hire expensive manpower or increase the wages of the existing employees.
The Role of Digital Kiosks in Managing Staff Shortage
Digital kiosks have been around for quite some time. However, due to the ongoing shortage of workforce, the corporate sector is experiencing an increased implementation of digital kiosks. According to a report, the global kiosk market is expected to grow from $22.69 billion in 2021 to $51.05 billion in 2028.
Let’s understand how deploying digital kiosks helps businesses manage employee shortages:
1. No Human Interaction Required
The best advantage of digital kiosks for a corporate world experiencing a shortage of labor is that customers can operate the kiosks themselves. Businesses are not required to deploy an individual at every kiosk. These digital devices are installed in public places and are extremely user-friendly.
2. Customers Independence
Right from placing orders to making payments, customers can operate the digital kiosks privately without having to interact with the on-site staff or share their personal details with anyone. Businesses can deploy various kinds of kiosks such as way-finding kiosks, internet kiosks, information helpdesks, interactive kiosks and much more.
3. Remote Management
Another major business benefit of adopting digital kiosks is that your IT teams can monitor and manage these devices remotely. You do not need on-site staff to perform physical actions on the devices. Whether it is rebooting the kiosks, or changing the display video, uploading fresh content or fixing a technical glitch, it can all be addressed remotely.
4. Automation Capabilities
Needless to say, digital kiosks reduce the burden of customer engagement and visitor management on the staff. Businesses can implement kiosk management software to secure these devices, as well as automate routine processes. Timely OS updates, switching presentations, alerts for battery, data consumption, storage and much more. Simply by automating your kiosks with the right tools you can divert your limited on-site staff towards more crucial tasks.
Making the Most of Your Digital Kiosks With Scalefusion MDM
Digital kiosks certainly help businesses ease the problem of workforce scarcity. However, it is important to understand that digital kiosks are unattended digital devices, often powered by the internet. To prevent your digital kiosks from being misused by customers, or from falling prey to cyber-attacks, it is important to adopt efficient kiosk management software.
Some of the prominent features that can help businesses secure their digital kiosks are:
1. Single-App Kiosk Mode
Businesses can save costs on purchasing special kiosks by turning their commercial devices into purpose-specific kiosks. You can lock off-the-shelf Android tablets, TVs, iPads and much more into a single application to obtain customer-facing kiosks. You can configure this feature easily from the Scalefusion dashboard for all your digital kiosks. All the other apps and settings on the device are hidden leaving no room for manipulation or misuse by customers.
2. Content Management
Informative kiosks or digital signages deployed to advertise products and services require constant switching of media. These devices play videos and presentations on a loop. With Scalefusion, you can remotely push images, videos and media files of diverse formats on your dispersed kiosks. You can also remotely switch presentations from the Scalefusion dashboard.
3. Automated Workflows
Businesses can automate their routine kiosk management tasks such as app upgrades, OS updates, broadcasting messages, clearing browser cache, etc. with Scalefusion Workflows. You can create specific workflows and schedule them for a particular date and time. This way neither your on-site employees nor your IT teams have to spend their time on redundant kiosk management tasks.
4. Kiosk Security
Digital kiosks being unattended presents a variety of security challenges for businesses. Scalefusion offers extensive kiosk security features. You can restrict hardware buttons, configure VPN for a secure network connection, configure compliance alerts and even remotely monitor the kiosk usage based on a plethora of device-level reports. Scalefusion also extends a comprehensive platform summary that gives businesses an overview of their digital kiosks. You can track device usage and compliance violations on an inventory-wide level.
5. Remote Support
Digital devices are prone to technical errors. However, extended system downtime can hamper your customer experience. Scalefusion helps businesses fix their kiosk issues rapidly with an array of remote support capabilities. Your IT admins can leverage the Remote Cast & Control feature to remotely mirror the kiosk device’s screen and virtually fix issues. You can also take screenshots, recordings and generate context-aware ITSM tickets for faster issue resolution.
Will digital kiosks fully replace human labor? Well, not in the near future. But it can certainly fill the gap created by a labor shortage and manual errors. Businesses can benefit from deploying digital kiosks at the right place, managed by the right tools. Scalefusion MDM is a Kiosk management software that helps businesses streamline the security and remote management of these public-facing digital devices.