MDM for Non-Desk Workers: Empowering the Unseen Workforce

  • March 13, 2023

Air-conditioned spaces, ergonomic chairs, unlimited coffee, and elaborate lunch breaks. That’s what desk or knowledge workers always get, don’t they? Yes, those high-rise, panoramic-view offices are important. After all, you can’t have your marketing team sitting in a dusty, hot room with laptops and getting creative.

MDM for Non-desk workers
MDM for Non-desk Workers

But what about non-desk workers?

The unseen, underrated, and behind-the-scenes non-desk workers must often perform efficiently in the most demanding conditions. From last-mile delivery executives to associates in manufacturing plants or retail stores, their efficiency and productivity impact business growth. Most organizations are aware that non-desk workers are a vital cog in their business wheel. But is enough being done for them?

Empowering non-desk personnel needs to be part of the enterprise mobility strategy. Your unseen workers must be empowered to deliver the best productivity levels. Empowerment begins with the devices they access and how you manage them. This is where MDM or mobile device management comes into play. MDM ensures that your distributed field workers never feel isolated, and at the same time, it allows you to control and manage their devices as per organizational needs.

Let’s explore how MDM helps empower the unseen, unsung heroes—your non-desk workers.

Who’re Non-Desk Workers?

Employees whose work is not confined to stationary workstations can be called non-desk workers. When we walk into corporate headquarters, we don’t see them; maybe that’s why they are called unseen. The industrial sector employs the highest number of such workers. The global e-commerce and retail boom has led to plenty of non-desk job opportunities that have trickled down to all related and adjacent markets, like logistics, warehousing, transportation, and last-mile delivery, to name a few. Other sectors that are highly dependent on non-desk workers are hospitality and healthcare.

All the mentioned sectors are critical to the economy, and without on-field employees, organizations involved in these sectors will come to a standstill, and so can an entire economy. That’s how important non-desk workforces are! This makes it an absolute necessity to empower and enable such workforces so that they remain motivated and productive.

It’s Curtains for Legacy Processes

It’s nice to equip knowledge workers with fancy laptops and smartphones, but it shouldn’t imply that you overlook the ones in the field. Keeping the field workforce in sync with the changing tech tides is non-negotiable for organizations. Gone are the days of handling cheap bar phones to employees who are off the desks. Such legacy processes also meant that you only communicated with non-desk people through emails. If you’re still doing it, and with just over a 20% read rate of legacy emails, good luck!

Today’s generation of non-desk workers, especially millennials, won’t accept legacy practices that are often slow and rigid. Flexibility and tech savviness are the need of the hour which is why it’s time to call curtains for legacy processes.

Empowerment Begins with Devices

Your non-desk workers may not need the latest, high-end smartphones or tablets. But there are plenty of affordable and budget smartphones in the market that you can provide them. These smartphones have features and functions that are good enough for field workers. The most important among them is internet access—either cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity options.

There are two ways to empower non-desk workers with devices or smartphones. First, organizations provision these devices for employees. However, organizations can also offer affordable smartphones. Leasing them is a great option too. Such devices are termed COSU (corporate-owned single-user). Second, allow non-desk employees to use their own smartphones for work purposes, which fall under the umbrella of BYOD (bring your own device). More than 90% of employees own a smartphone which makes the case for BYOD stronger.

You don’t have to lose your sleep over device and company data security and management concerns for COSU and the BYOD scheme of things. An MDM solution takes complete care of that.

Track Devices

A primary aspect of managing the devices of non-desk workers is being aware of their activity and location if they are working on-field. A mobile device management solution lets you set geofences and enable location tracking for all the enrolled devices. You can inform a logistics manager that a truck may have taken a wrong or busy route.

Similarly, a retail executive can be alerted that he/she has breached a geofence that could be set to mall or outlet premises. Sometimes there could be cases of device theft or loss, and location tracking can let IT admins take immediate action. That brings us to the next MDM advantage.

Device Lock and Data Wipe

With location tracking, IT admins can know that a device is not where it should be. Sometimes employees may breach geofences by mistake, but there could also be instances when they may have lost their device or worse, it’s a theft, and your corporate data and device are now in manipulative hands. Don’t worry! In such instances, MDM offers a feature that lets IT admins lock the device and even wipe sensitive data from it.

What if it was an employee-owned device? No sweat! An MDM BYOD policy detaches the work profile and apps from personal data on such devices. Hence, when lost or stolen, IT admins can delete the work profile from personal devices of field workers to protect business data.

Push Apps

MDM helps push enterprise apps to all managed devices in one go. For instance, you can push a production floor shift plan or sketch via an enterprise app rather than displaying it on a sheet of paper. IT admins can also push digital signature apps to devices, making task attribution and acknowledgment an absolute breeze.

New company policies can be communicated via HR apps. In short, an MDM software streamlines app management on devices of non-desk workforces. This also means your field employees remain tech-savvy and feel free to access work apps from anywhere. That’s empowerment right there!

Regular OS Updates

Non-desk workers may not be the most tech-savvy lot in your organization. Investing in an L&D session on OS updates and patches every now and then doesn’t sound like a great option either. Still, you can’t undermine the security vulnerabilities that devices running unpatched OS can create. MDM has got your back.

IT admins can use an MDM solution to automate the OS patch update process. You can even provide a specific time and date to the field workers so that they are aware when their devices will shut down for updates. When your non-desk employees know that your IT will keep their devices updated and patched, they can focus more on their tasks rather than device security.

Reports & Workflows

The busy schedules of non-desk workforces can, at times, make them miss out on some critical device vitals like data consumption or battery life. Rather than accusing them of being complacent, empowering them is better.

An MDM solution lets IT admins access all the device-related reports from a dashboard. For instance, an IT admin can prompt an on-field employee that his internet data or device storage is about to reach the allowed limits. The employee can take steps to remediate the situation. Doing so creates a sense of belonging in non-desk workers as they are left wondering.

An MDM dashboard lets you define and manage workflows for field devices, saving a lot of time for non-desk workers. Your IT admins can create and automate tasks like clearing residue app data or a specific file or setting up a security incident compliance.

Content Management

Another vital feature of an MDM software is content management on devices. Remember that your field workforce is a ‘non-desk’ one. Thus, when needed the most, an essential document or video is not a few clicks away for them. Automatically managing such content on non-desk workers’ devices through an MDM solution is a fine way to empower them.

Content management also helps IT admins to send other business docs with information on new product or service price upgrades. Therefore, your non-desk workforce stays in sync with all the organizational and business developments. Another example of a sense of belonging.

Communicate Better

Imagine a last-mile delivery executive hurrying to deliver some order on time, and an IT admin wants to send him some security-related information. Do you expect him to open his inbox? And let’s say he does, but due to poor internet connectivity, the mail doesn’t load. Such situations might lead to contagious blame games.

Communication and connectivity among teams are part of the keys to organizational success. For non-desk workers to be at their productive best, it’s essential to bridge all communication gaps between them and those at the desks. Whether COSU or BYOD, mobile device management software helps you move above and beyond conventional intranet-based email communications. IT admins can send push notifications that have a proven average read and response time of just three minutes.

It’s a delight for organizations struggling with task turnaround times, particularly with geographically distributed employees. When communications are transparent and seamless, field workers don’t feel isolated or clueless. Communicating seamlessly with managed devices is part of MDM’s deoxyribonucleic acid. Wait, the acronym sounds better—DNA!

Your Unseen Workforce Deserves Empowerment

Hope this article helps you realize the advantages of using MDM for non-desk worker endpoints. Yes, they are unseen, but they exist, and their existence drives your business. They don’t get those chic cabins or multi-cuisine corporate lunch buffets. But it’s time you gave your non-desk workers the empowerment they rightfully deserve. That’s the least you can do for these heroes without capes.

Try Scalefusion MDM with a 14-day free trial to empower your non-desk workers.

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.  
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