New research suggests that workplace digital signage is having a significant impact on increasing productivity and improving engagement amongst workers. A study conducted jointly by ScreenCloud and Google ChromeOS finds 61% of deskless workers believe the information displayed on workplace screens enhances their engagement with larger business operations. Furthermore, 59% believe it bolsters their productivity and 62% see a significant boost to their data literacy.
The research, entitled 'The State of Digital Signage: 2023-2024', offers insights into the technology equity gap between information and deskless workers and the effects of this discrepancy on productivity and engagement. The survey collated inputs from 2,400 respondents, including frontline employees and decision-makers across various predominantly deskless sectors like manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, and transportation.
The study revealed that 78% of frontline or deskless workers feel office workers have more opportunities due to their more significant access to digital information sources and workplace communication platforms. This observation aligns with earlier research indicating that only 1% of software venture funding is directed towards empowering deskless workers. However, the recent report identified workplace screens as a communication medium that inspires approval from 79% of workers.
Discussing the findings, Mark McDermott, CEO of ScreenCloud, said: "Deskless workers make up around 80% of the global workforce, so when we consider that these individuals do not feel that they receive the communication and opportunities afforded to their information worker counterparts, it's no wonder that organisations are struggling with a disengaged workforce and therefore decreased productivity."
McDermott added that almost 78% of deskless workers don't have access to a company email address and 72% cannot access company intranets. He explained that in attempting to use channels that suit information workers to engage with frontline workers, organisations neglect the existing tech equity gap. McDermott firmly believes that frontline employees deserve a better tech experience, and to that end, digital signage can make a significant contribution.
McDermott went on to say that while workplace screens by themselves aren't the complete solution to improve productivity or increase engagement, they are uniquely situated to influence these areas as part of an omni-channel communications approach. He emphasised that digital signage, combined with behavioural science insights regarding message length, placement, and screen location, creates robust outcomes, especially for the deskless workforce.
The study corroborates McDermott's assumptions. It revealed an overwhelming number of decision-makers (86%) acknowledge the positive influence of screens on productivity, accessibility, health and safety compliance, job satisfaction, and employee morale (85%). Nearly half of the respondents (43%) reported a significant increase in employee motivation and performance resulting from the adoption of workplace screens.
Filipe Ho, Global Strategic Partnerships Lead at Google, commenting on the study findings, said: "This research underscores the immense potential of digital signage to bridge communication gaps, improve productivity, and enhance the overall well-being of deskless workers." Ho added that in today's world, ensuring every worker has the right information at the right time is not just an option, but an imperative. He concluded, suggesting that organisations aiming for enhanced connectivity with their employees and maximum workforce potential should focus on communication channels' importance and the design, format, and sharing of information.