Emeryville, CA -- A study commissioned by Sendmail, Inc., HP and Intel has revealed that approximately 60% of employees are distanced from headquarters, co-workers and customers because they do not have access to email.
These 'email exiles' include nurses, sales staff and warehouse managers; workers that are "deskless" because of their job function. They receive job-critical information (such as safety notices, customer requests, schedules or policy guidelines) much later than their 'wired' counterparts. They have to communicate personal Human Resources details by fax or mail. Many have no means of interacting with headquarters or contributing to the corporate culture, other than old-fashioned suggestion boxes or bulletin boards.
While a small number of companies surveyed (16%) use email, accessed from mobile devices or kiosks, to communicate with deskless workers, the vast majority (84%) still use more traditional methods such as postal mail and inter-office memos. Of this group, even the most technologically advanced only use one-way channels such as pagers or static Intranet pages.
The study, conducted by King Research, involved in-depth interviews with 44 companies in sectors having deskless workers, such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail and hospitality. Interviewees included C-level executives from enterprises with an average headcount of 25,000 employees.
"Everyone's heard of the digital divide, but what's surprising is that it has widened so dramatically within enterprises that are otherwise technologically advanced," said John Stormer, vice president of marketing at Sendmail. "This study clearly shows that while some corporate departments are using the latest enterprise technologies, those on the front-line are reliant on nothing more high-tech than water-cooler chats and notice boards in the corridor This is despite the fact that almost half of the interviewees (45%) admitted that existing methods of communicating with deskless workers are slow, inefficient and expensive."
A further 38% felt their communication was satisfactory but could be improved. In fact, one company had five people dedicated purely to posting hard copies of information to deskless employees.
"Email doesn't need to be universal but firms do need to ensure they're not hindering their staff's productivity and performance by excluding them," added Stormer. "According to the study, some of these email exiles are highly trained, well paid staff who are an untapped resource because they've been ex-communicated from the rest of their organization."
The study was conducted as part of a market research exercise comparing email usage patterns across industries known to have a low penetration of desk-based employees. Look for further information about the study's sponsors to be announced soon.
Sendmail, Inc. builds secure email systems for large enterprises and service providers who depend on email in their businesses. For more information on Sendmail, Inc., visit its Web site at www.sendmail.com or call 1-87-SENDMAIL or 1-877-363-6245.