Skip to main content

Those of us who work in the tech field may have a tendency to think about the global workforce as being similar to us: always connected, equipped with the latest computer, cellphone, and Internet technology, and technologically savvy.

So it may come as an eye-opener, as it did for me, to learn more about the “deskless” workforce – and its scale. A deskless worker is one that doesn’t:

  • Work in an office
  • Have an employer email address
  • Have computer access through an employer
  • Necessarily have a smartphone

The number of workers globally who have the characteristics cited above is 2.7 billion, or 80 percent of the global workforce.

Startup company Anthill aims to help companies manage and retain deskless workers more effectively. Its value proposition: Since companies are already investing in deskless workers with training and other resources, they should proactively engage them and retain these workers as well as they treat their knowledge workers. The company also aims to bring new possibilities (such as growth opportunities) to the deskless workforce.

Anthill’s solution is built on a simple premise: using text messaging (which is available even to those without smartphones) as a means to engage these workers, build more of a relationship with them and, ultimately, retain them.

With $4.4 million in venture capital funding and 23 employees, Chicago-based Anthill is part of the startup accelerator program.