Three out of five employees are 'email exiles', distanced from headquarters, co-workers and customers because they do not have access to email, a new survey has found.
According to reseach commissioned by Intel, Hewlett Packard and Sendmail, these workers primarily include nurses, sales staff and warehouse managers - workers who are 'deskless' because of their job function.
These employees receive job-critical information, such as safety notices, customer requests, schedules or policy guidelines, much later than their 'wired' counterparts.
And they have no means of interacting with headquarters or contributing to the corporate culture other than by way of old-fashioned suggestion boxes or bulletin boards.
"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, in a statement.
"While some corporate departments are using the latest enterprise technologies, those on the front line are reliant on nothing more high-tech than watercooler chats and notice boards in the corridor."
The poll found that, though a small number of companies surveyed (16 per cent) use email accessed from mobile devices or kiosks to communicate with deskless workers, the vast majority (84 per cent) 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.
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