Warehouse staff would switch jobs to work with better technology

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by Emily Atkins

Warehouse workers value technology so much that they are willing to take a pay cut and switch jobs to use tech to help them do their jobs better.

A new study polled 500 U.S. on-floor warehouse workers during May 2022. It examined workers’ relationships with technology as well as their fears, expectations, and perceptions about their daily jobs.

The survey, called the ‘Voice of the Warehouse Worker’, was conducted by Wakefield Research for Lucas Systems.

The results found that 74 percent of on-floor workers said they would consider a pay cut at another company for an opportunity to use technology if it helps them in their job.

In the study, workers perceived their company’s technology as an investment in them. Lucas Systems says this is meaningful in an industry already facing a labour shortage.

Ninety percent said that technology plays a critical role in attracting and retaining employees.

“If workers equate tech investments with the company’s willingness to help them, it shows us that tech for on-floor warehouse workers plays a vital role in attracting and retaining employees in addition to its role in improving warehouse operations and performance,” said Lucas Systems chief marketing officer Ken Ramoutar.

Exhausted

Workers also said they are physically exhausted, spending over a third of their day walking and would welcome help in the form of robots or other technology.

Three quarters of workers say physical strain in their jobs takes a larger toll on them than the mental strain. The leading cause of physical strain is carrying and/or lifting followed by walking and/or traveling. Top causes of mental strain include meeting performance or incentive goals and objectives (25 percent) and safely maneuvering around the warehouse (20 percent).

Robots are allies

Workers see robots as productive allies but fear increased quotas. Almost half (46 percent) believe robots will reduce physical stress, while 44 percent think they’ll help them achieve better speed in item picking, or better accuracy (40 percent).

Warehouse employees want to stay with their employer but feel improvements are necessary to make their jobs easier. Three quarters of workers generally anticipate staying at their current employer for at least three years (74 percent), with 35 percent anticipating a tenure longer than five years.

“Having pioneered software used by tens of thousands of on-floor warehouse workers, we’re always seeking input. We’re interested in how to make on-floor worker jobs easier and better and what keeps them at their employers or encourages them to look elsewhere,” said Ramoutar.