Hourly workforce in the U.S. is disconnected and desires stronger engagement

According to a new study from Edison Research and Red e App, hourly workers are significantly disconnected and are exposing the company to risk.

The study finds a significant percentage of hourly workers in the U.S. feel disenfranchised by their employers and disconnected without access to company email or online tools afforded to full-time salaried employees.

Conducted by Edison Research on behalf of Red e App, the Profile of the Hourly Worker is the first independent, quantitative survey of American hourly workers. It comes at a time when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the U.S. workforce compensated on an hourly basis is growing rapidly – with 3.3 million more Americans being paid hourly in 2014 as compared to 2011.


“More people are equipped with digital devices than ever before, but companies are not embracing hourly workers and providing them with modern methods of communications and engagement,” said Jonathan Erwin, CEO of Red e App. “And the research demonstrates the resulting loss manifests itself in morale, productivity and profitability.”

According to the research, 84 percent of hourly workers own a smartphone; 69 percent own a tablet.

While much attention has been paid to workers making the minimum wage, there is a growing number of more highly compensated workers who are being paid hourly, including more educated employees making higher incomes while still punching a clock.

Profile of the Hourly Worker found hourly workers are generally loyal (63 percent have been with their current company two years or more; 20 percent for 10 years or more) and interested in deeper engagement with their employers (81 percent want to be more involved with their company), but the methods most companies use to communicate with them are both archaic and expose the company to risk (53.1 percent of hourly workers without company email accounts say they have used personal email for work communication).

“This study provided the opportunity to discover previously unknown facts and new insights about the hourly worker that paint a rich and complex portrait of this important part of our economy,” said Tom Webster, Vice-President for Strategy at Edison Research. “This report reveals some of the keys to a loyal and engaged hourly workforce.”

Edison Research conducted 1,099 online interviews of hourly workers in the U.S. were between August 14 and 19, 2015. The resulting data was weighted by gender and race to match U.S. Census hourly worker demographics. The data was then weighted by education to match U.S. Census data on full-time and part-time workers.

Available for download at http://redeapp.com/research, the Profile of the Hourly Worker includes:

  • An in-depth demographic profile of the hourly workforce;
  • A breakdown of hourly workers by industry segment;
  • A look at workplace environment including what percentage works in office settings, stores and restaurants, factories, indoors/outdoors and more;
  • An analysis of hourly workers use of technology, including social media;
  • A deep dive into how hourly workers communicate for personal and professional reasons;
  • A look at how companies communicate with hourly workers and what risks are exposed as a result.

Red e App commissioned the study to better understand the communications needs of the hourly workforce. Edison Research conducted the study independently and verifies its validity as an editorial advisor to the Profile of the Hourly Worker content.

View the press release


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