Warehouse Workers Demand Better Technology

Lucas Systems' "Voice of the Warehouse Worker" study examines workers' relationships with technology as well as fears, expectations, perceptions about their jobs.

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, according to a new study from Lucas Systems.

Warehouse workers
(Source: Lucas Systems)

The study polled 500 U.S. on-floor warehouse workers during May 2022 and is the first of its kind to examine workers’ relationships with technology as well as their fears, expectations, and perceptions about their daily jobs. Developed as the “Voice of the Warehouse Worker,” the study was conducted by Wakefield Research for Lucas Systems, which has provided software for warehouse workers and supervisors over the last 24 years.

In the study, nearly 74% 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. Workers also said they are physically spent, spending over a third of their day walking and would welcome tech’s help in the form of robots or other tech tools.

“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,” says Lucas Systems Chief Marketing Officer Ken Ramoutar.

Warehouse workers
(Source: Lucas Systems)

The study also revealed that:

  • Workers want to stay with their employer but feel improvements are necessary to make their jobs easier. Workers generally anticipate staying at their current employer for at least three years (74%) with 35% anticipating a tenure longer than five years.
  • 75% 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%) and safely maneuvering around the warehouse (20%).
  • Workers see robots as productive allies but fear increased quotas. More than 2 in 5 believe robots will reduce physical stress (46%) or help them achieve better speed in item picking (44%) or better accuracy (40%).

In the study, workers perceived their company’s technology as an investment in them. This is meaningful in an industry already facing a labor shortage, according to Lucas Systems.

“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,” says Ramoutar.

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