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When building various structures such as the guard post or the scavenger workbench, you're prompted to assign a worker to the resource object:

assign a worker prompt

However... I'm not seeing any indication of how I'm meant to achieve this, and without assigning a worker the structure doesn't operate...

worker required

How do I assign a worker to a resource object?

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This is actually not as difficult as originally thought, although it can be time consuming and isn't particularly intuitive - in order to assign a worker to a resource you must be in workshop mode and then approach the person you want to be the worker, speak to them and "command" them:

command a villager

...then go to the location you want them to work and you'll have the option to assign them to that post.

select a resource object

They'll then walk over from their original position and start working.

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