Technology is the secret to happy employees

A major new worldwide study highlights technology as a key driver for businesses to consider when recruiting and retaining their workforce

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More than half of employees globally use personal devices for work

One out of four employees globally say they would consider taking a new position if provided better technology that helps them be more productive - this is according to the latest Global Evolving Workforce Study by Dell and Intel, which quizzed over 5,000 employees of small, medium and large organisations in 12 countries.

But if they don't get the technology they need, they are more than prepared to go above the heads of IT - more than half of employees globally currently use personal devices for work purposes or expect to do so in the future, while 43% of employees globally are secretly using personal devices for work without the company knowing, with smartphones and laptops being those most frequently used.

> See also: The mobile network untangled: how to simplify mobility

'The challenge many IT departments face is how to manage and secure the increasing number of devices coming in and out of an organisation. Smartphones, in particular, have been the primary device behind the BYOD model,' said Bob O’Donnell, founder and chief analyst, TECHnalysis Research. 'That's forcing many organisations to rethink the way they manage devices, especially ones not purchased or completely accessible by IT.'

Though 46% of those surveyed said technology has increased their productivity and enabled them to communicate faster, some feel the technology they have available holds them back from being productive and has hindered their career growth, with that feeling most pronounced in India.

Among those most likely to quit over poor technology, those in the media and entertainment sector stood out. Those in management roles and employees in emerging markets, in particular, expect the best technology in order to stay with their current employer or consider a new one.

And as innovations in technology continue to advance, people have increasing flexibility to choose when and where they meet their professional obligations. 64% of employees globally conduct at least some business at home after business hours. Employees in emerging countries are increasingly expected to be accessible at home, with 83% indicating they check work email after hours, compared to 42% in developed markets.

With the workplace changing, job responsibilities are being met at home, at client locations, even in public spaces like coffee shops and public transportation, so mobility has become a priority.

Amid the flux, mobile technologies and alternative interfaces are playing an increasing role – laptops, tablets, mobile phones, 2-in-1s, thin clients and desktop virtualisation introduce unprecedented versatility into the IT toolkit.

The report suggests that business leaders, IT managers and human resource professionals should focus on activity-based work, seamless access and diverse environments to better understand their employees' diverse needs and provide the right environments and technologies for them.

> See also: 75% of workers admit to being less productive away from their desks- but would technology change that?

Activity-based work means providing the right technology for the job, which may mean multiple divices, while employees should be able to seamlessly access their data and applications from any device, anywhere, at any time.

Employees need to provide the tools to enable workers to be effective in their preferred environment, the report continued. For those who don’t have the flexibility, such as those in fixed jobs like manufacturing or retail, it is critical there are a variety of workspaces available to meet the task at hand.