Technology is the secret to happy and productive employees

Unfortunately for businesses, offices are just not smart enough. According to a study by Dell, employees globally feel their offices are not advanced enough and desire an environment that uses data to make “smarter” decisions about employee habits like temperature, lighting, etc.

What’s worse, 44% of employees worldwide feel that their workspace isn’t smart enough, and more than half expect to be working in a smart office within the next few years.

Megan Wright, small business technology advisor, Dell, said: “Productivity is key to the livelihood of your business, if you have anything that is going to give that hiccup in your business like a system being down, or software that might not be compatible with the trends of technology, that’s going to cause your business to take a pause.”

An earlier study by Dell and Intel, the Global Evolving Workforce Study, found that one out of four employees globally say they would consider taking a new position if provided better technology that helps them be more productive.

According to this study if employees 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.

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.

That’s forcing many organisations to rethink the way they manage devices, especially ones not purchased or completely accessible by IT.

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Although 46%, of the 5,000 employees of small, medium and large organisations in 12 countries 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 increased 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.

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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.

Activity-based work means providing the right technology for the job, which may mean multiple devices, 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.

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future

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