Technology matters to enterprise employees: You’ve heard it many times before (including here and here), but now there’s a new large global study that underscores the importance of technology to employee happiness, productivity and loyalty.
Dell and Intel surveyed 3,801 full-time employees in 10 countries for the Future Workforce Study 2016, focused on the role of technology in the workplace. Among the survey’s findings:
- 44% of employees worldwide feel their “workplace isn’t smart enough”
- 57% expect to be working in a smart office within the next five years
Those two data points alone should be warning to enterprises that lagging behind in technology may make it more difficult to retain employees.
Asked, “Which of the following would you rather have in the workspace?” nearly six in 10 respondents (58%) chose “high-tech perks like Internet of Things, augmented/virtual reality, or AI-assisted features,” while only 29% chose low-tech perks such as a ping pong table, free food or a pets-allowed office. (Sorry, foosball game manufacturers, those days are over.)
Nearly half of respondents (46%) say tech-related issues are their biggest time-wasters on the job, specifically administrative tasks (19%), slow or glitchy software programs (19%) and slow or glitchy devices (17%).
Not surprisingly, Millennials — you know, those people who are the future of the workforce — have the strongest feelings about technology:
- 42% of workers ages 18-34 are likely to quit a job with substandard technology, versus 25% of workers age 35 and older
- 82% of Millennial workers say workplace technology would influence their decision about a new job, versus 67% of employees age 35 and over
“Advanced technology and collaboration has significantly grown in importance, especially as millennials are entering the workforce,” Julie Coppernoll McGee, Intel vice president of global marketing and communications, said in a press release. “We’re seeing this generation play a vital role in the direction of employer decisions, and is leading the way to influence the adoption of emerging tech, strong communication tools and flexible work environments.”
True, and to the extent that Millennial preferences are influencing older workers. As that last bullet point above notes, two-thirds of older workers also would factor technology into whether they should take a new job.
“A technologically modern workplace is necessary to create a productive, happy and capable workplace for everyone,” McGee says.
And this will only be more true going forward. Be ready or be sorry.