Wasted spend? What employees want from workplace technology

If it’s not “the latest technology” that they desire, what is it that employees want these days?
16 July 2019

Is your workplace technology redundant?

The equipment we use in our offices today were made to change the way people work from the tedious traditional-style, to smarter, more productive methods.

Tech-driven working styles are increasingly becoming a promise by service providers to employers, and expectation of employers of their employees.

But just how successful has the implementation of this workplace technology been so far?

A recent survey of 2000 office workers by Hire Intelligence sought to find out what they think of their office technology.

And despite the ability to manage dozens of emails, phone calls or orders more efficiently, it seems these ‘solutions’ can often be more of a burden than a help.

Workplace technology that improves productivity

Since today’s world runs on digital power, we’ll never find offices without computers anymore. It’s convenient, connected and lets employees do more things at once compared to 20 years ago.

But sluggish and slow computers defeats the purpose. A slow computer that does not have sufficient processing power and memory impacts productivity negatively and 35 percent of the respondents say their computers are just too slow for the work they’re doing.

It’s not just the computers and laptops they complain about, unnecessary office hardware is another issue too.

Just shy of two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents think that 25 percent of office hardware, such as printers and scanners, are redundant for their needs in an increasingly paperless office environment, suggesting employers could be making big hardware cost savings.

Equipment needed to work remotely

The report also looked at how workplace technology is changing employees’ working-style preference. When the employees were asked if they would rather have a more flexible working approach or a three-percent pay rise, 31 percent went for the former.

Remote working offers flexibility and the option for staff to work in their own space. It’s a working style millennials are leaning towards and by 2020, it is forecasted that over half of the UK’s workforce will work from home at least one day a week. 

As such, employees want office tools that will make them more mobile; 38 percent said an office laptop will significantly improve their working life, while wireless charging points and tablets would help them adopt a more ‘agile’ working style where they could effectively work from any part of the office. 

A conducive working environment

While much of the business technology we have today promises to make work and business processes more streamlined and productive, having too much ‘clutter’ can create distractions and be counterproductive for employees. But a worker’s productivity is also linked to their physical working environment. 

According to the survey, 63 percent of employees said they lacked quiet space to focus, affecting their productivity, well-being and job satisfaction negatively. Most common distractions are radios, TV, music systems, microwave ovens and even scanners. The sound produced by these create the “office ambiance” that many find annoying. Music helps some, but not everyone.

Staff want training, not workplace technology

Rather than spending the money on unnecessary equipment, employees think that the money can be better used elsewhere like increasing pay, or on digital training, suggesting that they would feel more motivated if employers helped them improve their efficiency and productivity, rather than spend on more technology solutions. 

Almost half of the respondents noted that they’re looking to up-skill and prefer to see the money spent on such initiatives (47 percent males, 41 percent females), as they believe the right training is what gets them prepared for what’s coming ahead rather than fancy hardware like a TV or a radio. 

Indeed, it’s difficult to predict what an office will need next since the business environment is always evolving, but by asking employees (individually) on what is really necessary for them, employers could save more by spending only on tools and training programs that are complete necessary for their staff.