How much weight does technology carry in the modern workplace? According to a recent study unveiled by Dell and Intel, conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, a leading international research firm, trends in the Internet-of-Things space could be making its way into offices worldwide.
In the 2016 Future Workforce Study, researchers surveyed 4,000 full-time employees. Businesses of all sizes (small, medium and large), located in 10 different countries, participated in the poll. Results from the study provides unique insights on the future impact of technology on workers, employers and HR recruitment strategies.
“The massive changes that are occurring in the workplace are like a tale of two cities; those companies that are modernizing, especially with mobility, will attract and retain top talent, those who don’t will create employee frustration, lower productivity and employee unhappiness,” said Bob Egan, Chief Analyst, Founder, Sepharim Research Group.
Smart Facilities are the Future
Tech-filled offices and employee perks are the future, but most companies aren’t quite there yet. The study uncovered that over 44 percent of employees are of the view that their workplace isn’t “smart” enough. With more than 50 percent of employees expecting to be engaged in smart workplaces within the next five years, businesses that have not considered upgrading their offices may have to realign their priorities, when it comes to meeting the expectations of new talent.
Out of all the demographics covered in the report, Millennials are the most eager to see more technology in professional facilities. Around 42 percent mentioned they would consider quitting a job without adequate technological support; while a whopping 82 percent cited that tech in the workplace heavily influences their job choices.
The inevitable dominance of technology in offices could also play an essential role in productivity and collaboration- but not in a way that you might be thinking. Instead of promoting isolation in the workplace, many believe that advanced tools could boost communication between workers. With that in mind, roughly 57 percent of participants from the study emphasized face-to-face talks with other workers.
Furthermore, 70 percent of the younger workforce feel that smart offices are vital to teamwork and efficiency in professional environments. Despite having such views, most believe that face-to-face conversations will eventually be obsolete, and replaced with innovative messaging and conference apps, like Slack, Skype and virtual reality (VR) chat rooms.
Technologies for the Modern Workplace
The types of technologies workers are looking forward to seeing in modern offices may surprise you. Going beyond fast internet connection and mobile-savvy apps, virtual and augmented reality (AR) platforms were favored greatly by participants during the poll. Both Millennials and older age groups (a total of 66 percent) are gung-ho about seeing the integration of VR and AR devices with their jobs. This also shows that workers are becoming increasingly aware of the development of cutting-edge gadgets, such as Magic Leap’s highly anticipated AR tools.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also creeping its way into the modern workplace, with 62 percent of workers looking forward to AI making their jobs easier in the future. Around 30 percent believe that automating complex work processes and menial tasks could be advantageous in professional settings.
“The workplace is reaching a tipping point. Today’s workers have a growing expectation that their employers integrate the latest technologies seamlessly and securely into their working lives,” explained Allison Dew, Vice President and Global Client Solutions Marketing at Dell.
Reinforcing Remote Opportunities and Security
Remote work facilities, such as home-based and off site offices, are also being affected by the imminent advancement of technology. Employees engaged in this type of work arrangement are leveraging robust software, mobile and web-based platforms to streamline communication with employers and colleagues in other countries.
This trend was heavily reinforced in the study, with 52 percent of survey participants revealing that they work away from a conventional office at least once a week. Moreover, 18 percent of employees mentioned that they work from a public location (coffee shops, parks and etc.) every week.
The respondents also clarified that tight security across digital devices is essential and will likely be a determining factor of choice for some candidates who are in the process of looking for remote employment opportunities. The recent proliferation of crippling hacks on popular platforms created by large brands, such as Evernote, JP Morgan Chase and LinkedIn, may have played a salient role in this mindset. Since remote employees rely on digital tools on a regular basis, it makes sense that protection against malware and other forms of security breaches is at the top of their priority list.
“These results are an important mandate for CIOs to modernize the infrastructure, redefine their security perimeter and device provision strategies,” said Egan.