Almost half of global employees believe their current workplace is not smart enough, while 42 percent of millennial employees say they are willing to quit their job if office technologies are not up to their standard. Therefore, the addition of collaborative tools and innovative technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Virtual Reality (VR), will soon become vital to the workplace of the near future.
Dell and Intel unveiled findings from the Future Workforce Study, which identifies the global technology trends shaping the modern workplace. The findings show that many employees believe their current workplace is not effectively making use of the latest technology advances, but expect them to do so as remote work is increasingly viewed as providing both quality of life and productivity benefits.
The 2016 Future Workforce Study, conducted by research firm PSB, was unveiled at the Resnick Aspen Action Forum as part of a deep dive conversation on “The Future of Talent and Work.” It polled nearly 4,000 full-time employees from small, medium and large businesses in 10 countries, and exposed that over half (57 percent) of all employees believe they will be working in a smart office within the next five years, while 51 percent believe that better technologies will make face-to-face meetings redundant within the next five years.
The research shows that the influx of new technology is having a significant impact on what workers expect from their employer and those workplaces which don’t enact these new advances will be left behind.
“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,” said Allison Dew, vice president, global client solutions marketing, Dell.
“Employees have seen first-hand the ways new technologies can help them do their jobs better, and are hungry to use the latest advancements to be more productive. While this may seem daunting, it’s a business-critical opportunity for companies to be at the forefront of the future workplace and enable the future workforce.”
Specifically, 44 percent 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 five years.
This expectation is highest amongst the younger workforce, with 69 percent expecting to be in a smart office within the next five years. The consequences for not meeting these expectations is also greater for the millennial workforce, with 42 percent saying they would quit a job with substandard technology and 82 percent saying workplace technology influences what role they would take.
Further, a majority of workers place an emphasis on functional benefits with 63 percent of millennials and 55 percent of older workers (over 35 years old) indicating they would rather have high tech perks, such as augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and Internet of Things (IoT) than low-tech perks like ping pong, free food, etc.
In fact, a majority of workers in China, India and South Africa already do not prefer face-to-face conversations and instead use collaborative technologies to communicate with colleagues.
Within this evolution, 79 percent of millennials believe workspaces are more collaborative than they used to be, and over 70 percent of millennials feel that advanced tech/smart offices are crucial to a collaborative, productive and efficient work environment. Further, employees noted that virtual-sharing allows for collaboration with colleagues while remote capabilities would be the most beneficial technology integration into their office lives.
Two thirds (66 percent) of the global population would be willing to use AR/VR products in their professional lives, while 46 percent believe the technologies will improve productivity within their individual role.
Just under two thirds (62 percent) also believe that the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make their job easier, while half (50 percent) say AI will lead to more productivity in the workplace, with 30 percent listing the ability to automate complex or repetitive tasks as the major immediate advantage.
Technology has allowed people to change their lifestyles, and in turn, this has impacted their work styles and preferences. With these changes, employers are offering more flexible work arrangements to keep up with this evolution to cater to the mobile worker.
Over half (52 percent) of employees already work outside of a traditional office at least one day a week, while 18 percent are working from a public location every week. Employees are also seeing the advancement of technologies to better enable these new working arrangements, with respondents listing advanced security protection as the single most important technology to be implemented into their workplace.
“Advanced technology and collaboration has significantly grown in importance, especially as millennials are entering the workforce,” said Julie Coppernoll McGee, vice president, global marketing and communications, Intel.
“As the research outlines, 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. A technologically modern workplace is necessary to create a productive, happy and capable workplace for everyone.”
“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.
“The Future Workforce Study discovered that millennials are driving massive changes in how and where work gets done, use multiple devices, and prefer to work up to 60 percent of the time away from a traditional office. The result is an important mandate for CIOs to modernize the infrastructure, redefine their security perimeter and device provision strategies.”