Around 25 years ago, email started to prevail as a form of electronic communication. At the time, the transition from letters to an immediate, digital information exchange was a revolution. In the meantime, the decline of email has already started and new work tools have taken its place. Modern technical workspace equipment enable new forms of communication and working and enhance working life even further.
The Majority of Employees is Unsatisfied with their Technical Equipment
However, a study of IDG shows that only a fraction of employees are using state-of-the-art technology with regards to equipment and applications. According to the survey only 13% of employees are satisfied with the technical equipment of their workspace. But it is obvious that insufficient equipment leads to dissatisfied staff. If employees do not have the applications and devices at their disposal that they need or if available tools are insufficient, then they lose time and patience. Working becomes tedious, the employees discontent. Therefore expediency, simple, intuitive handling as well as a positive user experience have to be top priority for equipment and applications. Another problem is that, if faced with insufficient equipment quality, some employees revert to their own devices or download solutions without informing the in-house IT department. Such a shadow IT presents a significant security risk as it is generally not sufficiently secured and thus offers points of attack for data theft and viruses.
A slightly sobering realisation by Host Europe: the average home office is equipped with more modern equipment than the average office workspace. For example, around one third of home workers use cloud storage and tablets, while at the workplace in 73% of cases notes are made with ‘analogue’ writing materials. In the home office, employees also communicate 40% of the time using video calls and 66% via smart phones; however, in the office they use fax (51%) and make calls via a landline (83%).
Appealing Equipment Attracts the Best
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, people who have the impression that technology is used effectively in their organisation are more creative, satisfied and productive. However, if technical equipment is somewhat unattractive or outdated, then the company runs the risk of not appealing to skilled staff. According to an IDG study, when competing for the brightest heads in IT, then besides salary, flexible working times and remote working become the most important decision-making factors.
On the other hand, it is seven times more likely, that an employee will look for a new job, when they are dissatisfied with their workspace equipment. This is in particular the case with regard to the youngest generation. The so called digital natives of Generation Z (born since 1995), who have grown up with digital media, cannot imagine the workplace without the latest technologies. They increasingly count on communication tools, which allow remote working, while previous generations put more emphasis on work-life-balance.
Employees want Home Office and Remote Working
If employees and employers are interviewed, and asked which factors are the most important for them regarding the Workspace of the Future, in particular with employees the use of technical options immediately follows new models for working time and location. 79% of employees want a review of working models in favour of home office and remote working and 73% would like to fully utilise the potential of technology and mobility. Markus Köhler, Senior Director Human Resources at Microsoft emphasises: ‘‘We abolished compulsory attendance three years ago.“
It is no longer sufficient to simply store data securely to be able to retrieve it again the next morning from the stationary workspace in the office via the corporate network. Instead, data has to be able to be shared and processed in real time with colleagues and customers, independent of location and ideally using any device. Mere data sharing is outdated. Nowadays agile collaboration platforms are in demand, which guarantee security, workflows, mobility and productivity of users equally. The digital IT workspace should also guarantee data security and control, which it needs in order to meet the users’ mobility requirements.
The quality of the workspace´s technical equipment has a positive impact on performance and staff retention. Particularly in demand are solutions which enable remote working, as flexible work patterns are a key factor for employees. It is essential to work location-, time- and device-independently to be able to share and process data and applications in real time. A suitable example for this is the oneclick™ platform for the provision and distribution of data and applications.