Dell and Intel today released the findings from Phase 2 of its Evolving Workforce Research Program, highlighting the responses of employees to major evolving workforce trends. The findings show the continued migration of consumer-inspired technologies and attitudes into the workplace as well as a strong correlation between the quality of technologies provided and supported by employers and employee satisfaction, motivation and productivity. The report also documents differences between attitudes towards workforce evolution in developing countries – characterized by optimism and flexibility – and the developed world, where technology is viewed as less aspirational and employee choice is being embraced more gradually.
Based on responses from 8,360 interviews with employees worldwide, ‘Report #2: The Workforce Perspective’ highlights employee attitudes towards new working practices, emerging approaches to measuring productivity, employee-led innovation and potential schisms between employers and employees as well as between workers with differing levels of technology expertise.
Among the key findings of the report are:
- Emerging vs. developed: emerging countries appear to be far more open to the changes being driven by these key trends than their developed counterparts. Organizations in China (59 percent), Brazil (50 percent) and Mexico (57 percent) are well ahead of UK (27 percent), France (28 percent) and the US (29 percent) in offering workers technology choice. Employees in Mexico (83 percent) and Brazil (76 percent) are far more positive about the changes in business practices being driven by technology and the Internet compared with Britains (43 percent) and Americans (46 percent).
- Technology choice: more than four in 10 workers today have the ability to influence the choice of technology provided by their employer. This is more prevalent in the private sector (45 percent) than in the public sector (32 percent). Six out of every 10 employees around the world would enjoy work more if able to choose their own technologies. Interoperability is rapidly becoming the norm, with 59 percent of employees able to share data between all of their devices.
- Technology as a problem solver: more than 80 percent of employees accept technology’s contribution to problem-solving, although there is a significant disparity in attitudes across verticals, with 87 percent of engineering and media professionals extolling the problem solving capabilities of technology versus 67 percent in emergency services and armed forces.
- Flexible vs. remote: compared with the desire for flexible working hours (61 percent), the ability to work remotely is seen as less important, with 45 percent of those surveyed agreeing that it can boost productivity. Face-to-face contact is still clearly important to many employees – one third of global workers believe remote working is “eroding team spirit within the workplace.”
- Outputs not hours: more than 60 percent of employees want to be measured by the quality of work they deliver rather than time spent in the office. This is perhaps partly driven by the less-clearly delineated working day experienced by most workers – less than two-thirds of employees feel they can get their work done in a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.
The Evolving Workforce Research is a series of three studies that have been commissioned in response to these challenges as well as to predict some of the key trends that will shape how IT will support the workforce in the years ahead. Working with TNS Global Research, this quantitative phase of the research comprised a 20-minute survey speaking directly to the working consumer in 11 countries. A total of 8,360 interviews were conducted in October 2011.
The first phase of the research introduced seven key trends or hypotheses to a group of influential global experts – including senior technologists, analysts, consultants, journalists, HR/recruitment professionals, advisers, architects/designers, futurists and organizational psychologists – who came together to offer commentary and predictions on the implications of these trends for workers and organizations as well as IT departments.
Given this importance on technology choice and the ability for workers to influence technologies within the workplace, Dell is helping customers facilitate the varying levels of choice that can be offered to employees with a complete portfolio – from PCs to desktop virtualization – for a range of organizations to meet their end-to-end computing needs.