Decisions in relation to technology used in the workplace have traditionally been the responsibility of the IT department
However in the last decade, with growing trends such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the consumerisation of IT, these decisions have increasingly started to involve organisations’ employees. The ongoing pandemic has only elevated this issue further, with remote working throwing issues with end-user devices that might not have manifested in an office environment, into the spotlight.
Although we’re seeing some savvy organisations taking steps to connect the IT department with employees when it comes to end-user devices, there is evidence that a gap between the two remains. PWC recently found that 90% of executives believed their company pays close attention to their staff’s needs when introducing new technology, but only half (53%) of employees said the same. To stay competitive, it’s critical for organisations to move beyond IT controlling device provisioning and allow employees to exercise a greater degree of choice in relation to the technology and tools they are using on a daily basis.
Connecting HR with IT
Next-generation computing and connectivity has meant employees are used to having the latest technology in their pockets. The world is becoming increasingly digital and today’s workforce is curious about the latest devices, products and services. Many of the younger generation, who are entering the workforce for the first time, have grown up in the digital age and expect the same level of technology in the workplace as they have at home.
With this in mind, businesses are having to work harder than ever to attract and retain staff. Factors like training, bonuses, health and wellness benefits remain appealing to employees and can’t be ignored by organisations. However, the ongoing pandemic – which has led to a significant and sustained increase in the time that employees are spending on laptops and desktops at home – has seen workplace technology become a critical consideration for employers. PCs and notebooks have acted as a window-to-the-world both professionally and personally for many people, further highlighting to businesses the need to include employees in end-user device procurement decision-making.
Cultivating a productive and happy workforce is no longer just the job of the HR department, it requires open conversations between employees and the organisation about the technology that employees want to use and will enable them to do their best work.
The business benefits
Strengthening the relationship between HR and IT, and giving employees more freedom to use the familiar technology translates into numerous benefits for both the employer and the organisation. According to a Gensler Workplace Study, 76% of employees say that having a choice of technology would positively impact their performance, while 60% also said it would likely affect their job satisfaction.
An employee who feels like a business is listening to their needs will be empowered to go above and beyond within that job. This can result in businesses seeing greater employee engagement and retention, and also increased job satisfaction and performance. In fact, engaged employees are said to be nearly 20% more productive, while workers who say their voice is heard by their employer are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work.
Invest in the right tools for the future
So, what do employers need to consider when investing in new end-user devices? While businesses should encourage employees to openly discuss expectations regarding devices, they ultimately also need to factor in other core end-user devices functional features like mobility, security, reliability and connectivity, in addition to form factor and design. Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile, and will be even more so after the pandemic, so providing autonomy through end-user devices is critical. Organisations need to ensure they are investing in lightweight and portable, yet powerful and secure devices.
It’s also important to factor in device upgrades on a regular basis to ensure employees can enjoy the latest technologies, as well as avoid a potential adverse divide between personal and workplace technology.
To future-proof their employee engagement strategy and remain attractive to new talent, it’s now vital for businesses to adopt a new model for procuring and provisioning technology, particularly end-user devices, which involves their workforce from the offset. Ultimately, when workers are able to choose technology they want to use, they’re more engaged, productive and will stay in a role for longer.
About the Author
Nick Offin is Head of Sales, Marketing & Operations at Dynabook Northern Europe. At Dynabook we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions, which is why we offer a wide range of industry-targeted solutions too – from cloud computing, to security – with each designed to improve performance and help businesses and individuals reach their potential.
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