Many employees believe their current workplace is not yet making effective use of the latest technology advances, but expect that in the future these advances will provide them with both quality-of-life and productivity benefits, the results of a global survey conducted by technology providers Dell and Intel showed.
The survey, conducted between April 5 and May 3, 2016, asked 3,801 full-time employees at companies of all sizes and in a range of industries across 10 countries (US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, China, India, Canada, and South Africa) for their views on how global technology trends are changing their workplace.
Researchers observed that collaborative tools and innovative technologies, such as the internet of things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR), are expected to become widespread in the workplace of the near future. The survey found that 66% of respondents would be willing to use augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies in their professional role, and that 46% believe these technologies will improve their work productivity. Meanwhile, 62% said they believe that the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) will make their job easier, while 50% said they think AI will lead to more productivity in the workplace, with 30% citing the ability to automate complex or repetitive tasks as the major immediate advantage.
The survey findings revealed that 44% of respondents believe their current workplace is not smart enough, with many of the employees polled expressing a desire for an environment that uses data to make “smarter” decisions about conditions like temperature and lighting. The results also showed, however, that more than half of respondents believe that within the next five years they will be working in a smart office (57%) and will have access to advanced technologies that make face-to-face meetings redundant (51%). While 57% of the employees surveyed said they still prefer to have face-to-face conversations with colleagues, half of all respondents and three in five millennial respondents (under age 35) said they think better communication technologies and remote teams will make face-to-face conversation obsolete in the near future.
The results also indicated that expectations that technology will change the workplace are especially high among millennial workers, with 69% of these respondents saying they expect to be in a smart office within the next five years, and 42% saying they would quit a job with substandard technology.
In addition, the survey showed that remote employment and flexible working is increasingly enabling workers to focus on both productivity and quality of life benefits, and that employers are offering more flexible work arrangements to cater to mobile workers. More than half (52%) of respondents said they already work outside of a traditional office at least one day a week, while 18% reported that they are working from a public location every week.
The survey also found that a majority of workers place an emphasis on functional benefits, with 63% of millennials and 55% of older workers (over age 35) indicating they would rather have high-tech perks, such as access to AR/VR and IoT tools, than low-tech perks like ping pong and free food.
Benefits Trends, Volume 59, Issue 8
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