Employees call for more user-friendly workplace technology

A new report claims that because workplace technology is perceived as less intuitive and intelligent than consumer technology lags behind. The survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated conducted with UK-based Coleman Parkes Research, asked more than 2,800 hourly and salaried employees across a variety of industries in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and  US to explore the impact existing and emerging technologies have on the employee experience.

In the UK specifically, over half (52 percent) of employees believe their personal technology is more modern and is more user friendly than what is used in their workplace, while a further 50 percent wish their workplace technology performed in a similar manner to what they experience in their personal lives.

Any hardware or software implementation at work should be about empowering employees to perform their roles more efficiently. However, almost half of employees (49 percent) state that their workplace technology often seems to make common activities more complicated than they need to be by adding unnecessary steps.

Considering services and suppliers such as Airbnb, Amazon, Netflix, and Uber have become commonplace in everyday lives, organisations can no longer implement workplace innovations that do not meet these same high standards of usability. In fact, three out of five employees (60 percent) state that it’s easier to search for new movies on Netflix than it is to search for their employee benefits information, while 43 percent say it’s easier to book an Airbnb than find out how many days of annual leave they have left.

While 40 percent believe their job is made more difficult because their employer relies on outdated processes and technology, the research also found that over a third (39 percent) say their company invests in a lot of technology that does not help them do their jobs better. A further third state that their company invests in the latest innovations but fails to train employees on how to use these properly. Maybe worse, 33 percent say their company invests in the latest technology but forces employees to rely on old processes.

The report argues that the crux of the outdated-technology-at-work issue is the fact that 42 percent say that the top issue preventing their employer from embracing new technology is that there are many long-tenured employees who have a set way of doing certain processes or are not open to change.

Since many UK employees consider themselves early adopters (34 percent) and innovators (31 percent), the authors claims there is a big opportunity for organisations to do more to implement and embrace technologies that will better help them.