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Outdated Tech Could Kill Your Company

By - Source: Toms IT Pro
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Companies that fail to adopt new and emerging technologies risk not being able to attack the younger, millennial talent.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockWhat tech is available in the workplace is influencing what jobs millennials take, according to a Workforce Study sponsored by Dell and Intel and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB). In fact, more than 80 percent of millennials (versus 67 percent ages 35 and up) say that workplace tech will influence their job decision. Plus, 42 percent (versus 25 percent of the over 35) would leave a job with substandard tech.

The study looked at 10 countries, and its findings indicate companies with outdated tech are blowing it. It went on to say that 57 percent of surveyed employees expect to be working in a smart office in the next five years. Their biggest complaints?

  • Administrative tasks (19 percent)
  • Slow, glitchy software (19 percent)
  • Slow, glitchy devices (17 percent)
  • Meetings and conference calls (14 percent)
  • Fixing broken tech (10 percent)

MORE: How to Build a Successful Business Case for an IT Project

Despite meetings being a key complaint among millennials, 35 percent of that same group believes their home is more advanced than their workplace, and 60 percent believe that remote teams and better communication technology will render face to face conversations obsolete.
The full workforce, however, tends to prefer face-to-face meetings (57 percent). But the complaints seem based in reality. Workers reported using more land lines (71 percent) and desktops (74 percent) in the office, instead of laptops, tablets and wireless phones, which are more common at home.

That old skateboarding shibboleth, "Skate or Die," could be changed for the workplace as "Adapt or Die."

What is Driving These Changes?

Changes in the workplace appear to influence the way employees view work. More than half of surveyed employees (52 percent) said they work outside the office at least a few times a week. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of remote employees felt that the job is a core part of their personal identity, and that working remotely offers greater productivity benefits for concentration and efficiency. Plus, remote employees believe it promotes a greater work-life balance.

Based on survey results, millennials are leading the charge to embrace new technology and promote its use in the workplace, as they felt it made their job easier. The survey results documented an average of 10 percent more millennials versus 35 year and older workers who were accepting of technology such as Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), or had thoughts that tech was driving workplaces to be more collaborative. As the workforce ages and millennials displace older workers, this trend will increase.

This trend even affected how workers viewed perks. Most surveyed workers placed an emphasis on functional benefits (63 percent of millennials versus 55 percent of older (over 35 years old) workers  indicating they would rather have high tech perks, such as AR/VR and Internet of Things (IoT) than low-tech perks like ping pong or free food.

The last part of the survey concerned the sharing economy. Two-thirds of the global workers were willing to use AR/VR products in their professional lives, while 46 percent believed these technologies will improve productivity within their individual role. Though there was concern about how AI could influence job loss, almost the same number, 62 percent, believed that the introduction of artificial intelligence will make their job easier. And 50 percent stated that AI would lead to more productivity in the workplace.

Future Workforce Study Background

Dell has worked with partners to do workplace studies every two to three years, and this is the latest in a series extending from 2011. Allison Dew, vice president, global client solutions marketing for Dell, stated, "The workplace is reaching a tipping point. Today's workers have a growing expectation that their employers integrate the latest technologies seamlessly and securely into their working lives."

Conclusions

New technology is changing the workspace, and significantly influencing what employees expect from the employer. Workers expect to be working in a smarter office in the near future, and many, especially millennials, expect that it will change how they view the work/life divide.

Julie Coppernoll McGee, vice president, global marketing and communications at Intel observed, "As the research outlines, we're seeing this generation play a vital role in the direction of employer decisions, and is leading the way to influence the adoption of emerging tech, strong communication tools and flexible work environments."

Not adapting to these changes will cripple or kill many workplaces. That old skateboarding shibboleth, "Skate or Die," could be changed for the workplace as "Adapt or Die."

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