Mobility becomes more important to workers and companies are starting to offer work from home options and tech devices. However, the office remains a primary place for work and the secret to employees’ happiness seems to be technology, at least according to a new global survey on the current and future trends in workforce.
People around the world feel that today, technology has a greater impact on their personal and work lives, with roughly one in four employees globally considering taking a new job if it offers better technology to help them be more productive. This is only one of the findings of the Global Evolving Workforce Study, conducted by Dell and Intel. The survey polled 4,764 workers from 12 countries – US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, China, India, Russia, Turkey, UAE, and South Africa. And it discovered that the office isn’t what it used to be – today, connectivity has “blurred the lines between professional and personal life”, as the researchers say, and workers strive to stay productive when at office, at home, or on the move with the latest tech devices they can get.
However, the office remains the main place of work for most respondents in the study, with 97% of them admitting they spend at least some time in their employer’s office. But the biggest concern is distractions – 48% of the people say they are frequently interrupted and nearly one in five say they wear headphone or earbuds in the office. One of the biggest benefits when working together with your colleagues – personal communication, is strangely irrelevant for most workers. 51% of them frequently email and chat through the net with their co-workers who are right next to them.
When it comes to working from home, it is widely believed that remote workers aren’t as productive as office workers. But the survey found that perceptions are slowly shifting and now 52% of people say that those working from home are equally or more productive than those who go to their company’s office every morning.
But the researchers identified certain differences between emerging markets and developed countries. For example, having the latest or the greatest tech is crucial to only 41% of workers in developed nations, while in emerging markets, this is true for 82% of the people. In the UAE, most employees, or 76%, work on desktop devices, 44% say they use laptops, and 37% say they work on their smartphones. Another 17% work on basic phones, 16% – on tablets, and only 12% on 2-in-1 devices. Logically, the smartphone is the top choice device for personal use – 85% say they use smartphones, followed by laptops with 79% of the people, and 45% – tablets.
An interesting finding is that 45% of employees in the UAE check work email at least five times a day after working hours. Those who take employer’s or clients’ calls (at least 5) after working hours are 35%. This means that workers in the country stay connected to their professional network during personal time. But 94% of them also admit they use tech devices for personal purposes during work.
Finally, the study confirms that the UAE is among the most tech-addicted nations, as 79% of the employees say that it’s very important for them to have latest or the best gadgets at work. In comparison, only 41% of the workforce in developed countries need tech at work. But some people in the UAE (24%) also believe that technology at work can prevent productivity, compared to only 7% globally who perceive its effectiveness in this way. Another 33% of the employees in the country admit that technology has hindered their career.