Technological progress moves quickly in our modern world and it is imperative that workplaces keep up. But the sad fact is that many of them are not doing so.
Recent research has shown that employees prefer personal apps while workplace technology is lagging behind.
One survey, conducted with U.K.-based Coleman Parkes Research by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, asked more than 2,800 hourly and salaried employees across a variety of industries in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. to discover the impact of technologies on employee experience.
Research: most workers dislike workplace tech
Nearly half of employees (48 per cent) surveyed worldwide said they wished their workplace technology performed just like their personal technology.
Employees in Mexico are least at ease using their workplace technology: only 8 per cent feel their workplace solutions are more user-friendly than their personal technology.
The sentiment is similar around the globe, as very few employees in Germany (24 per cent), the U.S. (22 per cent), Canada (20 per cent), France (16 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (13 per cent), and the U.K. (13 per cent) feel their workplace technology is more user-friendly than their personal technology.
Another study by 'private enterprise social network, Speakap, found that over half of global frontline employees said they used messaging apps up to six times a day for work-related communications but 16 per cent of these said their human resources departments are unaware of such usage.
Dangers of workers using non-work technology at work
Certain apps may be popular but there are dangers if they are used within companies. For instance, using the likes of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger for employee communications can compromise digital wellbeing, data security and regulatory compliance.
The downside for the worker is that the 24/7 nature of messaging apps and social media sites makes it difficult to maintain a work/personal life balance. It is also a disincentive for employees to work for a company that is not up-to-date with technology.
There is a danger that personal data could be left exposed and susceptible to data breaches too. The unapproved use of these tools could also potentially cause a company to fail an audit without causing a data breach - especially in highly regulated industries.
What can FM do to help?
Many of the areas affected by using personal versus workplace technology are already within the domain of the facilities manager
For instance, providing a positive experience so employees are more productive, should be a top priority for a facilities manager anyway.
This mainly means the company must commit financially and culturally to providing up-to-date technology. But if an FM is informed of how technology affects workers, he/she can affect how budgets are spent.
The FM is already being pushed to look at specialist software for the workplace. When an FM knows how a workplace operates, he/she can consider sanctioning the most appropriate software for it – whether it is an internal communications or project management program.
Some commentators even believe annual and even quarterly reviews and employees should be offered “on-demand access towards achieving their goals” which would empower workers and deliver faster results in their development.
The first step towards a facilities manager being able to discourage workers from using personal gadgets over work technology is to understand how the workplace in which they operate functions and what employees need.
Then an FM can identify the appropriate software needed for workers that would help them do their jobs with less risk to their companies.
Not only would this serve the company well but also increase the overall happiness, productivity and efficiency of employees.
Learn more about how you can optimise your workplace! Download the ISS 2020 Vision White Book: The Future of Work, Workforce and Workplace now!