How Can Technology Innovation Reinvigorate The UK Workforce?

Mobile Workforce

A new report commissioned by Dell and Intel has been launched providing insight into new trends that will share how IT will support the workforce in the years ahead. The report, “Evolving Workforce Research”, shows that less than half of British workers agree that employers use the latest technology.

It also argues that the UK is lagging behind emerging markets such as China and Brazil when it comes to technology choices on offer. With 41 per cent of workers stating that they would enjoy their jobs more if they were able to choose or influence their workplace technology, loosening the reigns and allowing employees a greater degree of influence over the technology that they use may help to reinvigorate the UK workforce.

The survey, which went out to 8,360 respondents globally – 1,000 of which were based in the UK – highlighted that UK employees were the least likely to be able to choose the technology they use at work (27 per cent in the UK compared to 59 per cent of employees in China, 57 per cent in Mexico and 29 per cent in the US).

With such little influence around technology deployed, it’s perhaps unsurprising that 57 per cent of UK workers would cite IT problems at work as a regular frustration.

Employee desire for greater influence over technology choice means UK business leaders could turn to technology innovation to reinvigorate their workforces. The research found that only one in two British workers are able to complete their work in a typical 9-5 working day (compared with 60 per cent globally), so as a result, more hours are being spent at work than ever before.

Because of this, employees are reluctant to use the same devices at home and at work due to further complications this could cause for work-life balance. In fact, less than a third of UK employees stated that they would use given device for both personal and professional purposes which is in stark contrast to emerging economies such as Mexico where 73 per cent of respondents demanded shared personal and work devices.

The survey highlighted marked differences between sectors in the UK. SMB workers are much more likely than large enterprise employees to be able to choose their own technologies today (40 per cent versus 20 per cent) and those in the private sector (32 per cent) are likely to have more choice when compared with those in the public sector (17 per cent).

Global findings showed that 65 per cent of 18-24 year olds would enjoy work more if able to choose their own technologies, compared with 50 per cent amongst the 55 to 64 year old age group. In the UK, the 25 to 34 age group showed the greatest belief that technology choice and happiness at work were linked with 50 per cent of this group claiming this to be the case.

Bryan Jones, executive director, public and large enterprise at Dell has stated that “Employers need to strike a balance between what employees are asking for when it comes to end-point innovation – and what is feasible within the existing IT environment. Technology choice at some level will be essential in driving the business and greater cooperation between the IT department and employees.

“Despite being slightly behind the curve today, it is the changing expectations of workers that will push consumerisation forward in the UK corporate landscape. Organisations that provide technology freedoms and flexibility will not only be seen as desirable places to work, but at a competitive advantage.”

Adrian Bridgwater a freelance journalist specialising in cross platform software application development, software engineering and project management. Adrian has worked as a freelance technology journalist for nearly two decades. His work has been published in various international publications including the Wall Street Journal, CNET.com, The Register, ComputerWeekly.com, BBC World Service magazines, eWeek Europe, Imagine's Web Designer magazine, Linux User and Developer, Silicon.com, the British Computer Society, Microscope, Heise’s “The H” online, the UAE’s Khaleej Times & Maktoob Business & ITP.net and SYS-CON’s Web Developer Journal and PowerBuilder Developer Journal. He has worked as technology editor for international travel & retail magazines and also produced annual technology industry reviews for UK-based publishers ISC. He is also a published travel and food writer for the BBC and has lived and worked abroad for 10 years in Tanzania, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and the United States.

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    Hi this article is very interesting. Developing innovation in technologies to sustain efficient energy for all faces big challenge in the future. However, cooperation among stakeholders in the industry would provide relief to confront this challenge.

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