Microsoft: Lack Of Device Refreshes Hurts Productivity

New Microsoft Surface research shows a lot of you have been using the same device since the onset of COVID-19.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

November 8, 2021

2 Min Read
Online Survey

A lack of device refreshes is hurting productivity, according to new research from Microsoft.

Two-thirds of UK employees with a company-owned laptop or tablet have been using the same device since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This figure rises to 71% for frontline workers. This raises fears of a productivity gap as staff work from home, says Microsoft Surface.

However, more than a third (35%) who benefitted from a device refresh have reported a resulting increase in their productivity.

The research draws on the views of UK employees and IT decision makers (ITDMs). It shows most employees have “made do” with the same device while working remotely.

Microsoft says employees want device refreshes that better suit their individual needs. The IT team, which initially bought devices to help staff work from home during the pandemic but then shelved routine upgrades, now feel the same way.

The good news for channel partners is that 73% of ITDMs now have the budget to support hybrid workers in 2022.

Thirty-five percent plan to invest in laptops, 20% in smartphones, 16% in desktop PCs and 14% in tablets.

However, employees feel their bosses aren’t listening to them. One-half (51%) believe devices are provided based on job role alone. They think that individual requirements are not considered standard. Only 31% feel their companies take individual needs and accessibility requirements into consideration. That number drops to just 17% for frontline workers.

Changing Employee Expectations

ITDMs are also keen to provide their workforces with the accessories needed to support productivity during hybrid working. Thirty percent of ITDMs believe accessories such as an external mouse (10%), spare charger (10%) or docking station (10%) are important to employees engaged in hybrid work.


Microsoft’s Howard Lewis

Howard Lewis is Surface business group lead at Microsoft UK. He said the research highlights “changing employee expectations about devices, as well as disconnects between IT teams and the staff that they support.”

Almost three in 10 employees (29%) say receiving a new device would make them feel more positive about their work and employer. Additionally, 16% say working on a newer device would increase their motivation.

Elsewhere, 61% of employees say having the right device for their role helps them maintain a healthy work-life balance by supporting productivity.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Read more about:

VARs/SIsChannel Research

About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like