November 8, 2021
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.
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