A new global study commissioned by Lenovo™ (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) finds that close to half (40 percent) of all SMB employees who participated in the study are dissatisfied with their work environments. As an increasingly mobile workforce shapes employee expectations for access to technology that enables co-working, shared spaces and better work-life balance and integration, SMBs appear to have fallen behind the curve on delivering positive employee experience (EX).
SMBs are key to economic growth, representing over 90 percent of the business population, 60 to 70 percent of employment, and 55 percent of GDP in developed economies.2 The new Lenovo study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, gathered responses from 813 employees and 803 device buyers from companies with fewer than 1,000 employees globally to evaluate EX trends among SMBs. The markets include the UK, US, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
According to an earlier Forrester report,3 enhanced EX leads to benefits including better work performance, lower turnover and improved customer experience, suggesting an imperative for SMBs to address the disconnect and prioritize technology that will create a positive work environment for employees.
To improve EX, the new Lenovo study suggests SMB employers actively listen to employee feedback on current work environments. Improving technology use is central, as most employees at SMBs still use desktops as their main device (71 percent, according to the study). Additionally, a staggering 74 percent of SMB employee respondents do not have access to cloud-based tools, nor have the flexibility to choose technologies that are most suited for their tasks. It will be key for SMB IT decision makers to invest in more mobile and portable device options, such as laptops, smartphones, 2-in-1s, and next-generation smart devices like augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) and smart office set-ups, to improve EX. Creating an environment where employees can work remotely and achieve better work-life integration is essential.
SMB IT decision makers need to build an effective and feasible device strategy that aligns to employees’ future needs. The research found that a third of buyers (30 percent) will expand purchases for smart meeting room solutions, which will encourage more collaboration across different locations. However, SMB IT decision-makers are often faced with difficulties in refreshing workplace technology, with 45 percent of them claiming that the budget they have is not adequate to cover all their requirements. Other challenges include internal IT teams not being equipped or trained to manage all device issues post-purchase (42 percent), or not having the adequate information from device vendors (32 percent), making it difficult to differentiate product offerings.
In a recent ‘This is Life’ global study conducted by Lenovo, it found that over half (58 percent) of people believe technology is creating a more diverse work environment, with a further 58 percent believing that tech is helping them get better jobs, enhance careers and be more productive at work by completing tasks faster and more efficiently. All these findings highlight the benefits of wider adoption of smarter technology in the workplace to significantly improve EX.
“SMBs pioneered the now widely-held ideas about the mobile workforce. However, this notion is unmatched in SMB organizations’ ability to offer their own employees more flexible technology for a better employee experience,” comments Dilip Bhatia, Vice President of Global User and Customer Experience, Lenovo. “While benefits and financial incentives remain important for attracting and retaining staff, SMB efforts must also be willing to invest in future tools and technology that are mobile, flexible and inclusive.”
About the research
Commissioned by Lenovo, Forrester Consulting conducted an online survey with 813 employees and 803 device buyers in companies with fewer than 1,000 employees globally. The markets include: Chile, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. Questions in the survey asked about the trend of employee experience and SMB challenges in work devices. The study was completed in July 2019.
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$50 billion Fortune Global 500 company, with 57,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering and building the world’s most complete portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, we’re also leading an Intelligent Transformation to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world. To find out more, visit https://www.lenovo.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Weibo and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.
1 SMB defined as small and medium sized businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees globally
2 “World Trade Report 2016: Levelling the trading field for SMEs” by the World Trade Organization
3 “The Employee Experience Imperative” December 2017 research report by Forrester
Lenovo is a trademark of Lenovo. FORRESTER is a trademark of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2019, Lenovo Group Limited.