New research from Apogee finds nearly half of staff blamed lack of access to right workplace technology for fuelling negativity
New data has given CIOs some more insight into the modern workplace, and the scale of the challenge to equipment employees with the right technology.
New research from managed workplace services (MWS) provider Apogee Corporation found that over three-quarters (79 percent) of employees don’t feel optimistic about the future of work, with nearly half blaming a lack of access to the right technology for fuelling workplace negativity.
The research comes amid a range of challenges facing CIOs, who are already contending with the switch to remote (or hybrid) working, as well as all the problems associated with both securing company infrastructure and making sure it meets staff requirements and organisational objectives.
Staff, CIO disconnect
And it seems that pressure on CIOs could be telling, with the Apogee research finding that only 5 percent of CIOs in the UK feel optimistic about the future of work.
Meanwhile the same research found that over a third (35 percent) of employees are having their productivity stunted by insufficient, slow and unreliable technology.
Yet over a quarter (27 percent) of CIOs say home distractions are the culprit – both viewpoints highlighting the disconnect between CIOs and the rest of the business.
The research surveyed over 200 chief information security officers (CIOs) and 200 employees across SMB organisations and the public sector, and highlighted the impact unreliable workplace technology is having on employee performance and collaboration.
The Apogee research also found that a further 21 percent of employees say that a lack of team connection and collaboration opportunities when working from home is hindering their productivity.
This disconnect and contrast in perception is threatening to isolate employees from their organisation and colleagues, as 46 percent of staff say that access to the right technology is key to feeling connected across hybrid work environments – yet over half (56 percent) say technology is unreliable or completely non-existent when working from home.
Almost one-in-three (28 percent) employees also say they are unable to do their job properly as a direct consequence of poor digital collaboration with technology.
As a result, over three-quarters (79 percent) of staff don’t feel optimistic about the future of work – with almost half (46 percent) saying that a lack of access to the right technology is fuelling this negativity.
Most CIOs share this outlook, with just 5 percent claiming they are optimistic about the future of work.
So what are the possible solutions to address this strong disconnect between CIOs’ and employees’ workplace ideals?
Well, the Apogee research found that a quarter of CIOs believe that training and career development is the most important feature of an ‘ideal’ workplace, but perhaps unsurprisingly other factors rank higher on the priority list for staff.
For example over half (52 percent) of workers say that access to the latest technology that enhances teamwork and collaboration is the workplace feature they value the most.
So the Apogee research found a clear employee demand for better tech, yet despite this employers admit to difficulties connecting with the new technology expectations and needs of a younger generation of workers, with over a fifth (21 percent) of CIOs admitting the generational divide is preventing them from feeling more connected to their employees.
The disconnect is being further fuelled by nearly eight-in-ten (79 percent) CIOs stating that some employee expectations around flexibility are simply incompatible with the needs of the business.
But budget restrictions are also playing a role, with 22 percent of CIOs saying this prevents them from providing the required technology to support flexible and collaborative working. This shortfall in suitable tech, compounded by the growing employer-employee divide, is leaving over a quarter (27 percent) of workers feeling frustrated, leading to far-reaching engagement and productivity challenges.
“Home distractions are something of a red herring when it comes to employee unproductivity, as workers really are lacking the technology and collaborative digital tools to support them as they navigate the new hybrid workplace,” noted Julian Broster, VP of Strategic Business Development at Apogee.
“If employers fail to understand and prioritise this growing demand, they risk disengaged staff and poor business performance,” Broster added. “Budget constraints should not be a barrier; there are cost-effective collaborative solutions that CIOs can now tap into to better enable staff to connect with each other and the wider organisation.”