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The channel is often selling a message of improved user experience and supporting that with technology and services, but at a grassroots level many users feel they are not getting the tools they need.
Research from Ricoh Europe has revealed a gap between the perceptions of employers and employees of what technology investments are supporting an improved workplace experience.
Knowledge of a disconnect over digital transformation implementations should give those selling technology an opportunity to challenge the narrative and provoke questions around what a successful tech deployment looks like in terms of experience.
The headline finding from the Ricoh research was that almost three-quarters (72%) of employers claim they put enhancing staff workplace processes at the heart of any design, but only slightly above half of those that use them felt that was the case.
That disconnect meant that the risks of the IT not producing the desired results were increased, with just above a third of those workers quizzed stating that new technology being rolled out across the business would not affect their work.
“Businesses are working hard to ensure they invest in the tools and technologies that will futureproof growth and help them remain competitive. But our research suggests they’re failing to connect with employees on the processes and services that will make working easier, more efficient and, in many cases, more enjoyable,” said Nicola Downing, CEO of Ricoh Europe.
“Decision-makers can’t afford to delay. Without an optimal working environment, employees may start to look for pastures new,” he added. “People need to be at the centre of any workplace transformation, with their needs and pain points listened to and actively addressed. This is vital to talent attraction and retention, boosting collaboration productivity and ensuring a sense of fulfilment through work across the organisation.”
Some of the answers to the problems could spark opportunities for partners, with many customers failing currently to use some of the available tools to improve workplace processes. Ricoh found that a third of European businesses did not use productivity and project management software, automation or hybrid meeting technology.
The slow uptake of those technologies was happening despite calls from staff for them to be deployed, underlining the gap between bosses and workers perceived priorities.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the printing world Brother is taking steps to arm its channel with technology that should appeal to field-based workers.
The firm’s PocketJet range of A4 printers is being flagged to resellers as a fit for field sales, delivery and logistics plus blue light emergency services.
The vendor has launched a five model range of thermal pocket printers, the first time it has enhanced the PocketJet range for seven years, that are capable of delivering high page counts on a single battery charge.
Aaron Hopkinson, product manager at Brother UK, said that customers out of the office still reuired print services: “Users operating in the field need fast and reliable print devices with a range of connectivity options to efficiently carry out routine signature collection and information sharing.
“We understand that many of the sectors that need these solutions are heavily regulated, and quality printing on the spot ensures that errors and poor legibility from hand-written documents are removed,” he added.