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Poor tech provision causes dissatisfaction in SMEs

Smaller businesses are struggling to provide a good enough employee experience when it comes to tech, according to a study

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are falling behind the curve when it comes to providing a positive, technology-enabled employee experience in the workplace, a new study has found.

The global study, carried out by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Lenovo, found that 41% of people working in SMEs are not happy with their technology set-up in the office and feel they don’t have access to key tools for flexible working.

According to the report, 74% of the SME employees surveyed do not have access to cloud-based tools, nor have the ability to choose technologies that are most suited to their tasks. Also, 38% of the employees said tech issues such as slow file transfers were a major distraction at work.

“SMEs pioneered the now widely-held ideas about the mobile workforce,” said Dilip Bhatia, Lenovo’s vice-president of global user and customer experience. “However, this notion is unmatched in SME organisations’ ability to offer their own employees more flexible technology for a better employee experience.”

From the businesses' standpoint, the study found that SME IT decision-makers often face difficulties in refreshing workplace technology, with 45% claiming their budget is not sufficient to cover all their requirements.

Other issues included internal IT teams not being equipped or trained to manage all device issues (cited by 42% of those polled), or not having adequate information from device vendors (32%), making it harder to differentiate product offerings.

The report links the findings with points made in an earlier Forrester report, which argued that enhanced employee experience leads to benefits such as better work performance, lower staff turnover and improved customer experience.

“While benefits and financial incentives remain important for attracting and retaining staff, SMEs must also be willing to invest in future tools and technology that are mobile, flexible and inclusive,” said Bhatia.

The study canvassed 813 employees and 803 device buyers from companies with fewer than 1,000 employees globally to evaluate employee experience trends among SMEs. The markets included the UK, the US, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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