Organisations struggling to support remote and hybrid employees

Digital workplace productivity report reveals limited workplace technology availability sees average worker operating at 60% capacity

The new normal for the vast majority of businesses will see them having to accommodate those who cannot or will not return to the office, but research has found that such remote and hybrid employees are under pressure when it comes to the support they are getting from IT departments.

For its Digital workplace productivity report, digital experience management (DEM) provider Lakeside Software commissioned ESI ThoughtLab to conduct market research in February and March 2022. The study gathered perspectives from 600 respondents – 200 employees, 200 C-level executives, and 200 IT executives and staff. Analysis was conducted across industries – including financial services, technology, life sciences and professional services – geographic markets, company sizes and other parameters to gain a comprehensive view of the digital employee experience (DEX) market.

Overall, the study revealed a welter of employee frustration, both with the technology they interact with every day and the overall IT infrastructure that supports their workplace. Indeed, Lakeside claimed the research had identified a critical flaw in most organisations – not only were many employees feeling hindered by their workplace technology, but IT teams were also frustrated by a lack of visibility into how and when issues occurred.

Lower output was a key concern, with employees claiming they were achieving just 60% of their potential work output because of the suboptimal quality of their overall digital experience and were losing 54 minutes of work time every week due to technical issues. The study also recognised the role that new technologies, such as DEX platforms, could play in supporting high-performing, productive teams.

Businesses as a whole, including not just IT departments but also HR, were shown to be facing a huge challenge in addressing this productivity gap, as the research showed that 40% of workplace technology issues, such as network connectivity, application performance and system errors, went unreported to IT teams.

A strong DEX was also seen as being critical for employee retention and talent acquisition. Just over a third (36%) of employees reported that they had considered leaving an employer due to poor digital experiences – and of those, 14% admitted they had actually left. This, said Lakeside, represented a significant challenge in a competitive environment where nearly half of all employees globally were considering changing jobs.

It added that as organisations continue to compete for talent, it was critical for them to have the right tools and capabilities to support workforces of any kind, such as the increasing number of hybrid and remote workers. Lakeside observed that platforms that support the digital employee experience could drive positive change by analysing how employees interact with the organisation’s computing devices, local and cloud applications, networks and virtual infrastructures.

“As the four-day work week makes headlines around the globe, organisations are still grappling with how to manage and adapt to decentralised work environments, let alone a reduced work week,” commented Lakeside Software chief marketing officer David Wilkins.

“Our research shows just how important flexibility and the digital experience are to employee satisfaction. While many business leaders see workforce engagement as being the main output driver, employees have another perspective: the need for technology, IT support, workplace flexibility and training that enables greater productivity and leads to a more satisfied workforce,” he added.

Lakeside Software CEO David Keil added: “The loss of nearly one hour per week per employee to IT downtime represents a major productivity issue for enterprise organisations. By taking steps to proactively prevent problems occurring across their IT infrastructure, business leaders can minimise downtime and achieve millions of dollars in reclaimed revenue every year.”

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