Four consumer tech trends that office workers want now

  • Posted on March 10, 2016

Consumer techThe world of technology moves rapidly, and it’s amazing to consider just how much our personal lives have been transformed by pioneering tech brands in the past five years. But has this technological revolution touched our professional lives in the same way? Perhaps not. Many would argue that we’re working the same way we were thirty years ago, just using email (for example) to get things done a little faster.

IT decision makers in UK companies seem to agree that digital workplace technologies will drive better business results in the long-term. According to our digital transformation research, 72% believe the traditional office will one day become obsolete. But there are many consumer tech trends we now take for granted that we have yet to see fully realised in our working lives.

1 Instant gratification

We live in an unprecedented age of instant gratification. Social media networks instantly connect us with friends and family worldwide. With Uber, we can hail a taxi to our exact location in minutes. One click on Amazon and something will arrive at your front door the next (or even the same) day.

Yet we still have to sit on hold for too long to IT support when technology malfunctions at work. In the modern world, employees will increasingly expect solutions for IT problems in minutes, not days.

2 Becoming empowered

Self-service is the new norm. We can use our smartphone to check-in to a flight online or pay off a credit card bill. And what do we do when we don’t know how to do something? Google it. Ask Siri. Or find a YouTube how-to video. This is consumer tech at its finest and it has profoundly empowered us to find the solution to any problem ourselves.

In the workplace, however, that level of empowerment is noticeably absent. Often, the IT department needs to be involved if we simply want to install a new programme on our laptops. Or our personal devices require an extensive configuration process before we can use them at work. We have yet to see self-service IT fully pervade the workplace.

3 A simple, enjoyable user experience

Consumer tech is designed around usability. We’re all used to the incredibly intuitive interfaces of modern phones and computers. We expect the applications we use in our daily lives – Facebook, Uber, etc. – to respond to our preferences and provide a personalised experience.

So why do so many of the digital tools we use at work have impenetrable, clunky design? Of the UK decision makers we surveyed, 75% said that new technologies create more work for employees, requiring new skills to be learned rather than enabling new ways of working. As employees we’re still looking for the user-focused design we see every day outside the office.

4 Choice

As consumers, we have an abundance of choices when it comes to technology. For every app or device, there are a multitude of alternatives. The growth of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is proof that employees carry this mindset of limitless choice with them to work. And the subsequent rise of ‘Shadow IT’ is proof that many employees are not being provided with the IT solutions they are used to using.

A new type of work environment is emerging, one that puts the user at the centre of the experience. Digital technology is a powerful driver of this, capable of delivering new capabilities, behaviours and processes for both employers and employees. But to deliver on these new capabilities, it’s integral to understand what professional experience your employees will expect. Our digital business transformation research reveals what those expectations are and how you can transform your business to meet them.

Read the Executive Summary of the research to find out more.

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