Though the desktop is still widely used by executives, executives are far more likely than those in other roles to utilize portable technology.
Technology has virtually taken over almost every aspect of workplace activities in India barring the chaiwallah Chottu, and has made an equally deep intrusion into their private lives. A survey carried out by computer maker Dell and chipmaker Intel charts how far reaching its effects are and the benefits to be derived by those making decisions.
Global Evolving Workforce Study by Dell and Intel for India identifies and explores current and future trends concerning the workplace and workforce and the role that technology has played in their evolution.
“The study shares interesting findings, where Indian employees of both private and public sectors, display a need for mobility, connectivity and secure technology. From 71% who consider laptops, to 41% in favour of BYOD and 29% who are interested in 2-in-1s; there is an apparent shift in how work is getting done as technology becomes increasingly embedded in the core of the workplace today”, shared Indrajit Belgundi, General Manager – End User Computing Dell India.
With the workplace changing, job responsibilities are being fulfilled in locations other than the office – be it home, client locations, even in public spaces like coffee shops and public transportation, and thus mobility has become a priority. Amid the flux, mobile technologies and alternative interfaces are playing an increasing role – laptops, tablets, mobile phones, 2-in-1s, thin clients and desktop virtualization introduce unprecedented versatility into the IT toolkit.
According to Sudharsan R., Commercial Marketing Head, Dell India, “The survey’s aim is to explore the needs, wants and experiences of the evolving workforce globally and in India. With this we intend to identify trends and issues of how technology is adding to productivity and efficiency of employees. From what the survey reveals, India’s dynamic work environments need the most secure and manageable technology, to support an employee in carrying out diverse tasks.”
Over 502 full-time Indian professionals working a minimum of 35 hours per week aged 18 or older, were surveyed from industries including – Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Media & Entertainment, Private Healthcare, Private Education, Government, Public Healthcare and Public Education.
Here are some Key trends that emerged from the research centered on where and how employees work, the impact technology has on personal and work lives, and predictions around the automation of technology in the future.
India Insights: Evolving Workforce Study
Survey isolates 6 key trends that provide insights for IT managers, HR professionals and business decision makers:
1. One size doesn’t fit all: The desktop is the top device for getting work done in the office in India. Though the desktop is still widely used by executives, executives are far more likely than those in other roles to utilize portable technology including laptops (72%), tablets (41%) and 2-in-1s (29%). And we see multiple devices being used by virtually everyone
* Touch-me-nots: Touchscreen usage for work is high (55%), as is the desire to use touchscreens (38% among those not currently using).
* Device Performance: 62% ranked device performance as the #1 consideration which people look for in a work device, followed by battery life (11%). This is likely due to the prevalence of desktops in the office.
* On the personal front: For personal purposes, laptops (79%) are used more often than desktops (62%), as are smartphones (83%). These personal habits are likely shaping preferences for work devices.
2. Place of work: Most work is being done in the office of an employer. Of these, only one-third spend at least 75% of their time there. Much work is also being done in external locations (66%), in the home (78%) and in public places (62%).
* BYOD: For people whose companies don’t allow BYOD, more than one-third would use a personal device if they could (including a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet). 76% of the Indian workforce surveyed is part of an organization which approves BYOD
* Home Vs. Office – The Productivity Quotient: 41% of the Indian workforce believes that people working at home are less productive
* High performance at work: 80% of workers say they do their best work in the office and 79% are either extremely or very comfortable working at their office desk (as compared to 50% globally)
* 52% of office workers are frequently interrupted while working at desk
* 72% use email or IM to communicate with other people located nearby
3. Work-Life Balance: About three-fourths of Indian employee say they spend some of their working hours from home, but many spend time working at home after hours. 93%
check work email while at home (outside business hours) and 93% take work calls.
* 76% of the companies allow employees to use the device of their preference device of their preference. 71% devices are secured by the company’s IT department.
* Many employees are not authorized to use their existing devices handle their company’s disapproval by doing it anyway: 65% do this without their employers’ knowledge.
4. Office Workers vs. Remote Workers: Indian employees have divergent views on whether remote workers are more or less productive than office workers.
* 29% of middle/junior management who think people working at home are more productive
* 45% of Executive/senior management who think people working at home are more productive
* Seven-in-ten employees view working from home as an extra benefit
5. Importance of having new technology: There is a high priority placed on having the latest technology
* 62% employees say they would likely quit job if the technology didn’t meet with standards
* 62% also say the technology available would influence decision to take a new position
* Frustration with existing technology is evident: Three-fourths of Indian employees feel that their organizations only deploy new technology when absolutely necessary
* 38% believe available technology at work prevents productivity
* 51% believe technology has hindered career growth
* The risks of outdated technology: The need for investing in tech updates is particularly pronounced in India, where half of employees agree that they are held back by the technology at their disposal, and one-third agree that their career growth has suffered
6. The Future of Tech in Work Place: Employees believe that technology will continue the trend toward mobile, with roughly half expecting tablets to completely replace laptop computers before they retire
* Indians are open to new technology – 45% feel technology brings people together, while only 12% feel technology separates people.
* Just under three-fourths believe that technology will hit a limit on the ability to improve productivity
* 31% believe their job will be fully automated before they retire, 25% believe it will happen before they die, 24% believe it is possible in the distant future; and 20% believe this will never happen
The way forward:
Business leaders, IT managers and human resource professionals should focus on the following to better understand their employees’ diverse needs and provide the right environments and technology to enable them to do their best work.
* Activity-based work – Provide the right technology for the job, which may mean multiple devices.
* Seamless Access – Provide employees with seamless access to their data and applications from any device, anywhere, at any time.
* Security – Ensure not only all BYOD devices are known and secured but the user and access to information is managed and secured.
* Diverse Environments – As innovations in technology continue to advance, people have increasing flexibility to choose when and where they meet their professional obligations so employers need to provide the tools to enable them to be effective in their preferred environment. For those who don’t have the flexibility, provide a variety of workspaces to meet the task at hand.
The Evolving Workforce Study globally surveyed almost 5,000 employees of small, medium and large organizations in 12 countries and uncovered a number of key insights for business leaders, IT managers and human resource professionals to consider when recruiting, supporting and retaining their workforce. This study included participants from small (1-499 employees), medium (500-4999 employees), and large (5000+ employees) companies.