London, U.K., 30 Jan, 2019

Consumer technology is intuitive and intelligent while workplace technology lags behind. This is likely why an overwhelming majority of U.K. employees surveyed worldwide by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated wish their workplace technology is as easy and powerful as personal technology.

The survey, conducted with U.K.-based Coleman Parkes Research, asked more than 2,800 hourly and salaried employees across a variety of industries in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. to explore the impact existing and emerging technologies have on the employee experience.

In the U.K. specifically, over half (52 percent) of employees believe their personal technology is more modern and is more user friendly than what is used in their workplace, while a further 50 percent wish their workplace technology performed in a similar manner to what they experience in their personal lives.

Any hardware or software implementation at work should be about empowering employees to perform their roles more efficiently. However, almost half of employees (49 percent) state that their workplace technology often seems to make common activities more complicated than they need to be by adding unnecessary steps.

Considering services and suppliers such as Airbnb, Amazon, Netflix, and Uber have become commonplace in everyday lives, organisations can no longer implement workplace innovations that do not meet these same high standards of usability. In fact, three out of five employees (60 percent) state that it’s easier to search for new movies on Netflix than it is to search for their employee benefits information, while 43 percent say it’s easier to book an Airbnb than find out how many days of annual leave they have left.

While 40 percent believe their job is made more difficult because their employer relies on outdated processes and technology, the research also found that over a third (39 percent) say their company invests in a lot of technology that does not help them do their jobs better. A further third state that their company invests in the latest innovations but fails to train employees on how to use these properly. Maybe worse, 33 percent say their company invests in the latest technology but forces employees to rely on old processes.

Perhaps the crux of the outdated-technology-at-work issue is the fact that 42 percent say that the top issue preventing their employer from embracing new technology is that there are many long-tenured employees who have a set way of doing certain processes or are not open to change.

Since many U.K. employees consider themselves early adopters (34 percent) and innovators (31 percent), there is a big opportunity for organisations to do more to implement and embrace technologies that will better help employees.

Supporting quotes

  • Peter Harte, vice president, enterprise sales at Kronos
    “There’s a clear need for employers to embrace more intuitive and user-friendly technologies that will not only help engage their workforce, but also increase their productivity. The fact that many U.K. employees feel as though their workplace technology actually makes tasks more difficult demonstrates a lack of communication between managers and employees. The success of any business is completely dependent on its leading force – its employees, so it’s essential that managers and IT teams are listening to what those at the coalface have to say in terms of what will aid them best and ensuring they’re implementing the best technologies accordingly.”
  • Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos
    “Once upon a time, workplace technology was far more innovative and superior to anything that was available for consumer use. However, the tables have turned, and the opposite is true today. The proliferation of the on-demand and gig economy apps that now dominate our everyday lives should prompt organizations to walk a mile in their employees’ shoes. Those who empower employees with intuitive, responsive solutions that match the ease of use and real-time nature of their favorite apps will gain an important advantage in their efforts to recruit and retain top talent.”

Supporting Resources

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organisations — including half of the Fortune 1000 — and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.