Freshworks Inc., a software company, recently released survey results that show a startling gap between employee expectations and the reality of the workplace technology experience.
According to the report, nearly half (47%) of employees in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) report that workplace technology issues have increased their stress levels, negatively impacting their mental health.
“Businesses need to take a leaf out of the consumer application playbook and ensure business applications are as intuitive and convenient to use. The technology is already out there, delivering powerful, yet easy to use enterprise applications, all via the convenience of the cloud – this has effectively democratised IT. It’s time for organisations to now take advantage of such technologies that will help them bridge the growing employee/IT digital divide,” said Vishal Chopra, Sr Director of Marketing at Freshworks APAC & MEA.
Workplace Tech Pivotal in the Region’s War for Talent
The majority of MEA line of business (LOB) leaders (69%) believe that good technology is necessary to win the war for talent, and 79% believe that high-calibre employees will consider looking for a new job if their current job does not provide access to the tools, technology, or information they require to do their jobs well.
Over half (56%) of employees said their company could probably keep them from looking for a new job if they invested in automation. MEA employees value technologies that enable or support hybrid and remote working, with half (51%) reporting that such solutions have increased their job satisfaction.
Whatever innovations businesses choose to implement, it is abundantly clear that one feature is now a must have – simplicity. Since the pandemic, a staggering 86% of LOB leaders polled by Freshworks said their employees expect technology to be easier to use.
“Easy to use technology that enables better employee communication and engagement, automation and better service delivery is no longer a nice to have. It’s business critical,” said Stacey Epstein, Chief Marketing Officer at Freshworks.
“In today’s hybrid world, employees demand the same experience at work as they do as a consumer. This is a global trend and those businesses who address this emerging divide now will be in a strong position to outperform the competition in this exceptionally challenging economic environment,” Epstein added.
Reputation, Productivity, Employee Wellbeing Hang in the Balance
According to Freshworks’ report, there is a clear correlation between employees’ perceptions of their employer and the latter’s digital maturity, with 42 percent claiming that their company’s workplace technologies make them appear ‘out of date.’ Perhaps more concerning is that this shortcoming has a direct impact on productivity for more than half of employees (52%) and has a negative impact on job satisfaction for nearly a third (30%).
Freshworks’ report provided invaluable insight, highlighting the top challenges for MEA LOB leaders as resistance to change (72%), employees not being consulted when choosing new software applications (69%), and employees not being given enough time to learn to use new software (67%).