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Wednesday, December 12, 2014

Technology and the Evolving Workforce


by
Melvin Greer
Managing Director
Greer Institute for Leadership and Innovation
According to a Greer Institute Workforce and Talent study, the 2020 workforce is both “the most educated and culturally diverse of any generation” and “notorious job-hoppers who dislike bureaucracy and distrust traditional hierarchies.” Given this, it is crucial for leaders to understand how best to motivate and engage this 2020 workforce and win the war for top talent.
To prepare for the globally distributed, highly collaborative, always on-the-go 2020 workforce, leaders need to start building the kind of workplace that can harness all this new technology. One of the most impactful places to start changing the way your company plans for, hires, and engages its talent is by understanding what is already possible with today’s cloud, mobile, and social technologies. The new workforce has a relentless consumer-grade expectation for mobile, social, and globally accessible tools with ubiquitous access to work. These expectations are challenging HR and IT leaders to deploy technology solutions to attract, retain, and manage their workforce while creating a collaborative, engaging employee experience.
Dell and Intel in their Global Evolving Workforce Study, identifies and explores current and future trends pertaining to the workplace and the role that technology plays in their evolution. The trends that emerged from both the Greer Institute and Dell research centered on where and how employees work and the impact technology has on personal and work lives. 

  • Mobility equals increased productivity – Wherever and whenever they are working, employees are using multiple devices, rather than just one to get their jobs done. While employees are switching to more mobile forms of technology like laptop, tablet and 2-in-1 devices, performance is the top priority for what employees want in their work device with 81 percent stating it as either the first or second most important attribute.
  • Blur of work and personal life – As innovations in technology continue to advance, people have increasing flexibility to choose when and where they meet their professional obligations. Sixty-four percent of employees globally conduct at least some business at home after business hours. More than half of employees globally currently use personal devices for work purposes or expect to do so in the future, while 43 percent of employees globally are secretly using personal devices for work without the company knowing, with smart phones and laptops being those most frequently used. 
  • Tech influences job selection – One out of four employees globally report they are influenced by the technology provided to them at work and would consider taking a new position if provided better technology that helps them be more productive. Employees in the media and entertainment sector are most likely to quit over poor technology. Those in management roles and employees in emerging markets, in particular, expect the best technology in order to stay with their current employer or consider a new one.
These trends provide important insights for IT managers, human resource professionals and business decision makers to better attract, retain, support and motivate the global workforce now and in the future. Business leaders, IT managers and human resource professionals should focus on them to better understand their employees’ diverse needs and provide the right environments and technology to enable them to do their best work.

(This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. To learn more about tech news and analysis visit Tech Page One. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are our own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.)

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