New research reveals that almost half (42%) of UK knowledge workers are not convinced their IT department is forward-thinking or enables business productivity. Additionally, the data revealed that a significant number of UK employees are opting for outdated IT working practices instead of adapting to a digital work environment, suggesting there is clear progress to be made when it comes to the use of technology in the workplace.
Commissioned by Citrix and carried out by OnePoll, the survey aimed to identify the trends that are impacting the future of the workplace in UK businesses. 1,000 knowledge workers were probed on specific workplace situations including how they access and use a digital work environment, communicate with colleagues and use company data. Respondents were also questioned on their organisation’s IT department and their perception on how effectively they have enhanced productivity through the introduction of digital technology.
Outdated IT working practices
Over a quarter (29%) of respondents confirmed that their colleagues share files in an email attachment, requiring them to create multiple versions instead of one securely hosted file. Worryingly, almost a quarter (24%) of UK knowledge workers also have saved files onto their desktop even though they know it should be hosted in a secure cloud. The main culprits are Millennials, with nearly a third (32%) of those aged between 25-34 opting to save files on their desktop instead of in the cloud.
The data also suggests that outdated working practices have been adopted by those logging on remotely. When working in a station lobby, for example, where the only available internet connection is via public Wi-Fi with little or no protection, 21% of employees would connect to this network despite the potential risks. Furthermore, when ‘on the go’ a third (33%) of respondents would opt to communicate with a colleague via an app such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger which has not been sanctioned by the IT department.
The IT-business disconnect
Despite the march of digital transformation, only 29% of those surveyed agree that their organisation’s IT team currently delivers a first-class experience for the business. Additionally, only 24% said they often hear of new technologies and processes being trialled in order to improve working practices.
It is therefore unsurprising that one in five (20%) knowledge workers feel they are ‘not very skilled’ or ‘not skilled at all’ when it comes to using technology to work efficiently. The survey also revealed that 22% of respondents consider their colleagues to be ‘not skilled’ when it comes to using technology in the workplace, with those aged between 35-44 feeling most strongly (24%) that their colleagues lack necessary technological skills.
Encouragingly, almost one in five (16%) employees are willing to attend training to improve their basic tech skills and make the most of their IT environment. A further 27% believed that they would benefit from training in areas such as AI, analytics and predictive technologies to help their company embrace emerging technologies and improve overall productivity.
“Everyone should be able to benefit from developments in technology and working practices while feeling supported and engaged to perform at their best. This requires organisations to ensure the workplace is set up correctly to embrace the multitude of technologies that are available today to improve employee engagement and boost productivity,” said Darren Fields, Regional Vice President, UK & Ireland, Citrix.
“IT leaders must go back to basics, reviewing their people, processes and technology. Up-to-date, fast and performing technology is often the difference between enhanced productivity or limited efficiency. When the workplace is set up correctly, organisations can adjust workplace culture – opening up limitless opportunities for collaboration and innovation.”