The last 16 months of working from home has had a range of impacts on the UK’s diverse workforce. Some employees will have managed just fine and some will have struggled, but one thing’s for sure, technology has played a huge part in enabling work to continue in the face of massive disruption, so we are all massively grateful for that!
The impact of great technology
A new report by Adobe Workforce called “State of Work 2021 (How COVID-19 changed digital work)” has some great insights into how our relationship with workplace technology has changed during the pandemic as we’ve adapted to working remotely. Things were evolving digitally in the workplace anyway in terms of how we communicate and collaborate, but the forced circumstances sparked a faster rate of transformation and the vast majority of workers had to get on board with new digital solutions and procedures very quickly once we were all asked to work from home.
The research reveals some really interesting statistics. For instance, the UK workers surveyed say that they now rely on technology to do their job 12 per cent more on average than they did pre-March 2020. And, thanks to Zoom, Teams, Meet and so on, they say collaboration has been made easier: before the pandemic, 32 per cent said this was the case, but this rose to 56 per cent during the WFH period. So technology has shown it can really improve teamwork!
There’s also a positive result for technology’s impact on creativity and innovation in the workplace, with 68 per cent of UK workers reporting that they rely on technology solutions to foster creativity and innovation. This is a rise from 49 per cent in February 2020 and just demonstrates how well employees have adapted their working practices.
The dangers of not-so-great technology
Workplace technology has never been so important and the workforce is becoming increasingly tech-savvy, thanks to the great exposure to digital devices young people have both at home and throughout their school careers. Its role in our day-to-day jobs is much greater than it used to be and so when the solutions we know that could help us be more productive are missing or we are forced to use legacy technology or convoluted workarounds, it’s having a very real effect on how we engage with our roles.
Even back in February 2020, the report states that 21 per cent of workers said they had already left a job because the technology in the workplace had not been up to scratch. Now, it seems that almost half the employees surveyed for the research said they were likely to leave their current post if they found it frustrating to work with the technology available to them in their place of work.
So it’s clear that technology is having not just an impact on how we work but, increasingly, where we choose work too. Business leaders, take note!