The workplace has changed a lot in the last ten years. As we rely more and more on technology, the landscape of the workplace changed. As technology continues to evolve at pace, so too, does the modern workplace environment.
Cloud services provider Ingram Micro Cloud in association with Microsoft surveyed employees from small to mid-sized businesses across the UK.
They wanted to know what employees want from the modern workplace environment and how equipped UK businesses are to provide that.
Here are the most intriguing findings from that report.
The modern workplace environment
The Ingram Micro Cloud report gives an interesting look at what the modern workplace has become. We have broken down their findings into five different categories and looked at how technology can help.
The survey asked the following question. "As an employee, which of the following do you think are important to have in the modern workplace?"
In total, just over half (52 per cent) the employees surveyed said they would prefer the chance to work from home. For employees under 35, that number went up to 60 per cent.
Advances in technology have made working from home an attractive proposition for many businesses. Cloud-based programs have made collaboration between different locations simple.
Conferencing tools such as Skype for business mean you can even attend meetings from home. Office 365 offers a suite of products built with remote working in mind.
The survey participants were asked, "Which of the following technologies do you currently use to collaborate with people inside and outside of your business?"
Email (80 per cent) and telephone (67 per cent) were the unsurprising common answers. They both have long been integrated into businesses.
Almost one-third of those asked answered instant messaging (32 per cent) and video conferencing (31 per cent), modern alternatives to email and telephones. VoIP telephone systems are increasing the advanced features the telephone can offer.
The popularity of email and telephone might also be down to the lack of modern technology available to workers.
When asked "Which of the following technologies do you currently use to collaborate with people inside and outside of your business that aren't supplied by your business?"
85 per cent of under 35's answered modern technology. In the report, modern technology includes workplace technology such as instant messaging, Skype, file hosting and sharing tools that aren't supported or provided by their employer.
When asked, "Which of the following do you think are barriers to innovation in your business?" Just over half (53 per cent) of the under 35 demographic said 'reluctant senior management/ lack of colleague support'. It was the highest answer given across all age ranges.
Half of the millennial workforce is blaming business management for the lack of innovation. They don't see the barrier as budgetary or a lack of time to implement innovation; they see it as a lack of willingness to do so by management.
The report does suggest that British businesses do not appear to be keeping pace and adopting new security practices as they should. 72 per cent of employees said that their organisation uses only usernames and passwords to secure their IT operations.
However, over 60 per cent of employees does believe their employee is doing enough to secure their IT. This would suggest there is still a lack of understanding within UK businesses as to what good IT security looks like in a modern workplace environment.
When asked "Which of the following technologies do you think will have the biggest impact on workplaces in the next five years?"
Artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomy (33 per cent) and Big Data (26 per cent) were the top answers. Interestingly UK employees still see technology advancements as a benefit and not a threat.
88 per cent of those surveyed are currently not concerned about automation taking over their roles in ten years. Currently, only 12 per cent are worried about automation and robotics taking over their jobs.
As the modern worker remains in pursuit of a better work-life balance, employees are actively seeking out flexible and remote working practices.
The tools that employees want to use are also evolving. The telephone and even email are becoming less favourable compared to the new breed of cloud-based file sharing.
Where employees are not able to access them through their company, they are finding their own way to use them, opening up new security risks for IT departments. There also still seems to be a lack of understanding from employees of what good IT security looks like.