Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup, once said: “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace”. While that seems logical, many employers neglect this mindset. As the digital workplace is already very common, it is important to know how to deal with such environment effectively.

Working in the digital workplace

According to Gartner, an astonishing 80% of the time, an IT end-user is causing own computer problems. With digital advancements ever-evolving, it is hardly possible to reduce such IT problems to zero. Yet, it is possible to hedge against the danger of underestimating problems and overestimating employee’s digital capabilities. It can be very useful to leverage service desk employee input and IT user feedback. You can identify which applications and/or systems are causing the largest productivity losses. Therefore, provide training in these areas. The latter is also regularly underestimated.

Digital workplace training

To begin with, only about 1/5 of employees in digital workplace environment have ever taken part in an IT course within the last 3 years. This holds especially for the top management, where only 1/10 has undergone such training. Approximately two-thirds reason with “not needing it”. However, research actually suggests there is a significant difference between expected and actual time savings following training. Actual time savings were double the amount of expected savings.

Before you go ahead and dive into the planning of IT training and assessments, here are a few things typically causing IT end user (un)happiness and proven ways to improve IT-Happiness.

Main causes of IT end user (un)happiness and what to do about them.

As employees spend 1/3 of their lives working, they find wasting the majority of time dealing with obsolete, outdated technology particularly frustrating. No one enjoys using old desktop computers or super slow internet. Studies show 25% of employees consider changing their job, to benefit from improved technology.

Bring Your Own Device

In the past few years, smartphones and tablets have become the productivity tools for the modern worker. Those devices are what your employees will spend most of their work day with as well. Allowing the use of own, personal devices is highly recommended. A major plus of BYOD is that it brings your employees more joy and happiness, ultimately impacting productivity positively. But it brings even more. Allowing BYOD means you are able to avoid high investment and implementation costs of new technologies. You are also able to reduce lost revenue, due to time spent waiting and being stuck with non-functioning IT devices.

Ensure good communication

Another cause of unhappiness in the digital workplace is communication problems. Sometimes, employees feel outside the loop or can’t find the information they need to use their IT devices. Other times, they might feel like their voices are not being heard at all. But not to worry, there is a great, proven way to solve this problem. A professional social network at work to share information could be the solution. Examples of these include Yammer, Bitrix24, Jive and Podio. Implementing one will alleviate most of the problems associated with employees not feeling heard or recognised as well as outside the loop. Workers using such networks have confirmed they feel happier, more engaged and better connected with their co-workers.

Befriend the Cloud

A third proven way ensuring the happiness of your workforce is getting on the hype and turning towards the cloud. Many in IT managements have already started using the cloud and profited greatly. They reduced cost, improved scalability and increased the accessibility to various applications. Thus, while using the cloud, your employees can become more productive and access information easier, resulting in increased IT-Happiness.

So, there is great potential for time savings and employee IT happiness, at the same time reducing the pressure on your Service Desk or local support. Based on this research, we formulated 5 recommendations for you:

  1. Regularly assess employee’s digital capabilities and provide training at all organisational levels
  2. Provide regular IT training and remember Benjamin Franklin: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”.
  3. Promote a general sense of IT self-help encouraging your IT end users to take own responsibility for problems they can solve themselves. This will significantly reduce the burden on the service desk employees.
  4. If you haven’t yet, implement a BYOD policy, professional social network and make use of the cloud.
  5. Keep doing IT user satisfaction survey

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