2016 has seen clear focus around workplace productivity on the Kensington blog. As new, innovative technology launches each month, the key is ensuring employees are equipped to use the relevant pieces effectively to enhance their work, to the overall success of the business. Here we look at the most popular and effective ways to increase productivity in the workplace in 2016, according to results of the Voice of IT report.

As part of this survey, Kensington asked IT professionals in Australia, the US and UK about the technology that they had introduced to increase workforce productivity. The results of the survey provided an interesting insight into the factors driving the adoption and use of new technologies, revealing the respective importance of both organizations and their employees.

Organizational Agenda

System upgrades and improvements were at the top of the organizational agenda, with 64% of respondents saying they had implemented new systems or upgrades specifically to improve productivity and performance. There was a degree of international variation, however. Surprisingly, only 47% of the Australian IT professionals surveyed said they had introduced upgraded systems in their organisation in 2015. This compares to an equivalent figure of 70% for American IT professionals and 67% within the UK.

Employee Perspective

From the perspective of employees, multi-screening – that is to say, the use of more than one monitor – was the most common technology measure introduced to improve productivity in the three countries. Once again, Australian respondents were an exception, with only 37% saying they had introduced a multi-screen policy compared to 69% and 68% of British and American IT professionals, respectively. Significantly, this was the area where employees and end-users were shown to be taking the lead by submitting requests for additional screens to their employers.

Flexible Working

The picture is more complicated for the move towards more flexible working environments, exemplified by the use of tablets for mobile working. Here, the results of the survey showed that while executives and end-users in the US and UK are more or less equally responsible for the drive towards flexible workspaces, it is employees who are taking the lead in Australia, and executives who are behind the increasing deployment of tablet and hybrid devices.

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There were also nuances in approaches towards BYOD. For instance, 31% of organizations in Australia appear to place current emphasis on BYOD, more than their counterparts in both the US and UK, at 17% and 25% respectively. The pattern may be changing however, with US employees driving usage of BYOD, multi-screening and improved ergonomics in 2016 to a greater extent than their counterparts in the UK and Australia. Organizations in the US as a whole currently lag behind, which is interesting considering the general assumption that they sit at the forefront of evolving technology trends.

Forward-thinking CIOs and IT professionals face a number of barriers to improvement as the importance of IT for productivity still tends to be undervalued. Indeed, 36% of respondents said that IT was perceived more as a cost than an opportunity by their organization. An appreciation of how technology innovation can bring improvements in delivery and output, ensuring operational security, compliance and resilience over time is crucial to ensuring a business is productively driving forward.

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Continue reading our report summaries here.