Almost four-in-ten (39%) public sector workers say that a lack of hybrid collaboration due to insufficient technology is pushing them to leave their current job and look for a new position, according to new research by managed workplace services (MWS) provider, Apogee Corporation.
Almost a third (32%) of workers are also currently unable to do their job properly due to lack of access to the right technology, while over half (55%) are left feeling frustrated and/or isolated.
The research, which surveyed over 100 office workers, 100 chief information officers (CIOs) and 100 HR directors from across the public sector, finds that most organisations are failing to meet the flexibility and collaboration needs of the workforce. Concerningly, almost all (94%) employees surveyed agree that they are less productive when working from home compared to working in the office, with 45% citing poor workplace technology at home as the main factor stunting their productivity.
While almost half (46%) of CIOs and HR directors recognise access to better collaborative digital tools as employees’ top flexibility demand, 70% of workers do not strongly agree that their employer meets their workplace needs. A fifth (19%) even predict that poor communication and collaboration with technology will be the biggest workplace challenge over the next 1-2 years. This has led over four-in-ten (41%) employees claiming that lack of access to the right collaborative tech to support hybrid working is stopping them from feeling optimistic about the future of work.
Workers’ frustrations with tech are being fuelled by a growing disconnect between the expectations and priorities of employers and a new generation of digitally native employees. Over a fifth (21%) of CIOs and HR directors say that their workforce’s flexibility demands are unrealistic and unreasonable, while almost three-quarters (73%) agree that some employee expectations are incompatible with the needs of the business. Almost a fifth (18%) of HR directors also claim that a generational divide is preventing them from feeling more connected to their employees.
This disconnect is hindering the retention of talent in the public sector, as employers undervalue the importance of technology in aiding flexible and collaborative work. Over a third (35%) of leaders surveyed believe that career development opportunities have the greatest impact on whether an employee stays with a company – yet employees themselves say access to technology (18%) and digital collaboration tools (21%) would keep them in their role. Over a quarter (27%) say they would resign if flexibility wasn’t offered.
The findings come as public sector budgets are squeezed due to current economic conditions. A fifth (20%) of CIOs cite lack of budget to provide the right supporting technology as the main barrier to delivering on employees’ flexibility demands.
Julian Broster, VP of Strategic Business Development at Apogee said, “Employees are sending a clear signal on what they need and expect from their workplace.
“Public sector leaders must now take heed and invest in the right technology and collaborative digital tools to help their staff effortlessly connect with each other, no matter where they are working. Even with a tight budget, employers can leverage cost-effective solutions to strengthen engagement and productivity across hybrid working environments – and help the sector avoid a costly exodus of talent.”