Businesses Are Focused on Merging Culture and Technology to Empower Productivity and Collaboration, Survey Finds
Study by Smartsheet and 451 Research Identifies New Shift in Operational Efficiency Driven by Remote Work Boom
BELLEVUE, Wash., March 3, 2021 — Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR), the enterprise platform for dynamic work, revealed 71% of technology decision-makers are rethinking their longer-term strategic decisions around workforce technologies, according to a commissioned survey* of enterprise professionals conducted by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Decision makers globally are considering how technology can alleviate workplace culture concerns related to collaboration, work-life balance, and productivity, brought on by the shift to remote work. In fact, the survey found that U.S. respondents were most concerned with over half (54%) reporting employee alignment as the most significant hurdle when supporting remote and distributed workers versus 48% globally. This was followed by 52% of U.S. respondents (vs 48% globally) worried about team building, 50% (vs. 46%) saying burnout and work-life balance is a concern, and 49% (vs. 42%) are worried about lower productivity among remote workers.
Although nearly two-thirds (62%) of U.S. respondents feel their departments were prepared to dynamically adjust and respond to any disruptions (dropping to 50% of businesses globally), leaders still note technology-related concerns when it comes to supporting a remote workforce. Some of the top concerns include: the adoption and change management associated with new technologies (35%) and shadow IT with employees using their own tools (34%). Interestingly, only 35% of respondents are concerned about an increased risk of security risks which is a notable decrease from nearly half (48%) of respondents who voiced this concern in a survey conducted in May 2020.
“The pandemic brought to light many long-standing workforce dysfunctions, resurfacing the need to bridge the gap between technology and culture to empower the workforce,” said Chris Marsh, a Research Director at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Now, these disruptions have switched the leadership mindset to prioritize workplace technologies, streamline their purchasing cycles, and make culture-driven decisions that empower employees to take ownership over their own projects and workflows.”
In 2021, decision makers are realizing the need to better address cultural challenges with technology. Forty-two percent of decision-makers even believe that very significant change is needed in their company leadership’s vision and guidance when it comes to workforce tools. This number increases to nearly half (46%) among U.S. decision makers.
This is impacting spending and pushing them to make technology decisions more quickly. Forty-one percent of respondents cited shortening purchasing cycles around workforce technologies. Leaders also cited they plan to spend more on technology tools over the next six months, including: team collaboration tools (63%), project and work management tools (56%) and workflow automation (47%).
“2020 was a forcing function for many organizations to take a step back and evaluate how their technology decisions are impacting their workforce, especially with the rise of distributed work brought on by the pandemic,” said Gene Farrell, Chief Product Officer at Smartsheet. “Looking forward, leaders who make the shift to empowering their workforce through technology will drive innovation and unlock their employees’ full potential.”
The survey was conducted by 451 Research among a sample of 400 U.S. workers at enterprise companies with 1,500+ full time employees and three or more office locations, 200 U.K. workers at companies with 1,000+ full time employees and three or more office locations, 200 German workers at companies with 1,000+ full time employees and three or more office locations, and 200 Australian workers at companies with 500+ full time employees and two or more office locations. It was live from September 23 to October 8, 2020.
Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) is the enterprise platform for dynamic work. By aligning people and technology so organizations can move faster and drive innovation, Smartsheet enables its millions of users to achieve more. Visit www.smartsheet.com to learn more.
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