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Today there is a wide selection of new hardware and software available that employees a few years ago could only dream of, but the possible productivity increase is not taking place, why?
How do you define productivity? Productivity is a measure of how much people get done in a period of time, commonly defined as a ratio between the output volume and the volume of inputs. Personality, motivation and emotions all play an important role to get things done but of high importance is also the tools at hand - both the hardware and the software.
Hardware and software, anywhere
In a post covid work environment, where partly working from home is becoming the new norm, companies are finding their ways to ensure productivity among their employees. Productivity is important also to individuals, when you are productive you have a greater claim to recognition, career growth and success.
Employees of tomorrow expect a work setup at home that is matching their setup in the office, they expect to be able to select the hardware they want to have when they want to have it and they expect their employer to work in a circular and sustainable way. Companies need to provide employees with flexibility of choice. Some employees might have a preference for iOS and others for Android while others want to avoid having two phones in order to have a good camera. Companies also need to understand what equipment is being used where and how, as well as having processes in place to handle devices' end of use in a sustainable way.
Employees of tomorrow also expect to have access to a toolbox of software that can maximize their productivity. This is being made possible through “decentralized SaaS” where it’s cheaper than ever (usually free) to try out a new product. Affordability and accessibility of software is democratizing purchasing down to the end user.
Companies in the forefront are moving away from centralized buying to a situation where decision making criteria is now personal productivity - will this solution actually help me day-to-day? Will it increase my velocity and productivity?
This trend is being emphasised by many leading tech companies:
“Employees are increasingly empowered to “bring your own software” leading to the user driven viral adoption of new software products” - Atlassian S-1 filing
“As individuals increasingly choose their own tools at work, purchasing power has become more decentralized” - Dropbox S-1 filing
Customization is key
This has created a situation where an average organization now is using 100+ different software applications, spending $200k per month on SaaS solutions (a growth of 50%+ in 2 years). From a company point of view there is a need to keep track of these solutions and provide a good employee experience when ordering or using them.
A high volume of applications being used combined with a work from anywhere situation also highlights a need to rethink how to work with security. As an employee I am, on any given day, active in multiple locations, on multiple devices and logged into a wide range of applications and sites. As an employer there is a need to ensure seamless login across all touchpoints and ensure that data is managed in a secure way when employees are working, and when they decide to move on.
A new norm for working and a new set of requirements from employees requires companies to take an employee first approach supported by new tools to stay competitive. “Software-as-a-Service” is being complemented by “Hardware-as-a-Service” and “Security-as-a-Service” creating an overall need for “Productivity-as-a-Service”, that needs to be tailored on employee level to attract and retain the best talent while maximizing productivity.