Survey of 3,000 office workers also highlights difference in US / UK age-group training focus
NEW YORK, February 24, 2022 – Almost two thirds of US office workers and almost half of UK office workers would be tempted to work for another employer if they offer better apps to make their working lives easier, according to a new transatlantic survey commissioned by enterprise productivity operating system provider OpenFin.
The fully-weighted survey of 3,000 office workers (1,500 in the US and 1,500 in the UK), conducted by OnePoll, found that 61% of US respondents and 46% of British respondents would consider making the leap to a new job if employers provided better apps or software systems for employees.
The research also reveals that more than one in ten (13% in the US and 12% in the UK) were not happy with the apps provided by employers to do their jobs and collaborate with colleagues during the pandemic lockdowns.
The survey highlights a lack of training from employers during lockdown in both the US and UK. A fifth (21%) of US respondents said that their employer had not provided them with more training since working from home during the pandemic and 5% said they had received less training since working from home.
The situation is even more dire in the UK, with almost half (48%) of respondents stating that their employer had not provided them with more training since working from home during the pandemic and 11% said they had received less training since working from home.
There is also a major difference between the US and UK in the age groups upon which they focus training efforts. In the US, employers are prioritizing training millennials (aged 25-40) over any other age group, the survey reveals. 75% of millennials received more training during lockdown, compared with 58% of Gen Z office workers (aged 18-24), and 56% of baby boomers (aged 57-75). The youngest office workers, Gen-x respondents aged 41-56, got the least training (55%).
Whereas in the UK, employers are prioritizing training the youngest members of staff rather than experienced team members, with 83% of Gen Z office workers (aged 18-24) saying their employers had given them more training during lockdown compared with far fewer millennials (25-40) at 45%, baby boomers (57-75) at 35% and the lowest figure for Gen-x respondents (41-56) at 33%.
The research adds weight to concerns about a “Great Resignation”. The number of American workers quitting their jobs hit record highs in November, with 4.5 million people leaving their position, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report released last month (January). In Britain almost a quarter of workers are actively planning to change employers in the coming months, according to a separate survey of 6,000 workers by recruitment firm Randstad UK.
Adam Toms, CEO-Europe at OpenFin, said: “The great resignation is a wake-up call for employers in both the US and UK, and this research indicates that the software and tech tools provided to employees are at the heart of both staff retention and productivity.
“Now that there is potential light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and with many employees likely to work on a hybrid basis going forward, it is an important moment to invest in our people. This means considering the application, software and training needs of staff, supercharging employees with the right data in their workflows and decision making to make them more efficient, more effective and much happier.”
The vast majority of those surveyed (86% in both the US and UK) said that the apps, tools and tech provided by employers to do their jobs are important, while one third of US (31%) and one in five UK (18%) respondents chose “being provided the right apps and tech tools to succeed in my job” in the top three most important factors impacting job satisfaction.
Despite the major concerns expressed by some about the quality of apps, many are happy with the software support provided by their employers during lockdown.
Of the 59% of US office workers who said their employer invested in new apps, tools or technology during the pandemic, 81% of them agreed that the apps helped improve their productivity and 79% said that they made the job easier. Results were similar in the UK, where of the 50% of UK office workers who said their employer invested in new apps, tools or technology during the pandemic, 87% agreed that the apps helped improve their productivity and 80% said this made their jobs easier.
The research also reveals that working from home during the pandemic lockdown had a positive effect on working relationships, with 69% of US and 48% of UK respondents stating their working relationships improved while working from home during the pandemic, 14% of US and 12% UK respondents saying they got worse, and 16% of US and 37% of UK saying they remained the same.
Toms added: “These statistics clearly demonstrate the resilience and positive spirit of both American and British office workers through adversity, however it is also clear that many are resigning because they increasingly value flexible working and employers who are willing to invest in them.”