02.05.2024

Flexible frustrations: research from Ricoh Europe reveals hybrid technology still not up to scratch

  • Just 30% of European employees say they have all the necessary technology to collaborate seamlessly with other colleagues
  • Having more flexible working arrangements, including technology and facilities, cited as top reason to reconsider leaving role in next 12 months
  • Yet nearly a quarter (24%) of business decision makers acknowledge that their collaboration technology is not up to expectation1, making it hard for employees to do their day-to-day jobs

New research from Ricoh Europe reveals that the majority of organisations lack the technology to support flexible working, with only 30% of European employees saying they have all the technology to collaborate seamlessly when working with other colleagues.

Flexible frustrations: research from Ricoh Europe reveals hybrid technology still not up to scratch

The research, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Ricoh Europe, polled 7,000 workers and 1,800 decision makers across Europe*. It finds that flexible working remains a top priority for European workers, with employees citing having more flexible working arrangements, including the ability to plan and schedule to ensure their workplace needs are met in advance of the working day (desk, location, workplace technology), as the primary reason to reconsider leaving their role in the next 12 months.

Despite the value employees place upon working flexibly, many still lack the basic tools to do so. One in five (20%) employees do not have access to essential collaboration software such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, whilst 29% do not have access to any collaboration hardware/hybrid meeting technology (e.g. AV technology such as video conferencing), despite this being in demand.

Business leaders recognise the problem, with just under one in four (24%) admitting that their collaboration tools are not up to industry standard, which is making it hard for employees to do their day-to-day jobs. However, despite technology stacks remaining unchanged, only 17% of business decision makers cited providing an enhanced employee experience as a strategic priority for the year ahead.

The research also shines a light on how business leaders should be placing employee satisfaction and experience at the forefront of their agenda this year. This starts with flexible working, as nearly a quarter (24%) of employees said that not being forced to work in the office but being given the right technology to work wherever benefits them would be a key way to increase their fulfilment at work. 

Nicola Downing, CEO of Ricoh Europe, said: “Organisations have had several years to adapt to flexible working practices, so it’s startling that many are still falling behind in providing even the most basic technologies that facilitate collaboration and communication. Given the significant benefits that flexible working offers, businesses must prioritise the necessary tools and technologies to get the best out of their workforce and retain top talent. Yet, embracing these changes isn’t just about staying competitive, it’s about valuing and investing in the happiness and fulfilment of the people who drive the success of the organisation."

*The UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

Employee research methodology: 

The research was conducted by Opinion Matters, among a sample of 7,000 respondents who are office workers within companies employing 1-1000+ people across France, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Italy. 

The data was collected between 09.02.2024 and 21.02.2024. Opinion Matters abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR principles. Opinion Matters is also a member of the British Polling Council.

Decision makers research methodology: 

The research was conducted by Opinion Matters, among a sample of 1,800 respondents who are senior management or higher and are purchasing decision makers for IT, facilities management, HR & finance, within companies who employ 1-1000+ employees excl. sole traders (aged 18+) across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. 

The data was collected between 09.02.2024 and 23.02.2024. Opinion Matters abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR principles. Opinion Matters is also a member of the British Polling Council.

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