I am a technology professional, I’ve worked more than 23 years in tech by now, and I’ve seen a lot of things (good and bad) in multiple organizations of all sizes, from very small, to medium to half a million employees organizations.
I get it, not everybody is a technology fan, but I think most people are able to differentiate a slow device vs a fast and snappy one. I am a strong believer that the equipment we used to work has to be the appropriate one, the device should not hinder us from performing and focusing in our job.
Current situation in many organizations
Many organizations are still focused wrongly about the equipment they give to their employees. The thinking is more from the procurement side of things instead of the actual equipment that is needed by the users. Instead of understanding what the person needs to do and assign devices adequate for their job, many companies are just purchasing items with the best price at the time of negotiating with the provider.
This not only generates frustration on employees, but it prevents them from focusing on the right things. Removing the simple variable of appropriate equipment from the equation helps tremendously.
You say slow equipment costs my organization money? Prove it!
Well, I am glad you asked 😀 on the below table you can see some quick calculations I did base on my own experience and some discussions with friends.
Conclusions from the above table: We spend 11.5 days per year waiting for our computer to do something for us. These are daily activities that repeat over and over again (logically depending on the type of work you do).
In Switzerland, an average Technology salary is around 120.000 per year, this means that having a low performing device or devices will cost the organization CHF 6000 per year, and I think we are being cautious with this estimation.
What can organizations do?
Can you remove this cost entirely? unfortunately not, but you can reduce it significantly for sure. Using the above example think it in this way, for every minute of waiting time you optimize, you will save the organization CHF 2000 per year and it will be time your employees will use for more productive things.
We think this scenario is quite realistic, but I am sure there might be other organizations where the waiting times for business processes or utilization of specific tools might even be longer, in these cases the business case is even augmented more. On such cases not only devices should be the focus, but processes need to be analyzed and improved to optimize times and bring efficiencies.
Providing adequate equipment to employees is the baseline on top everything they do is probably built. The same way a building has to have strong foundations, the equipment and workplace of an employee must offer them a delightful experience. Such an experience that they don’t really need to think about it.
Some organizations choose to ask their employees what they want, but some of their employees might not be tech-savvy enough to choose. So make sure your baseline devices are already on the high performance side of the scale. Your IT team would be able to help understand the needs but make sure they are able to project on the requirements so users don’t hit limits soon. The principles remain the same for years, for example on computers, you probably can’t go wrong if you choose: Latest generation processors, large amount of RAM (16 GB is becoming the standard) and fast SSD hard drives.
Organizations that are able to adapt fast to change are the ones which will offer a better overall experience. If a user today was happy with equipment X, but now his type of work or activities demand more from their work devices, make sure your organization has the processes to offer them upgrades to better and more suitable equipment for them to do their job.
Procurement teams should resist the temptation of negotiating large volumes of equipment unless there is a real need for them to acquire such a large amount of devices at once. Its understandable, they can get a good price, but it would be detrimental for the users and in the end the real business case if that equipment will stand still unused on shelves at their local IT office.
Some providers do offer more flexibility and while you can commit to buy X amount of devices in the next X years, they will deliver these devices over time and with the latest configurations.
Having the right equipment is one of the sides of the coin, the other is the place where they work. Just think how you would feel if you would have a bad chair, or an uncomfortable desk to work on.
A dual screen setup increases performance significantly, this is both devices and workplace. Many organizations still consider a luxury to offer double screen setup to their employees and think this should only be a benefit for top managers, they can’t be more wrong.
In a context of a pandemic where during most of the year 2020 and probably most of 2021 many people will be working from home, organizations who care and support their employees with efficient home setups are the ones who increase their employees satisfaction. Some companies choose to help their staff with equipment even taking care of their procurement, others prefer to follow a more pragmatic approach and give a pot of money for them to use as they wish to improve their home setup.
Providing high performing devices to your employees and a proper workplace will help them perform better and happier. You would be removing annoyance and letting them focus on what really matters for your business. I don’t think any organization likes to have their employees frustrated with the tools they were given to work, unfortunately in the year 2021 it still happens.
It all comes down to the basic principle of happiness, if your employees are happy, they will perform better and stay longer in your organization.
If you made it to the end of this article, thank you. It would be interesting to learn more about your own personal experience at your company, happy to read your comments below.
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