5 steps to improve employee experience with the right devices
Published Apr 16 2024 11:48 AM 1,406 Views
Microsoft

Surface-Blog-Img_3_Banner-1600x600_Final.pngWith expectations of flexible work becoming the new norm, valuing versatility and empowering everyone to work at their best requires technology that’s able to bridge the physical and digital divide.

 

One of the most fundamental pieces in this equation is the device: the conduit for communication, collaboration, innovation, and more. But too often, these devices aren’t suited for today’s workplace demands. In a recent study, IDC noted, “as a large percentage of knowledge workers either remain in a full-time remote work situation or shift to a hybrid mode that finds them working from both the home and the office, their PC requirements have evolved.”[1]

 

As IT leaders evaluate company devices against these modern work requirements— for both knowledge workers and those on the front lines— here are five important considerations to ensure everyone can deliver their best:

 

  1. Prioritize employee experience (EX): EX is a measure of worker engagement based on interactions in their employer’s environment. Research shows, organizations emphasizing employee engagement in times of economic uncertainty performed twice as well financially as organizations that deprioritized it.[2] A company’s EX metric may rise or fall based on the quality of available technology. Understand that employees’ needs change as their work and location changes, so placing those needs at the center of your device strategies can help ensure success.
  2. Map the ‘day-in-the-life’ to understand typical device use: Identify key points of activity, environment(s), and tools to understand user needs across your business. Interview or survey employees in various roles to create customized journey maps, helping clarify requirements and improve device selection.
  3. Understand how devices can create natural efficiencies and align selection to best support users: With journey maps and a better understanding of typical usage, analyze what device capabilities can best support users. Often, IT leaders can consolidate to replace multiple devices with a single, more versatile device. In a recent IDC study, 44 percent of ITDMs found Microsoft Surface devices replaced multiple other devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, etc.), simplifying hardware for users, as well as reducing capital expenses and management.[1] Here are a few sample factors:
    • Do users need to be able to switch between various locations throughout the day? Ensure devices allow users to seamlessly resume work right where they left off. Surface devices offer a docking experience that remembers where users were—saving set-up time and allowing them to get back into their flow without having to reconfigure their layout.
    • Do users need to work on-the-go? As employees switch contexts, work in collaboration spaces, and move to remote locations, their device must be accommodating, particularly with battery, in-built connectivity, and versatility. Surface devices are designed for this kind of adaptability, flexing to how users work. With different form factor options offering laptop, tablet, or studio mode, or even working on a compact dual screen form factor, Surface delivers device experiences that adapt to your users’ needs, while offering extended battery life[3] and optional LTE Advanced or 5G connectivity.[4]
    • How are users communicating and collaborating? From February 2020 to February 2022, the average Microsoft Teams user saw a 252 percent increase in their weekly meeting time, with 64 percent of these calls and meetings unscheduled or conducted ad hoc.[5] With Surface devices, users can experience the best of Teams with or without additional peripherals.[6] With the Surface camera, optimized microphones, immersive sound, and precision-engineered displays, users will look and sound their best and be ready for calls at a moment’s notice.
  4. Inspire new levels of productivity with different ways of working. Look beyond how users interact with devices today. Interacting with devices differently can foster new ways of thinking and new levels of efficiency. 
    • Give employees a voice: Users can stay in their flow but break away from the keyboard with voice. Whether collaborating, on-the-move, or working at the speed of thought, Windows 11 voice typing,[7] powered by Microsoft Speech Services, lets users naturally capture ideas.
    • The power of the pen: Employee burnout continues to be common, with nearly 64 percent of employees saying they struggle with having the time and energy to do their job.[8] Picking up a digital pen could help relieve some strain. Because writing is already engrained in our brains, a pen interface like the Surface Slim Pen[9] can offer users the chance to take a break from the keyboard. They can use a slightly different part of their brain by writing or drawing, rather than typing, and can change up their body position. By writing longhand, users can easily leverage existing patterns to work more naturally and combine the best of analog and digital worlds.
  5. Manage devices and security with minimal user impact.
    Selecting the right new devices can make both users and the IT team more efficient. IDC research shows Surface, paired with Microsoft 365,[10] can give IT staff significant time savings and efficiencies.1  With premium device capabilities, Surface users have fewer technical issues. IDC found helpdesk incidents were reduced by 49 percent, saving employees an average of 5.5 hours.1 Integration between Surface hardware and familiar software together with streamlined device management and a proactive approach to protection ensures exceptional, disruption-free experiences while helping secure against threats.

Surface devices are built to meet the specific needs of individuals and entire workforces. From the mobile Surface Pro to the large-screen Microsoft Teams Room experience of Surface Hub3, users are seamlessly connected across devices to a core set of experiences designed for the future of work.

 

Footnotes

[1] IDC Business Value White Paper, sponsored by Microsoft, “Evaluating the Business Case of Microsoft Surface,” doc #US49453722, September 2022. Study was conducted from surveys and interviews between December 2021 and February 2022. All respondents were IT decision makers at large organizations (250–5,000+ employees) representing organizations from the United States, Australia, India, Spain, France, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Germany. Cost and savings findings are based on average cost and time estimates provided directly by respondents; actual costs and savings may vary based on your specific device mix and deployment. 

[2] Microsoft, “Work Trend Index Special Report: The New Performance Equation in the Age of AI,” April 2023

[3] Battery life varies significantly based on device configuration, usage, network and feature configuration, signal strength, settings, and other factors. See aka.ms/SurfaceBatteryPerformance for details.  

[4] LTE functionality available on select configurations only. Service availability and performance subject to service provider’s network. Contact your service provider for details, compatibility, pricing, SIM card, and activation. See all specs and frequencies at surface.com. 5G available on Surface Pro 9 with 5G and Duo 2. 5G not available in all areas; compatibility and performance depends on carrier network, plan and other factors. See carrier for details and pricing.

[5] Microsoft, "Work Trend Index Annual Report- Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work," March 2022

[6] Accessories sold separately.

[7] Availability may vary based on markets and languages.

[8] Microsoft, "Work Trend Index Annual Report- Will AI Fix Work," May 2023

[9] Sold separately.

[10] Software license required for some features. Sold separately.

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