Successful organizations have long known that their employees are their biggest asset, but recent job numbers show how hard organizations have to work to retain them. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the rate of quit levels remained significant at 4.2 million in December 2021 while job openings continued to be high at 10.9 million. This is a strong indication that the pandemic has turned the tables on the employer-employee dynamic.
As lines between work and life have blurred for many – employees have started to reassess what’s important to them and in turn, what they expect from their employers. Of course, salaries and benefits are still important, but they are considered table stakes. People now want greater flexibility, a strong culture and better balance across work and life. What else can organizations do to meet workers’ needs and how can technology play a role?
Enter workplace technology
One key piece in this puzzle is to ensure employees have the right technology, including up-to-date devices as well as proper software and peripherals in place to make for a smooth experience, no matter where they work.
This might sound obvious, so why am I pointing it out? Consider this: Findings from the 2020 Brain on Tech research conducted by Dell Technologies and EMOTIV highlight:
- Employees can achieve an astounding 37 percent more in a workday when using technology that is not only newer but supported with the correct software and services – that’s 15 hours of time saved in a 40-hour work week.
- On the flipside, a bad technology experience impedes employee performance by more than 30 percent on average regardless of a user’s perceived computer literacy. Employees that have bad technology experiences during their workday also feel twice as stressed.
- And stress from a bad tech experience doesn’t just go away once you’re done with your work. The results showed that those experiencing these high stress moments take three times longer to relax and recover even when listening to relaxing music.
With many transitioning from work-from-home to a hybrid, work-from-anywhere model, the burden on technology to provide a smooth and secure user experience is even higher. This includes anything from enhanced connectivity, to the system’s ability to filter out background noise while on a video call, to ensuring privacy and data security — even when on the go. And there’s a secret sauce that can help with a lot of this: artificial intelligence.
Adapting and advancing with AI
AI can help with the many small things – or micro moments as I like to call them – that significantly add up throughout the course of a workday and, if put together, take up a surprising amount of time and focus.
Take this as an example:
It’s one of those days: You snoozed one too many times (it’s been a long week already). Then just as you’re having coffee, your calendar reminds you of an early morning video call about to begin. You don’t have time to type in your way-too-complicated password nor wait for applications to load. You’re also not ready for an on-camera appearance. After somehow successfully making it through the early morning cycle, you feel it’s time for a change of scenery and head to the coffee shop. Once you arrive, you realize you forgot to pack your power cord – cutting down your workday.
SEE: Artificial Intelligence Ethics Policy (TechRepublic Premium)
Instead, a PC leveraging AI and advanced technology could step in to augment and greatly improve this morning work routine if it:
- Detects your face and starts up when you open it without the need to type in a password; in addition, detects any onlookers, notifies you and protects the data on your screen.
- Prioritizes bandwidth to ensure a flawless connection on a video call.
- Connects you to multiple networks while intelligently managing the data that gets transferred over each network to ensure no compromises in either data security or network bandwidth.
- Leverages automated webcam shutter technology to show you that your webcam is off – no more removing small pieces of tape.
- Extends your battery’s run time based on your usage behavior and lets the system take measures to save power when you’re not plugged in.
- Optimizes your frequently used applications based on how you use them.
- Detects and removes background noises so you have fewer interruptions on conference calls.
Eighty-one percent of employees believe AI improves their overall performance at work. Many are even calling on their employers to deploy more of these technologies, indicating an emerging expectation shift in workplace technology. It’s the combination of all these micro-moments in a workday that add up to significant time savings. That’s a win-win: Workers have more available time to help improve their work-life balance and employers have a more productive and happier workforce.
PCs will soon be even better equipped for the needs of a modern workforce. This includes enhanced, smart privacy features to keep data on laptops secure from onlookers, more and stronger connectivity options, and easier ways to access various collaboration tools directly through the PC. Further down the line, a modern PC with advanced AI capabilities will become the norm across the workforce, and just like other benefits, employees will expect to be equipped with leading technology that’ll make their lives easier.
The PC has become not just our productivity device, but a visible symbol of how a company cares about their employees. By building in intelligence, you can create the best possible user experience for your employees — helping not to just retain talent, but to create an engaged, happy and productive workforce.
Sarah Burkhart is the director of product management for software and experiences in the Dell Client Solutions Group. Her team defines and delivers innovative solutions that improve end-user experiences with Dell PCs at a time when people’s expectations about their PC are rapidly evolving. Sarah is a seasoned product marketer who has achieved success with increasingly complex leadership roles at Dell. Before Dell, she worked in a variety of small technology businesses planning and launching product and channel programs.