Last year saw UK businesses hit by rising numbers of staff leaving their jobs voluntarily, writes Chris Lorigan, and many employers now face the prospect of more resignations and a hiring crunch.

Almost 9 in 10 managers say their business has vacancies and more than half (55 per cent) find hiring new staff is harder now than before the pandemic hit.

With so many workers feeling exhausted, suffering with burnout and departing to seek more flexible conditions or better benefits, the ball is in employers’ courts as to how they can stave off employee dissatisfaction at the same time as attract new talent. Technology could be one of the key solutions to preventing a staff exodus.


What workers want

As hybrid working models, that began as temporary during the pandemic, are now the new norm, devices are more critical than ever to ensuring long-term hybrid working success. Not only do the right devices drive innovation, support ‘anywhere operations’ and enable worker connectivity, but they also attract and retain high calibre talent.

Employee working patterns have changed unrecognisably over the last two years and the data reflects a growing need for flexibility to be built into our working lives. The quickest and easiest way to achieve this is by updating devices, so that employees can work however, and wherever they need. 61 per cent of employees say having the right device for their role helps them maintain a healthy work-life balance, by supporting their productivity.

The message from employees is that they expect to be given efficient devices, not something that just about gets the job done, or even slows them down as a result. Employee expectations are varied, but consistent, with many seeking a device capable of supporting their desire to work flexibly, increased security and better ways to engage with their teams through greater connectivity and collaboration tools.

For some staff, a powerful device on offer may be one of the key reasons a prospective employee may want to join your business, and some view good technology similarly to a company car – a perk they’ll happily utilise to make their working life easier.

Others consider a cutting-edge device to be the bare minimum they need to get their work done. The key for organisations and their IT teams is to recognise the individual needs and workstyles of their workforce and secure the right devices and infrastructure investments to make the most of the opportunities that widespread hybrid working has provided.


Device upgrades as a work perk to attract and retain talent

The link between high-powered devices and impact on employee experience and satisfaction in the hybrid working world is clear. In fact, a new social contract accompanies this new way of working, which seemed revolutionary only two years ago. Employee expectations have changed and a powerful new device can boost morale and appeal to talent, by making staff feel valued and understood, whilst also creating a boost to productivity across an organisation.

Devices with faster compute power, speed and connectivity don’t just address employee frustrations, they also positively impact on individual performance and the businesses’ wider outcomes.

In fact, more than a third (35 per cent) of employees who received a new device since the onset of Covid-19 reported a resulting increase in their productivity.

Of course, employees view new devices and their benefits through the lens of how well the device will enable them to do their job. As many ‘made do’ with existing devices to support them throughout the pandemic, 29 per cent of staff say receiving a new device would make them feel more positive about their work and employer.

Far from being just a technical necessity, hardware upgrades and device refreshes should be viewed as an opportunity to drive up employee satisfaction and boost morale, and as a potential recruitment tool.

Core to curbing a potential staff exodus is using technology to empower staff to achieve greater productivity and motivation. This means ensuring they have devices that perform as well as they do and allow them to bring their best selves to their work, wherever they may be situated.


Chris Lorigan is the Surface Portfolio Product Manager, Microsoft UK