employees are happy to use personal tech in work lives

Over half (56 per cent) of UK employees are completing basic HR admin tasks on their own device rather than a work device. These are the results of a recent survey, which looks into the extent of the digitisation of the workplace*.

The survey found that employees’ working and personal lives are increasingly merging. In fact, 65 per cent of employees request sick leave through their own devices, making it one of the most frequent tasks to be completed using personal technology. Submitting a sick note (64 per cent) and submitting certificates such as government holiday certificates (62 per cent) followed as the tasks most regularly completed in this manner. In comparison, the least frequent task to be carried out on a personal device is reserving a mobile workstation (43 per cent).

Not a surprise: young people prefer personal devices

Using a personal device for admin tasks at work is far more common amongst employees under 30. Regular tasks such as reserving a parking space at work (53 per cent) and submitting a sick note (80 per cent) are completed by those in this age group on their own tablets, laptops or smartphones. Just over two fifths (42 per cent) of those under 30 complete the least popular task for this age group, reserving a mobile work station, on their own device. On the other hand, over 50s are considerably less likely to use anything other than a work device for such tasks. For instance, 53 per cent usually request a change in working time on a work device, compared with only 30 per cent for 30 years and under.

Austria leads the way on use of personal devices at work for HR administration

Out of the countries surveyed, there are significant differences between what each country prefers to do on a personal device compared to a work device. Overall, in terms of completing HR admin tasks on a personal device, Austria scored the highest with 67 per cent, followed by the Netherlands with 65 per cent. The UK scored the same as Germany and France at 56 per cent. Belgium scored the lowest out of the countries surveyed with only 45 per cent of employees choosing to complete these HR admin tasks on a personal device.

Blurred lines between work and life

Lore Berden, HR Manager at GfK Belgium commented,

Work and life are increasingly intermingled. In our company, there is no nine-to-five mentality. We use our personal devices to communicate with our colleagues, via apps that we also use privately. In addition, there is a demand for more flexibility, both from our employees and the company itself. The Digital Assistant of SD Worx supports this interaction. A day working from home, requesting a few hours of vacation or registering an illness: it happens in no time. It reduces administration for our HR department.

Brenda Morris, MD of SD Worx UK and Ireland, said,

As technology becomes even more ingrained in our personal lives, it’s not surprising that the lines may blur between personal and work devices. Demand will vary from country to country and across age groups, but what organisations must ensure is that they give their people the opportunities to work how, when and where suits them best, if their role allows that, of course. Businesses have to make efforts to make the personal and working lives of their employees easier. If they do not, engagement levels will suffer and people will leave for a company where their expectations are met.

*Conducted by SD Worx, The Europe LTD survey is a questionnaire on one hundred work-related aspects relevant to employee satisfaction, motivation, involvement and engagement. Since 2009, the survey has been carried out annually among 2,500 Belgian employees under the name NV Belgium. Because of its international growth, SD Worx expanded this survey in 2017 to include Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom. It concerns 500 employees each time. The sample is representative of the specific local labour markets, with the same composition as to statute ((blue-collar) workers, office workers and civil servants), gender, region, work regime, language, educational degree and organisation size as that of the active labour population in the countries concerned.


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Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

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