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Global research notes important role of tech tools in workplace

Veronica C. Silva | June 3, 2011
Workers are demanding more communication tools in the workplace to boost productivity.

A recent research report involving knowledge workers has noted their dependence on communication technology tools since these are deemed important in their jobs.

The research conclusions were drawn from two studies commissioned by Alcatel-Lucent involving nearly 2,000 knowledge workers and 750 IT executives from 51 countries worldwide.

Among the communication technology tools the workers said they need badly in their jobs are those used for unified communications and video collaboration, and smartphones.

Technologies which workers also identified as being important in their jobs include video conferencing, instant messaging and internal social networking.

The research report said some workers expressed "frustration" when they cannot do their work well because some of the communication tools and technologies are not accessible to them.


Seventy per cent of respondents said communication tools could "significantly increase their productivity". Yet less than a third of the respondents said they have access to these technologies that can help them with their jobs.

"Respondents specifically expressed frustration with virtual meeting tools that were considered inadequate, highlighting the need for more intuitive collaboration tools that enable workers to share knowledge more efficiently," the report read.

Among the communication tools, most respondents (74 per cent) said they use smartphones and luckily for these workers, their organisations support the smartphone platforms. However, their access to smartphones is putting pressure on them to perform better at their jobs as the devices allow them to access people and information on-the-go.

The good news is organisations are willing to meet workforce demand somehow. Medium- and large organisations alike said they are beefing up their communications and network infrastructure to make some of the communication tools available to their workers.

"It is clear that innovations in consumer communications are impacting exchanges in the workplace. Today, both workers and IT organisations clearly recognise the need for improved communications and collaboration, but both are grappling with obstacles," said Arnaud Kraaijvanger, vice president marketing, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.

"Knowledge workers need better tools, and IT departments need easy and cost-effective ways to deploy and manage. A key take-away here is that organisations that figure out how to roll out advanced systems will reap tremendous productivity benefits."

The studies were conducted in the first quarter of 2011.


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