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2 in 3 employees say they’d give up job flexibility for access to more data and other productivity-boosting tools

by | Aug 15, 2023 | Marketing, Public Relations

It’s true that many employees today prefer to work where they want, but mostly they just want to be productive—and they want employers to do a better job of enabling that ability. New research from Slingshot, the digital workplace of work connectivity software firm Infragistics, finds that even though many businesses have been prioritizing autonomy and workplace flexibility to improve productivity, 65 percent of workers surveyed say that a lack of data is what most negatively impacts their ability to do their jobs.

The first part of the firm’s 2-part 2023 Digital Work Trends Report, based on a survey conducted by market research firm Dynata, explores the relationship between productivity and workers’ access to data and other performance and progress metrics. The study shines a light on how data—or anything that individuals, teams and organizations use to track performance, process, people, platforms and profitability—is now a critical and necessary component of their productivity. The report also offers an in-depth look into some of the other factors currently impacting how employees do their job and the quality of their work, including their relationship with leaders.

2 in 3 employees say they’d give up job flexibility for access to more data and other productivity-boosting tools

“Over the last two decades, we’ve seen a shift in how decisions in the workplace are made–going from gut instincts and seniority-led decisions to those based on data that’s now more widely accessible,” said Dean Guida, founder of Slingshot, in a news release. “This is especially true of newer generations that are particularly tuned into the value of being able to quantify their work and re-route their focus if something isn’t working.”

Among the findings:

Companies need to democratize data across their organizations, or risk business decisions being made by employees’ gut instincts

While more than half of workers (56 percent) gather and use data to make business decisions, 12 percent of workers say they make decisions by asking the most senior person in the business or department, and 6 percent of workers admit to using their gut instinct. It’s likely that these workers are defaulting to these decision-making tactics because the data they need to inform specific decisions is not easily accessible within their organization, or available to them at all.

2 in 3 employees say they’d give up job flexibility for access to more data and other productivity-boosting tools

Gen Z is the data generation

As digital natives, Gen Z workers are integrating data into their job more than any other generation. A full one hundred percent of Gen Z workers say they use data at work at least a few times a week, with 61 percent saying they use it every day. And while nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of Gen Z workers are using data to improve performance, only 61 percent of Boomer workers say the same.

Employees are using data for more than improving productivity and performance

Seventy-two percent of workers primarily use data to improve performance, but more than half (54 percent) use data to prioritize goals, and 46 percent say they use it to create strategic plans and understand customer behaviors and needs. 

“Data is bigger than just data—it’s the quantification of work: how are employees performing, is the business profitable, are customers happy. As more companies democratize data across their organizations, employees are more likely to quantify their work and incorporate data into every part of their job. We’ll see this continue to scale from the individual and team level to the organization level,” continued Guida.

2 in 3 employees say they’d give up job flexibility for access to more data and other productivity-boosting tools

Read the first part of the report, Data in the Workplace, here.

The report is based on responses from 305 adult respondents working full-time as employees and leaders, across four age groups and all 50 states.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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