PwC Data Uncovers Disconnect Between C-suite Perception and Employee Experience with Workplace Technology

Originally Published by PwC.

A large majority of C-suite executives (90%) believe their company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technologies in the workplace, yet only half (53%) of staff say the same, according to the latest report in PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series, Our status with tech at work: It’s complicated. PwC surveyed more than 12,000 full-time employees globally to research how employee experience with technology is helping people deliver their best work and adapt quickly as work changes.

“Technology is such a central part of the overall work experience that you can’t separate it from your people agenda. Organizational leaders looking to institute a technology-led transformation or implement new workplace technology need to also now consider what motivates people when it comes to technology at work. It cannot be one or the other.”
Carrie Duarte, Partner and Workforce of the Future leader at PwC

Leaders think they’re choosing tech with their people in mind—yet the survey shows a disconnect where leaders and staff do not agree. This disconnect highlights the experience gap between executives and end users within organizations. The resulting blind spot between strategic technology decisions and real-time execution and implementation matters. If leaders do not have a clear and accurate understanding of how their people use technology at work, and what motivates them to use these tools, both business ambition and the employee experience can suffer.

While this disconnect does illustrate a pain point, it also provides areas for improvement. The study found that people’s willingness to adopt new technologies is linked to key motivations related to experiences that employers can offer: improved efficiency and rewards that can improve status. Employees at all levels are willing to spend an average of two days (15 hours) per month to upgrade their digital skills and prepare for the new ways of work in the future.

Key findings from PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series: Our status with tech at work: It’s complicated:

Leadership/staff gap

  • 90% of C-suite executives agree their company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technology. But only about half (53%) of staff say the same
  • 92% of C-suite execs say they’re satisfied with the technology experience their company provides for making progress on their most important work, only 68% of staff agree
  • 73% of people surveyed say they know of systems that would help them produce higher quality work

Upskilling/digital skills

  • 84% say they do their work because they want to learn new things—good news for leaders who are working to build a culture of continuous learning
  • Employees are willing to spend up to 2 days per month to upgrade digital skills; a median response of 15 hours each month
  • Only half (50%) of staff are satisfied with the resources they have at their disposal to learn how to use new technology
  • 46% say their company doesn’t value employees who are technologically savvy

Technology/digital experience

  • Forty to forty-five percent of employees prefer face-to-face interactions for tasks like performance reviews, getting help with difficult problems, and asking questions of their Human Resources (HR) team; the rest prefer more digital interactions.
  • Half of employees prefer that HR tasks, like looking for a new job in the company, scheduling work or time off, or enrolling in benefits, be primarily digital and not face-to-face
  • Digital experiences can improve:
    • Nearly half of employees in a supervisory role (46%) say they feel overwhelmed by technology at work
    • Supervisors also feel like their time isn’t managed better—61% say the tech they use at work requires them to do more transactional or administrative work than they’d like
    • Half of employees (56%) say they feel technology is taking them away from human interaction at work

Driving usage/motivations to adopt new tech

  • For a third of the workforce (34%), the motivation to use technology comes from curiosity and the promise of better efficiency and teamwork
  • Another third (37%) say they’re more likely to adopt new tech if it helps them advance their careers or gain status, such as the opportunity for promotion or other external recognitions
  • The third segment (29%) prefers individual achievement within a predictable environment. They’re willing try new things, but they’re less apt to be motivated by either efficiency or status

For more information and additional findings, visit pwc.com/us/TechAtWork.

Latest News

George Floyd memorial

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty of Murdering George Floyd; President Biden Says Even More Must Be Done to Fight Systemic Racism in the US

Following global protests that drove millions out into the streets over the past year, and thanks in part to an excruciating cell phone recording of his murder that has played on a seemingly never-ending loop on many news networks, justice for George Floyd has finally been served. After just 10…

Vice President Kamala Harris

Following Derek Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict, Nation’s Top Black Women Political Leaders Push for Passage of ‘George Floyd Justice in Policing Act’

Following the justified and widely-celebrated guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, Black congressional leaders, including Representatives Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Karen Bass of California, Cori Bush of Missouri and Vice President Kamala Harris, renewed calls to further honor Floyd by pushing forward with the passage…

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

LA Mayor Proposes New Anti-Poverty Measure That Would Give Free Cash to Poor City Residents

The Public Policy Institute of California has estimated that more than 20% of people residing in Los Angeles live at or below the national poverty line, making less than $25,500 a year. But a new $24-million anti-poverty program proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti would give free cash to some individuals…

Black run small business

One Expert’s Advice on How To Keep Supplier Diversity Programs From Failing Black-Owned Businesses

Despite a flood of promises to support Black business owners over the past year, many corporations are failing in their efforts to support social justice reform and improved diversity and inclusion programs. In fact, according to Denise Hamilton, an Inclusion strategist, keynote speaker, and the founder of Watch Her Work,…

Colorado judge resigns

Colorado Judge Who Used ‘N-Word,’ Proclaimed ‘All Lives Matter’ While in Court Censured and Forced to Resign

Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Colorado District Judge Natalie T. Chase reportedly asked two Black court employees to “explain” the Black Lives Matter Movement to her. She did this while cloaked and seated at her bench in the court. Upon hearing the explanation, she maintained that, in…

Princeton University

Princeton University Lands $20 Million Gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies Dedicated Towards Ongoing Diversity Efforts

Nestled quietly in the lush green farmland of central New Jersey, Princeton University is one of the smaller and more modest Ivy League schools in the country. But thanks to a new $20 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the school could also soon become a leader in the world of…

George Floyd Murder Trial

Nation Awaits Verdict in George Floyd Murder Trial, Americans Remain on Edge — and President Biden Prepares for Serious Potential Turmoil

After three weeks of riveting and emotionally draining testimony, attorneys for the defense and prosecution came to a rest on Monday, April 19, passing the fate of Derek Chauvin — the former Minneapolis police officer accused of the slow and painful murder of George Floyd — to the trial’s jury….

Flagship University The University of Maryland

Enrollment of Students of Color at Flagship Universities Continues to Decline

Many state’s “flagship” universities say diversity is a leading focus and priority when it comes to admissions, but a new look at data from these schools shows the reality: enrollment of students of color continues to lag. Flagship universities, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the…

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizona Conservatives Attempt to Roll Back LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum in Schools

Republican lawmakers in Arizona have approved new laws revamping LGBTQ-inclusive education in schools, making it harder for educators to teach about historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that started the gay rights movement, discussions about sexual orientation or instruction of anything related to LGBTQ…