Human-centered technology will help improve productivity

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By Sisley Montgomery

Over the past year, technology has evoked a lot of emotions in people. In March 2020, they were critical as we changed the way we work. In the meantime, we have to deal with video conferencing fatigue, lost calls and missed calls, and the inability to connect with those we need personally or for work.

With these positive and negative experiences with technology in mind, we started our research – it started when work was still a physical place and involved a visit to the office. Our first-ever study, Brain on Tech, explores the relationship between technology, our productivity and productivity at work, and our mood.

In this first-ever neuroscience research experiment conducted by Dell, touch-sensitive headsets with sensors were used to monitor participants’ brain activity.

The results of this study show that companies can now take concrete action to help their employees perform more efficiently – what I call satisfied and productive users – and reduce employee burnout.

Our customers are working hard to provide the right user experience for their people – from planning team onboarding to IT emergency assistance, and we want to help them do that.

Be efficient at work

Today, employees move to different workplaces with different interfaces and protocols – depending on location and connectivity. In such situations, technology failure can quickly lead to stressful situations, especially without simple and easy personal access to IT. Our research has shown:

With sophisticated technology, the task will be more than twice as difficult as using “good” technology to accomplish the same task. And the stress level will be even higher than that of a person who does not want to sing an unfamiliar song in public.
The study also found significant reductions in stress after participants received and used improved functionality and technology.
These include actions such as changing the password, locking the system, and connecting to the network. Of course, unification of the end-user experience, centralized reporting and administration across devices – corporate and user – can help here.

Dell Technologies follows this principle by offering solutions that work well in mixed ecosystems and ensure safe and productive work from anywhere. Our approach to employee-centric IT starts with Workforce Persona Consulting Services: we provide employees with the custom, peripherals, applications, and stress-free experiences that best suit their responsibilities and work style. With Dell Technologies Unified Workspace solutions, IT administrators can deploy, secure, manage, and maintain hardware and software, no matter where the employee works. We can prepare devices and deliver new equipment right to employees’ doors, providing them with a flawless technological experience even before these devices are turned on.

Even minor negative experiences matter

Negative or positive experience with technology has a strong impact on the emotional comfort of employees. In a Brain on Tech study, we looked at the password logon experience to assess the specific impact of the “I can’t sign in and start working” situation. Here’s what we found:

Failure to log in with a password to access a computer under time pressure for five seconds increases emotional stress by 31%. This stress, as it turned out, was carried over to tasks that the user subsequently performed.
To help employees log in seamlessly, Dell Technologies has created Express Logon, a feature that locks your device when you are away from your computer and automatically unlocks it when you return to it.

Updating is a guarantee of the best

IT professionals have long debated the issue of total cost of ownership (TCO).

Companies that invest and provide their employees with good, modern technology gain a competitive edge. This synergy of productivity and satisfaction can be achieved with new, quality technologies. Brain on Tech research found:

In addition to negatively impacting employees, outdated technologies are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. We recommend that businesses avoid using technology (hardware and software) beyond the three-year lifecycle to keep up with the pace of innovation, and use more productive and safer devices. Dell Safeties also helps companies protect themselves from hidden BIOS-level attacks.

“Thank you, we didn’t know that we needed this.”

Workflow disruptions can have a significant impact on productivity and employee attitudes towards technology.

At the thought of losing the work done, the pulse quickens. Stress is real and can be expressed in numbers using measurements. For example, employees who lost their spreadsheet data increased their stress levels by 17% in just 8 seconds.