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25% of UK workers foot the bill for WFH tech upgrades

A new global research report by Lenovo has revealed the triumphs, challenges and the consequences of the sudden shift to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study looked at how employees worldwide are responding to the “new normal” after a majority of those surveyed (72 percent) confirmed a shift in their daily work dynamic in the last three months.

Employees said they feel more connected and more productive than ever before as they work form home, but the data shows financial, physical and emotional downsides for the global workforce.

“This data gave us valuable insights on the complex relationship employees have with technology as work and personal are becoming more intertwined with the increase in working from home,” commented Dilip Bhatia, vice president of Global User and Customer Experience at Lenovo.

“Respondents globally feel more reliant on their work computers and more productive but have concerns about data security and want their companies to invest in more tech training. We’re using these takeaways to improve the development of our smart technology and better empower remote workers of tomorrow.”

Survey respondents around the world are embracing working away from the office – yet feel more connected to their devices than ever as the ‘office’ becomes wherever their technology is.

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed in the UK feel more reliant on their work PCs (laptops and/or desktop computer) than they did working from the office. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the global workforce surveyed feel they are more productive working from home than when they were in the office. Forty-eight percent of UK respondents believe they will continue to WFH more than they did pre-COVID-19 – even after social distancing measures lift.

However, in such a quick, dramatic shift to WFH that the pandemic brought on, workers say they have had to make personal investments on tech when their employers have not.

Sixty-three percent of employees surveyed in the UK said they purchased new technology to navigate working remotely. One in four of those surveyed in the UK have had to partially or fully fund their own tech upgrades. UK respondents say they have personally spent an average of £271 to upgrade or improve technology while working at home due to COVID-19 – roughly £55 higher than the global average (£216), and the fourth highest among 10 markets surveyed.

Overall, surveyed employees globally expressed mixed feelings about work in a post-COVID world – while some employees expressed being happy (27 percent) and excited (21 percent) about working from home forever, others feel neutral (22 percent) and conflicted (17 percent). In light of this, it is more important than ever to give employees flexibility and the required tech to WFH so they don’t have to spend their own money on tech upgrades for work.

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