Research shows lack of workspace investment is leaving many organisations struggling to attract and retain staff
It is well-documented that the public sector has been under considerable strain over the last few years, with stretched resources and understaffing increasingly common problems. In light of this, research from Kyocera Document Solutions UK has revealed that the large majority of public sector staff feel that their organisational workspaces are ill-equipped, impacting their capacity to effectively complete their work. This is subsequently contributing towards challenges in attracting and retaining staff.
The research, conducted by GovNewsDirect to survey the views of 406 staff across 348 public sector organisations, explored the attitudes and perceptions of staff towards how their organisations operate and their culture. The results of the survey showed a clear correlation between an organisation’s working culture and staff performance and retention. Worryingly, when asked if their organisation is fully equipped with the workspace tools and devices to carry out work efficiently, only 13 per cent of respondents “strongly agreed”, whilst almost a quarter (23 per cent) disagreed. Alongside this, 75 per cent emphasised their organisations’ struggles in attracting and retaining staff, which underlines the potential impact of a lack of these tools.
However, the research also provided some cause for optimism. 61 per cent anticipate that their organisations will provide the right tools and devices to work efficiently within the next five years. In addition, respondents suggested that organisations that implement “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies and new technologies such as cloud computing, will enhance staff productivity and morale. Many also felt that updating workspace tools and embracing digital transformation would offer a significant advantage when recruiting new talent.
Amanda Childs, Group HR Director at Kyocera Document Solutions UK, commented: “It was disappointing to see that a large majority of respondents felt their organisations are not equipped with the right workspace tools to carry out their jobs efficiently. Without these, public sector organisations face the possibility of losing talented employees at a time when they are absolutely essential. Incorporating such changes opens up opportunities for significant productivity gains in hidden areas at a time where we are all facing continued uncertainty. Workers have a clear idea of what they would like to see, so it’s important for leaders to now work out how to bring these new technologies and processes to fruition.”
New technologies are having a positive impact on physical workspaces across all sectors, particularly through the added flexibility and potential for collaboration they provide. For example, the use of video conferencing and file sharing through cloud computing enables employees to work more effectively in groups, as well as access a much wider breadth of information than before. For any organisation, adopting these new technologies can transform the relationship employees have with the workspace, increasing overall productivity and boosting employee retention in the long term.
Amanda concluded: “It’s crucial that public sector organisations get on the front foot when it comes to embracing smarter ways of working, so they need to act now. The optimism that employees have for the future in this respect is good to see, but this doesn’t mean leaders should rest on their laurels and expect the situation to improve by itself. Organisations need to repay the faith of their employees by taking the necessary steps to modernise, become more agile and be more open to new technologies and ways of working. If this can be achieved, public sector organisations will do a much better job of retaining talent, and will build a more engaged, happier workforce for years to come.”