New research finds digital experiences are getting worse

January 11, 2024

Sarah Morrison

New research finds digital experiences are getting worse image

New Scalable research finds digital experiences are getting worse. Data shows knowledge workers forced to work an extra 3.1 weeks per year due to digital limitations.

From the emergence of hybrid work as the “new norm” to the “return to office” battle, knowledge workers are at the heart of the debate over the future of work. But what does this period of flux mean for knowledge workers? And what is the reality of the remote, hybrid and in-office digital experience for today’s employees?

To find out, we went straight to the source and asked 2,000 UK knowledge workers about their digital employee experiences today. The results are launched this week in our 2024 Scalable Software Digital Employee Experience Report: Expectation vs Reality for Knowledge Workers.

Building on research we first conducted in 2021, the report uncovers how digital employee experiences (DEX) are changing in 2024 for all knowledge workers. Here are some of our key findings.

  • Employees say DEX is getting worse

Almost a fifth (18%) of knowledge workers rated the DEX provided by their employer as poor, up from 15% in 2021. One reason for poor DEX is the high incidence of digital friction – the unnecessary effort employees must exert to carry out their daily tasks. Respondents are experiencing digital friction across numerous areas, with repeatedly crashing applications (47%) and “notification overload” (30%) cited by many.

  • Poor DEX impacts wellbeing and pushes staff towards the door

Worryingly, respondents said they were forced to work an additional 3.1 weeks a year because of poor DEX. That’s almost a full week longer than when we asked this question in 2021. Not surprisingly, 56% of respondents said poor DEX left them feeling frustrated, and almost a third (29%) said it even made them consider leaving their job.

  • Productivity hampered by negative experiences

Aside from damaging employee satisfaction, the time wasted as a result of poor DEX is also hampering business productivity and cutting into businesses’ bottom lines. Knowledge workers waste a total of 5.55 hours per week due to a lack of the right technology, or technology that doesn’t work. And half of all respondents say negative DEX makes them less productive at their job.


The productivity quandary

The findings around productivity have implications for the “return to office” vs “work from home” debate that continues to rage. In short, it’s not the working from home that makes employees less productive, as some decision makers worry. It’s bad digital experiences holding them back. The takeaway for decision makers is that they need an objective way to measure and quantify productivity and digital experiences, and to surface the blockers that slow workers down.

As Mark Cresswell, Scalable’s Co-Founder comments, “The RTO vs. WFH battle is likely to get even more fierce this year. To keep employees onside, businesses’ methods of measuring experiences and productivity must evolve. One-size-fits-all policies that dictate how and where employees work are not fit for today’s modern digital workplaces.”

Organisations must create policies and measure productivity based on hard data. From assessing the uptake of and engagement with collaboration software, to understanding how applications and device usage differs across teams, roles and locations. What’s imperative is that businesses achieve visibility into DEX wherever work gets done, to eliminate the issues that impact productivity and satisfaction. Because poor DEX is not only a huge financial drain on businesses but will result in employees leaving for a better experience elsewhere.

The full report, The 2024 Scalable Software Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Report: Expectation vs Reality for Knowledge Workers is available here