In its first-ever neuro-scientific research called Brain on Tech, Dell Technologies measured how technology can impact our ability to work and our overall well-being. The study revealed that high-functioning technology or failing technology can directly affect productivity and how humans feel.
“Technology helps us connect, learn, get work done and reimagine our daily lives. Yet as we rely more on technology, we become more sensitive to its performance highs and lows,” said Brooke Huling, vice president, software solutions and experiences, Dell Technologies. “At Dell, we use research to understand our customers’ needs and to drive innovations as those need change. Businesses that understand the impact tech has on people are at an advantage. Not only can they offer a better experience — they can help employees become more efficient and effective.”
In collaboration with EMOTIV, the global leader in portable brain-sensing technologies and consumer neuroscience, Dell used brain-sensing headsets that measured the participants’ reactions when they completed cognitively-challenging tasks under time using both good and bad PC technology. Levels of stress, focus, excitement and frustration were assessed in real-time leveraging EMOTIV’s proprietary machine learning algorithms.
Using technology to supercharge productivity and efficiency
Insights from the study showed that a great experience with a work PC is vital and ensures optimum productivity. Employees can achieve an astounding 37 percent more in a workday when using technology that is not only newer but supported with the correct software and services, which can save them 23 minutes per hour or fifteen hours in a 40-hour work week.
On the other hand, bad technology experience impedes employee performance by more than 30 percent on average, regardless of a user’s perceived computer literacy. Generational differences also come into play and younger Millennials and Gen Zers were most affected by a bad tech experience, performing twice as poorly as older participants in the study.
Delivering the best technology experiences impact how employees feel
Research showed that well-functioning technology can positively impact feelings and relieve stress for employees, creating both emotional benefits as well a lasting impact on retention.
The majority of participants’ reactions from receiving different technology that is enabled with the necessary power and tools end-users after dealing with faulty technology showed that they are as excited as watching videos of puppies. On the other hand, when participants received better-functioning computers, it induced more excitement than receiving a monetary reward.
Employees that have bad technology experiences during their workday feel twice as stressed, which is almost 30% more stressful than being asked to sing a song in public. Those experiencing high-stress moments take three times longer to relax and recover even when listening to relaxing music when compared to those experiencing less stressful moments in the workday.
“Keeping employees productive and happy is a top priority for companies today as they try to combat burnout, and businesses have the power to address this with great technology experiences,” said Huling. “It is important that employees have the right technology set-up — including software and peripherals — or have the opportunity to customize their set-up to best fit their needs. In the ‘Work from Anywhere’ world, people, productivity, health, and well-being matter. The best investment any business can make to reduce stress and improve productivity is to provide reliable, seamless technology experiences to reduce friction and help employees achieve their work goals.”