For workers in companies ranging from start-ups to large billion-pound companies, the trend of working on laptops, mobile phones and tablets that are not company-issued is growing, as is the flexibility with which people work, in terms of both time and location.


Dell has partnered with Intel to conduct a global survey of 8000 workers in order to compare the different perceptions of large enterprise and small business employees and to predict the nature of the workforce of the future.


Job satisfaction

The report revealed that SMB workers are given more freedom than those working for large enterprises, resulting in greater job satisfaction for SMB workers. This satisfaction comes from factors such as allowing employees to choose which devices they work on; 39% of SMB workers surveyed can choose whereas this figure is only 21% in larger companies. Moreover, while 47% of large enterprise workers feel under pressure to work long hours, just 41% of SMB employees do.




Small business employees also enjoy higher levels of trust from their employers; 55% of employees from SMBs say they feel their employer listens to them, compared to only 36% at large enterprises. That type of trust is highly valued almost universally; in Canada, just 22% of SMB employees believe their employer monitors their email, compared with 38% at large enterprises.  In Australia, 93% of SMB workers consider themselves to be trusted, with 90% in both the UK and Canada saying the same.



In addition to higher levels of trust and job satisfaction, small business workers also enjoy greater flexibility and choice in the devices they use. 42% of SMB employees in Japan believe they're consulted about technology choices, however only 31% had positive views of their IT support. The figure is similar in Mexico, with 40% being more likely to choose their own devices, compared with half that (20%) in large enterprises.


The future

The workforce of today may be unrecognisable to the workers of thirty years ago and with increasingly significant technological advances, it is likely that the future workforce will continue to evolve at speed, forcing both large enterprises and small businesses to adapt quickly in order to accommodate changes in behavioural trends.


The survey has shown that small businesses are global leaders in terms of employee led innovation, but the UK lags behind when compared to other countries and can be seen to hold its employees back with half (53%) of employees saying they don't have the freedom to choose how to work.


To increase job satisfaction and maximise productivity, businesses need to trust their employees to make the right decisions in terms of device choice, working hours and work flexibility. This will increase motivation and drive the creativity that will in turn stimulate innovation and growth. 


Andrew Miller, Marketing Manager Dell SMB, UK & Ireland