Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) today released new research revealing that more than 50 percent of office workers in Asia Pacific (APAC) rate access to cutting-edge technology in the workplace above perks like food and slick office design, while Hong Kong staff rank private working space and technology as important factors.
¡§The Future of Work: APAC Study¡¨ engaged almost 5,000 office workers across a number of countries and regions, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand. It examined how the roles of people, experiences and machines are evolving and transforming workplaces.
Workplace Technology Key to Market Success in APAC
Along with highlighting the critical role of technology in building positive employee experiences, the survey indicates that organisations which invest in workplace technology are more likely to be successful in the market. The survey found 89 percent of employees who rate their companies as above-average business performers also believe their companies are technology-focused (compared to 64 percent for those who say their company is a below-average performer.) In fact, employees of successful businesses are over twice as likely to rate their organization as ¡§extremely focused¡¨ on technology, when compared to those who rate their companies as a below-average performing businesses.
¡§In the current Experience Business era, smart organisations are realizing that outstanding customer experiences hinge on their ability to attract the best people. As a result, businesses today are strategically investing in workplace technologies to drive productivity and deliver a compelling experience for employees,¡¨ said Yew Hwee Ng, Adobe Senior Managing Director, Greater China.
While putting a lot of weight on technology (44%), Hong Kong respondents found having their own private working space (52%) more important, especially when they can create their own individualised working environment. This finding runs counter to the trend towards hot-desking and shared work spaces which employers, mostly overseas based, are trying to pursue.
Additionally, Hongkongers found access to on-site amenities like gym, dry cleaning services (16%) and beautiful office design (15%) least important. This is in contrast with neighboring mainland China as respondents there have a very high expectation in office design (59%).
Millennials Drive Innovation
While technology spearheads innovation in the workplace, young APAC workers are also driving positive transformation across organisations. Respondents stated that sparking creative thinking and innovative projects (ranked first), creating diverse and open-minded environments (ranked second), and propagating social media use and engagement (ranked third) are top ways younger workers are driving change. This is especially so for Hong Kong respondents, who said that driving extensive use of social media at work is the important change driven by the entry of younger workers in their organization.
¡§Millennials comprise a significant proportion of the total workforce in APAC and are changing workplaces across the region. These discerning new age workers are not only leading the innovation charter at companies, but most importantly, becoming the torchbearers of diversity and use of technology at work,¡¨ added Yew Hwee Ng.
Man vs Machine
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped automate an increasing number of work functions that are changing the productivity paradigm. While anxious about the impact of these new technologies on their jobs, 94 percent of respondents across APAC expressed interest in trying artificial intelligence technologies to automate mundane work-related tasks. Hong Kong respondents (86%) also showed interest in using Artificial Intelligence technology to help perform mundane work-related tasks but only 16 percent expressed a high level of interest, significantly lower than the 47 percent average from other regions. Compared to other Greater China regions, Hong Kong respondents are more optimistic about new age technologies enabling their jobs. Only 28 percent of Hong Kong respondents see AI and ML as an emerging threat to their jobs, significantly lower than that of China (41%) and Taiwan (35%).
Other key findings from ¡§The Future of Work: APAC Study¡¨ include:
• For the love of work ¡V Nearly 95 percent of respondents across APAC would continue to work even if they won a lottery, and almost 55 percent would continue in the same job. Hong Kong¡¦s situation is the same as the APAC results.
• Why work? ¡V Supporting their lifestyle choices and families were the top two contributors to the overall motivation to work across APAC and Hong Kong.
• Motivations to work at current organization ¡V Following salary and perks, the ability to advance was the highest ranked motivational factor for office workers in their current roles in APAC. However, Hong Kong respondents ranked companies¡¦ investments in community and fun activities the second most important motivations to work, topping all the APAC regions. And the ability to volunteer (8%) is the least attractive to them.
• Fostering innovation ¡V 15 percent of APAC office workers felt their organizations were not at all focused on driving new ideas and innovative projects compared to 30 percent who feel their organizations are extremely focused. Office workers in Hong Kong were most skeptical about their organizations¡¦ focus on fostering innovation with 26 percent of Hong Kong respondents feeling their organization was not focused on innovation at all.
Review the Conversation
Adobe has hosted Think Tank: The Future of Work on 6 December 2017 where an exclusive group of industry leaders discussed how technology is changing the way we live and work in APAC. The discussion can be reviewed at http://adobethinktank.com
The Future of Work: APAC Study
The Future of Work: APAC Study engaged more than 4,700 APAC office workers who use a computer daily for work. Research was conducted from October 17 to November 13, 2017. The survey included working professionals from various sectors (healthcare, manufacturing, banking/finance, technology/telecom, media & entertainment etc.) across 10 regions ¡V Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.