Survey Finds European Businesses Focused on Merging Culture and Technology to Empower Productivity

U.K. Leaders Adapting Well to Remote Work Boom but Fall Behind the U.S. in Preparedness for Future Challenges

LONDON--()--Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR), the enterprise platform for dynamic work, revealed 71% of technology decision-makers are rethinking their longer-term strategic decisions around workforce technologies, according to a commissioned survey* of enterprise professionals conducted by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Decision makers globally are considering how technology can alleviate workplace culture concerns related to collaboration, work-life balance, and productivity, brought on by the shift to remote work. 41% of U.K. respondents reported work-life balance difficulties and the risk of burnout as the most significant hurdle when supporting distributed workers, which was echoed by 50% of U.S. respondents. This trend was repeated by 31% of U.K. respondents (vs. 45% of U.S.) who worry about employees leaving for other opportunities. However, one concern both U.K. and U.S. respondents agreed upon was not having the technologies to effectively support remote work where the combined average was 32%.

Although U.K. leaders expressed less concern than U.S. counterparts regarding support for remote working, this changes when it comes to looking to the future. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of U.S. respondents feel their departments were prepared to dynamically adjust and respond to any disruptions. This was in sharp contrast to only 39% of U.K. respondents. When asked what was needed to adjust effectively to any disruptions or changed priorities, U.K. respondents gave broad indications across multiple factors citing collaboration among peers (33%) as the most pressing need while the U.S. cited strategic vision and guidance for company leadership (42%).

The global picture shows that leaders still note technology-related concerns when it comes to supporting a remote workforce. Some of the top concerns shared by U.K. and U.S. businesses include: the adoption and change management associated with new technologies (35%) and shadow IT with employees using their own tools (34%). Interestingly, only 35% of respondents are concerned about an increased security risk, which is a notable decrease from nearly half (48%) of respondents who voiced this concern in a survey conducted in May 2020.

“The pandemic brought to light many long-standing workforce dysfunctions, resurfacing the need to bridge the gap between technology and culture to empower the workforce,” said Chris Marsh, a Research Director at 451 Research. “Now, these disruptions have switched the leadership mindset to prioritize workplace technologies, streamline their purchasing cycles, and make culture-driven decisions that empower employees to take ownership over their own projects and workflows.”

In 2021, decision makers are realizing the need to better address cultural challenges with technology. This is impacting spending and pushing them to make technology decisions more quickly. Forty-one percent of respondents cited shortening purchasing cycles around workforce technologies. Leaders also cited they plan to spend more on technology tools over the next six months, including: team collaboration tools (63%), project and work management tools (56%) and workflow automation (47%).

“When you look at the response in the U.K., we see a lot of similarities with U.S. business leaders who are reevaluating their technology decisions to better adapt to a future where hybrid work is becoming more common,” said Gene Farrell, Chief Product Officer at Smartsheet. “While there was variation around the top concerns and priorities, one finding was clear: business leaders recognise the need to empower their workforce through technology that will drive innovation and ultimately boost productivity.”

You can access the full “Get Ahead of Change by Empowering Employees with New Operational Cultures and Tooling Strategies” report here. Marsh will also discuss the findings in a webinar titled, “Get Ahead of Change by Empowering Employees,” on Tuesday, April 13, at 6:00 p.m. BST. You can register for the webinar here.

*Survey methodology

The survey was conducted by 451 Research among a sample of 400 U.S. workers at enterprise companies with 1,500+ full time employees and three or more office locations, 200 U.K. workers at companies with 1,000+ full time employees and three or more office locations, 200 German workers at companies with 1,000+ full time employees and three or more office locations, and 200 Australian workers at companies with 500+ full time employees and two or more office locations. It was live from September 23 to October 8, 2020.

About Smartsheet

Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) is the enterprise platform for dynamic work. By aligning people and technology so organizations can move faster and drive innovation, Smartsheet enables its millions of users to achieve more. Visit to learn more.

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Lindsay Bleier


Lindsay Bleier