European employees upbeat, but braced for change

Most employees at European mid-sized businesses expect their job roles to change during 2017, according to research commissioned by Ricoh Europe.

The European arm of the Tokyo-based global technology group launched research based on responses from 790 employees at mid-sized businesses with a workforce of between 50 and 500 individuals.

No less than 96% of survey respondents agree that factors such as digital disruption, economic uncertainty and regulatory change will affect their jobs. However, they feel positive and settled in their roles. Only 8% expect to change job and just 12% believe they will have fewer career opportunities in 2017.

Among the survey’s other findings, 57% expect their business to be more creative with resources, 62% believe their firm should do more to use new technology and processes, while 64% agree that new technologies will significantly increase connectivity.

On top of this enthusiasm, 58% of mid-market employees are confident their company will be in a stronger position by the end of the year than it is now.

“European mid-sized businesses face major structural, resource and behavioural challenges,” said David Mills, chief executive officer (CEO) of Ricoh Europe.

“Despite this, the current period of change shouldn’t be seen as a threat. Economic uncertainty is likely to continue and mid-sized businesses need to step-up. Encouragingly, many employees recognise this fact and want the tools to do so.

“Collaborative workforces sit at the heart of every successful business and digital solutions, like cognitive whiteboards, support growth. By calling for digital technologies which make collaboration easier, employees are telling their leaders they want to do the best work possible. They are equally committed to making this change a positive for the business.”

Louella Fernandes, associate director of business and IT advisory firm Quocirca, added: “Without a strategic focus on their information management processes, many businesses will struggle. Companies need to prioritise reviewing their long term digital strategy.

“These businesses will be best-placed to harness disruption and new ways of working for growth. I expect to see companies increasingly benefiting from tech-driven efficiencies this year. Fostering digital confidence in the workplace is essential for driving this process.”

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