Technological pressures have been colliding in the workplace for some time, and change has never been so pervasive. Many businesses have undergone some form of digital transformation and employees have needed to evolve their way of working, often at dizzying pace. The younger generation of workers are also setting the bar for the technology they expect to see at work, wanting it to replicate or exceed what they use within their personal lives. It stands to reason that employees have advanced their technological competencies and attitudes towards digital working at hugely varying rates, creating a complex landscape for business and IT leaders to navigate.

Wanting to understand more about the impact the digital workplace has had upon employees, Citrix commissioned a study of 1,000 knowledge workers who were quizzed on a range of workplace issues including how they access a digital work environment, send work documents for use outside of the office, communicate with colleagues, and save company data. Unsurprisingly, the results were wide-ranging, exposing much diversity in the way employees are accessing and engaging with technology.

Four key technology “personas” were identified through the research, ranked in order of prevalence:

The Progress Seeker

  • 40 percent of workers exhibit ‘progress seeking’ tendencies
  • They understand the positive impact technology can have and are most likely to use their company storage space, such as SharePoint or OneDrive, to access documents outside of the office
  • Their determination to drive results may lead to risky behaviour, such as using unsecured public Wi-Fi if it is the only option available

The Knowledge Seeker

  • 33 percent of employees are considered ‘knowledge seekers’
  • Although they are not the most proficient tech users, they recognise the benefits technology can bring to their organisation
  • Email is their most comfortable method of communication with colleagues, and instead of taking a risk, they would check with IT before connecting to a public Wi-Fi network

The Power Seeker

  • 20 percent of workers are ‘power seekers’ and are obsessed with technology and how it can be leveraged, but this could come at a cost
  • To communicate ‘on the go’ they are most likely to message their colleagues via unofficial apps such as SMS, Whatsapp, WeChat or Facebook Messenger
  • When faced with a new task, they would be inclined to look for a free online tool to install themselves, rather than seeking the advice of IT

The Confidence Seeker

  • Just 7 percent of knowledge workers are ‘confidence seekers’, lacking technology know-how and needing reassurance, training and support from a stronger leader
  • They are most likely to store documents on their desktop to work outside of the office, rather than connecting to their professional company storage space or the cloud

The findings of the study show clearly how differently workers have embraced digital transformation in the workplace, and how responsive IT leaders must be to an individual’s needs and preferences.

Once the foundational architecture is in place, it should be the responsibility of the company to educate, support and enable employees, so that they can be their most productive. Furthermore, when workers’ needs are met, their inclination to take a risk and try their own solutions via shadow IT will also be reduced.

Want to know what kind of digital worker you are? Take our quiz!