Everybody wants to rule their work

Office user typing
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The first thing workplace Machiavells want isn't a raise, it's a new toy, says Billy MacInnes

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Billy

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12 August 2019 | 0

My attention was piqued by a post on the website of a company called ResumeLab revealing the results of an online survey of 1,000 employees in the US asking them whether they believed they were better than their bosses. It found that just over a fifth believed they were more qualified than their managers. I have to say, from my own experience and conversations, that doesn’t seem like an outrageously large number to me.

Anyway, they were also asked what changes they would make if they were in charge. There were some nice answers, such as increase employee pay and give employees bonuses, which might not make them better than their existing managers but would be very effective at making the respondents more popular. That said, there was a bit of ying and yang at play with 19% saying they would hire employees and 16% responding that they would fire workers.

This dichotomy was also apparent in terms of meetings with 15.9% in favour of reducing the number of meetings and a frightening 15.2% seeking to schedule more. Faced between a choice of two candidates espousing those diametrically opposed views, I know who would be getting my vote for manager.

The interesting news for IT vendors and partners is that, in the event of regime change, there could be more business for technology suppliers because just under 27% said one of their priorities would be to upgrade their workplace technology. And with almost 25% keen to roll out new initiatives, you can see there are some interesting possibilities for more business if employees ever got to take over from their managers.

Not that I’m advocating that resellers and solution providers should be actively encouraging regime change at their customers by offering covert aid and support to potential future managers. Obviously, that would be a step too far.

But it’s probably helpful for existing managers to become aware that one of the bug bears for some employees is their existing workplace technology. In any case, the more Machiavellian managers might see a focus on upgrading technology as a convenient way to distract employees from agitating for better pay or bonuses.

All joking aside, I’m not sure whether it’s good or bad news that quite a few people want better work technology. However, on the flip side, it’s perhaps better news that over 73% don’t think upgrading IT would be a priority if they took over in the morning. For them, it’s quite clearly doing the job. And that has to be seen as a vote of confidence in the people supplying the technology, doesn’t it?

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