- Global uncertainty, defined as the emergence of unexpected news or occurrences internationally and in the workplace, impedes employees’ productivity.
- At least 70% of all audiences concur that change is the new constant in the workplace, and 64% of SMB executives are concerned about the future success of their companies in the face of increasing uncertainty.
More than one-third of company managers have invested in new technologies to assist their employees in overcoming last year’s uncertainty.
Global uncertainty, defined as the emergence of unexpected news or occurrences internationally and in the workplace, impedes employees’ productivity. According to a new survey from Adobe, the Future of Time 2022 study, employees, and managers spend three hours per day reading or discussing news coverage throughout the workday, with 70% claiming this is more time than they spent a year ago. The vast majority state that this has a direct impact on their productivity.
Adobe analysis highlights the impact of uncertainty on the workforce
With the global pandemic and conflicts across the globe, it would appear as if change is the new constant today. Respondents to the survey acknowledged that the perpetual state of change is hurting their well-being and work performance:
- At least 70% of all audiences concur that change is the new constant in the workplace, and 64% of SMB executives are concerned about the future success of their companies in the face of increasing uncertainty. Economic instability and inflation are viewed as the most personally troubling driver of uncertainty.
- About 70% of all audiences report spending several additional hours during the workday absorbing or discussing news coverage compared to a year ago. Eighty percent say this directly affects productivity and overall job satisfaction.
- In times of uncertainty, nearly three in fifth of the employees find work a welcome distraction and look to their workplace for support.
How the labor force manages uncertainty and change
Employees want help from their companies through health and wellness services and technology. Over 70% of employees and managers say that digital solutions make work relationships easier. For example, digital solutions help managers facilitate well-being checks, make it easier for employees to give feedback to leaders, and help strengthening relationships between employees.
Seven out of 10 managers and employees also say they use digital tools for peace of mind at work, to stay productive when they can’t focus, and to make it easier to complete the work when a coworker wants to take time off unexpectedly.
Employees whose employers have put money into digital solutions like productivity or collaboration tools say they are much happier at work and have a better balance between work and life.
On the bright side, constant change means constant innovation
Uncertainty is powering innovation in businesses and creating new ideas for collaboration. Business leaders and employees are constantly adjusting – and already registering benefits – by using their time and making use of digital tools in newer ways. One in four small and medium-sized business leaders think that innovation has become a core business value in the last year.
Among the other survey results are:
- The following year, 77% of SMB leaders and 79% of ENT managers want to help drive business innovation in their company.
- Around 76% of ENT managers and 69% of SMB leaders think their companies’ culture will be more collaborative in the next year.
- 71% of SMB leaders and 81% of ENT managers say that their organization’s culture will be more digital than ever in the next year.
Adobe’s report’s research methods
Edelman Data and Intelligence got in touch with employees, managers, leaders of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and employees of SMBs in eight global markets to take a 20-minute survey between July 11 and August 6, 2022.