2023 Digital Work Trends Report
There’s been a shift over the last two decades in how decisions in the workplace are made. Critical business decisions that were once based on gut instincts and senior level executives’ opinions are now more frequently based on data––or any metric within an organization that illustrates performance and progress.
Slingshot’s 2023 Digital Work Trends report explores the relationship between productivity and workers’ access to data. Slingshot surveyed 305 full-time U.S. employees to better understand how workers across generations are using data in their jobs.
PART 1: DATA IN THE WORKPLACE
Below are the findings for Part 1 of the Digital Work Trends report, which shines a light on how data is not only more accessible to employees, but a critical and necessary part to their productivity.
Employees’ productivity is more dependent on data than workplace flexibility.
Seventy-two percent (72%) of workers say their productivity is more dependent on metrics that track performance and progress, than working independently or autonomy.
Companies have long been focused on improving workplace flexibility, but companies’ priorities are not aligned with what’s driving workers’ productivity: only 39% of workers say independent working improves their productivity, and 27% say the same of autonomy.
A majority of employees are using data to make decisions in the workplace, but there are still many individuals making decisions based on their gut instincts and opinions of senior leaders.
While more than half of workers (56%) gather and use data to make business decisions, 12% of workers say they make decisions by asking the most senior person in the business or department, and 6% of workers admit to using their gut instinct.
It’s likely that these workers are defaulting to the latter because the data they need to inform specific decisions is not easily accessible within their organization, or available to them at all.
Gen Z is the data generation.
Gen Z workers (ages 18-26) are integrating data into their job more than any other generation. One hundred percent (100%) of Gen Z workers say they use data at work at least a few times a week, with 61% saying they use it every day.
While nearly three-fourths (74%) of Gen Z workers are using data to improve performance, only 61% of Boomer workers (ages 59+) say the same.
Gen Z workers are much more likely than other segments to use data insights to understand customer behavior and needs (61%).
A lack of data and information hurts workers’ productivity the most.
Sixty-five (65%) of workers say that a lack of data is what most negatively impacts their ability to do their jobs.
Over one-third of workers cite too many projects (37%) and constant notifications across multiple applications (35%) as other factors that negatively impact their productivity.
Employees are using data in the workplace for more than improving productivity and performance.
Data is helping individual workers to do their job better and more efficiently, which also then drives efficiencies and performance at the team and company level.
While 72% of workers use data insights to improve their performance, more than half of workers use data to prioritize goals (54%) and 46% say they use it to create strategic plans and understand customer behaviors and needs.