Adobe: Workplace uncertainty is driving both anxiety and innovation

Workers at computers in an office
(Image credit: Unsplash / Israel Andrade)

Uncertainty and change are driving workplace innovation, but also creating new headaches for businesses, a report from Adobe Document Cloud has claimed. 

A survey of businesses across the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and India revealed 70% of managers and employees agree that “change has become the new constant in the workplace”.

But despite fueling employee anxiety, 68% of SMB leaders and 77% of enterprise managers believe “constant uncertainty is forcing their business to find new ways to collaborate.”

The only certainty is uncertainty

The economy, politics, climate change, gun violence, and Covid-19. These are the top concerns of managers and employees across both enterprises and SMBs, Adobe’s Future of Time report revealed. 

Those concerns have consumed the workplace, with 70% of managers and employees claiming to discuss current affairs more than they did last year. And that’s bad news for employees, 1 in 3 of whom reported that increased uncertainty has made it difficult for them to focus on work. 

However, it’s not just employees who may fear being pushed to the edge. While 39% of employees are considering a new job in 2023, so are managers (41%) and small business leaders (34%). Among those who feel their employer isn’t aligned to their values, 52% admitted they may pursue a new job.

But it’s not all bad news - and it seems digital tools may hold the key to re-engagement.

According to Adobe, where companies have invested in digital solutions, employees were “twice as likely to say they have experienced better work-life balance as a result of innovation,” compared to firms lacking online collaboration and creation tools. And 20% said they’ve experienced greater efficiency and better working relationships with colleagues. 

Business leaders have also witnessed similar results. 80% said they’ve observed “at least one benefit of increased innovation in the workplace, including higher productivity and higher efficiency.” 

Responding to the concerns of those in the business, 71% of SMB leaders and 81% of enterprise managers believe their organizations will become increasingly digitized over the next year, to help employers and employees navigate uncertainty in the future. 

Steve Clark
B2B Editor - Creative & Hardware

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.