Employees don't want work software on their personal devices

Businessman holding smartphone

An increasing number of workers are rejecting the use of workplace software on their personal devices, according to new research.

In its latest workplace technology survey, analyst firm CCS Insight discovered that almost three quarters (74 percent) of employees at large organisations object to being forced to install software on their personal devices for work-purposes.

The firm surveyed 672 employees across the US and Western Europe to better understand their attitudes to digital technology such as AI and smart assistants, security, privacy and trust, enterprise mobility and devices, usage of business-related applications and technology brand affinities.

CCS Insight's survey found that, according to 30 per cent of respondents, WhatsApp is now the most widely used mobile business app ahead of Microsoft Office 365. New features such as conference and video calling as well as the launch of WhatsApp business in early 2018 have helped reinforce this trend.

When it comes to digital assistants, employees are ready to embrace this new technology with almost half of those surveyed expecting them to be widespread in the workplace with 12 months. However, a third of respondents said a fear of job losses would be a barrier to adoption backed-up by 60 per cent revealing they are worried AI will take their jobs.

Microsoft was also found to be the brand that employees trust the most to protect their data with 45 per cent of responses followed by Google which is the clear leader among millennials. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, more than half of the employees surveyed said their trust in Facebook has declined in the past 12 months.

Frustrations with the digital workplace

In terms of privacy at work, two-thirds of respondents said they are generally unconcerned because they trust their employer. Although, any attempts by their employer to increase security or monitoring will likely be met with strong resistance with 7 per cent of employees at large organisations objecting to being forced to install software on their personal devices for work purposes.

Poor connectivity was also identified as the top frustration with the digital workplace by 44 per cent of respondents.

“Our employee survey is unique to the industry and once again highlights the significant technology changes going on at grass roots levels inside businesses," said Nick McQuire, Vice President of Enterprise Research at CCS Insight.

"The increasing blurring of personal and business technology, the rise of privacy and security concerns after a big year of security incidents where trust in technology has become more important than ever, as well as the expectation behind big tech brands and new workplace technologies such as artificial intelligence are among some of the most important changes we explore in the survey. These trends and others uncovered in the survey will radically shape the business technology industry in the coming years.”

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.