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European SMEs Fail to Meet Employees’ Working Needs

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A generation of mobile workers are having their efficiency hampered because their employers are not giving them the sharing tools they need.

This is according to new research from Sharp Europe, which identified a clear “opportunity gap” amongst those working for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

It found that many workers are not receiving the support and infrastructure they demand when using cloud computing to complete their duties.

It adds to a recent Gartner study for larger corporations which found that only a small number of firms have moved towards cloud-based office systems and email even though the proliferation of mobile devices has been huge in recent years.

“Whether business likes it or not, employees are clearly driving for change in how we work, share, collaborate on and produce information. This is a cultural as well as a business process driven shift; and it is happening now,” said Peter Plested, director of Sharp’s European solutions business centre.

He added that the “generation cloud” is finding its own way to work remotely, rather than rely on their employers to provide the tools needed.

Mr Plested feels this should serve as a wake-up-call for SMEs across the continent, making them realise the benefits of this shift without losing control of their data or networks.

The survey found that 46 per cent of respondents felt that the ability to work remotely is crucial to their role, with 52 per cent stating that it has increased in importance during the past year.

On top of that, 55 per cent agreed that they could make informed decisions if they had greater ability to work collaboratively and 61 per cent said it would increase their productivity.

A recent study conducted by the recruitment firm Office Angels found that 59 per cent of employees feel that having the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time is important and they would consider leaving if their employer did not operate a flexible working option.